|Published:||2012, Grand Central Publishing|
|No. of Pages:||422|
|Cover Price:||$14.99 US|
John Puller, David Baldacci’s character from his bestselling Novel Zero Day is back in The Forgotten. Puller’s father receives a letter from his sister, who lives in Paradise, Florida, that tells him things are not as they appear. The letter requests that his son, John, check it out. Since Puller is on vacation, he decides to go to Florida, visit his aunt, and talk to her about the letter. Unfortunately, when he arrives, his aunt is dead, and the police are ruling the death as an accident. John doesn’t feel good about the ruling, and begins his own investigation. As he gets deeper into the investigation, there are several suspicious deaths, and Puller is unsure as to whether they are connected to his aunt’s death.
As is characteristic in some small towns, several of the police officers seem incompetent, so John solicits help from an attractive female officer, Cheryl Landry, who seems to know what she is doing. Together they investigate some of the strange happenings in the town. One of Puller’s friends, Julie Carson, who is a one-star general, comes down to Florida to help John; Cheryl doesn’t like her, since it’s obvious Julie is interested in John romantically, and there is conflict between the two women.
There are several interesting sub-plots which Baldacci has woven in with the main story. An immigrant named Mecho, who works for a landscaping company, has come to the US to investigate and find his sister who was the victim of a human trafficking ring; a lawyer in the town who represented Puller’s Aunt as well as most of the elderly people living near her, seems to be making more money than is typical for similar lawyers in the area, and several Mexican children, who live near the cheap hotel John is staying in, are being abused and beaten by gang members, but are afraid to talk. When Puller rescues the children from the gang members, they call in reinforcements to kill John, so as he is investigating his Aunt’s murder, he also has to watch his back.
As is usual for David Baldacci, the story is fascinating, well written, and keeps the reader in suspense as the story progresses. There is a surprise ending, of course, and throughout the novel Puller is not only in danger of losing his life, but on the verge of jeopardizing his job and the job of some of his friends who are in positions to help him gather important information.
This is not a perfect book, however, since Baldacci takes liberties with protocol in law enforcement agencies, and even though readers probably would like to believe this could happen, it's not reality. It is not likely that Puller would really be allowed to investigate since he isn't with the agencies in Florida. And while we're on the subject of "not likely in real life," is it really possible that all the women who Puller encounters in law enforcement are sexy and attractive?
In spite of the few negatives, Baldacci’s easy-going writing style is evident in this novel, and he creates characters that are likeable and fairly believable. Baldacci has been described as a “master storyteller,” and The Forgotten is a clear example. The book is highly recommended for Baldacci fans, as well as thriller/suspense fans in general.
This book was purchased with personal funds and no promotion of the book was solicited by the author or publisher.
This book may be purchased at Amazon: The Forgotten (John Puller)