zzzzzzis the second instalment (in assumedly a series of five) of a new series featuring Atlee Pine, a female FBI agent. Usually, this reader warms almost immediately to the central character of a new series written by Mr Baldacci but it was not so for the first instalment Long Road to Mercy. Happily, book two delivers a bigger plot, more twists and turns for Atlee and her office assistant Carol Blum as they go on a leave of absence to Atlee’s home town. There, they start investigating a cold case from 30 years ago, when Atlee was left for dead as a small child and her twin sister Mercy abducted.
This instalment is deceptive from the start, alternating a present day serial killer with the Pine family mystery. The end result and identification of the killer is quite surprising and comes out of left field. The final chapter, though, reverts back to Atlee’s personal cold case and opens the gates very wide for book three! A protagonist from other series is briefly mentioned during dialogue.
Mr Baldacci’s books are best sellers on a global scale; easy to read, not too taxing, engaging characters (the good guys), two-dimensional villains and all set at a cracking pace. As with all of this writer’s main characters, each are flawed, all are federal government agents and all imbued with a strong work ethic to rout out crime.
The Pine cold case has enough puzzles to see us through to books three, four and probably five.