Thursday, 16 June 2011

Book ~ "The Camel Club" (2006) David Baldacci

From Amazon ~ The Camel Club, a four-man group of Washington, D.C., misfits (their leader has taken the ironic pseudonym "Oliver Stone") gathers every week to discuss political conspiracies they believe exist and what actions they might take. One night, while meeting on Roosevelt Island in the middle of the Potomac River, club members witness the murder of Secret Service employee Patrick Johnson, thus thrusting the wacky crew into the middle of a bigger conspiracy than they could ever have imagined. There are scores of characters and subplots to keep track of while the story veers back and forth between venues and villains, forcing readers to remain alert yet patient while awaiting the high-concept payoff. When it finally appears, it's a doozy: kidnappers who harm no one and are reasonable people with a legitimate gripe bring the U.S. to the verge of nuking Damascus. Baldacci maintains interest during the long buildup by supplying fascinating historical facts, amusing characters, high-tech spy lore and the backstories of his super agents, both good and evil.

This is the first in the Camel Club series. I read the third book, Stone Cold, in November and enjoyed it.

For the most part, I enjoyed this book. The story was interesting, though convoluted and too detailed.

There are a lot of characters to keep track off. Most disappear way before the end.

One thing that annoyed me was what seemed like hundreds of acronyms of American government agencies that were used ... I couldn't keep them straight so gave up trying to.

Also, there was a lot of useless detailed information. For example, Reuben and Oliver are driving by the Lyndon B. Johnson Memorial and Reuben spent a paragraph or two explaining how it had been originally misnamed. It played no part in the story so who cares? And I didn't need two pages detailing how a missile worked. You are going to fire a missile and it would kill six million people ... that's all I needed to know. Cut out this kind of padding and the book could have been shortened by about 100 pages.


Kay Dennison said...

I love that book! It's the first of a series and Baldacci is basically laying the foundation for more stories about Oliver and his confreres.

Tony said...

I loved it as well! I've read all the books in "The Camel Club" series. Great stuff.