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Divine Justice by David Baldacci

Title:  Divine Justice

Author:  David Baldacci

Narrator:  Ron McLarty

Audio Length:  6 hours, 2 minutes

First Released:  November 2008

Synopsis (Courtesy of Audible): “Known by his alias, “Oliver Stone,” John Carr is the most wanted man in America. With two pulls of the trigger, the men who destroyed Stone’s life and kept him in the shadows were finally silenced.

But his freedom comes at a steep price: The assassinations he carried out prompt the highest levels of the U.S. government to unleash a massive manhunt. Behind the scenes, master spy Macklin Hayes is playing a very personal game of cat and mouse. He, more than anyone, wants Stone dead.

With their friend and unofficial leader in hiding, the members of the Camel Club risk everything to save him. Now, as the hunters close in, Stone’s flight from the demons of his past will take him from the power corridors of Washington, D.C., to the small, isolated coal-mining town of Divine, Virginia-and into a world every bit as lethal as the one he left behind.”

Comments and Critique:  My second audio, and I am still in love with the format.  For my second foray into this format,  Divine Justice was a free download from Audible when I downloaded the app to my phone.  It is not my typical choice of reading, but I like to occasionally read a good political thriller.  I have never read anything by David Baldacci, but given how popular he is, I figured it was a safe choice.  I was not wrong.

As with any audio, the choice of narrator is important.  Mr. McLarty was perfect.  He sounded a bit like the movie trailer guy – very dramatic with lots of pauses, but it definitely added to the overall suspense of the novel.  There are a lot of characters in this novel, yet I knew exactly which character was speaking at any given time.  Mr. McLarty does a tremendous job of differentiating between a gruff hillbilly, a sophisticated politician, teenage boys, and even several different females. 

The story itself is perfect for the audio format.  The story itself is not so complex that it requires devoted attention, making multitasking much easier to accomplish without the need to continually backtrack the recording to figure out what you missed.  The action sequences were very easy to follow; in fact, for me, they were better than physically reading them as I have a tendency to rush through such scenes while reading.  The plot was engaging and complicated enough to keep me intrigued; there were enough secrets that had me guessing and prevented me from getting bored.

In all, Divine Justice is a modern pop thriller.  There is not a lot in the way of character development, no emotional epiphany, or philosophical self-reflection.  Rather, it is exactly what you would expect from this genre, a modern story that moves quickly, has clear good and bad guys, and that addresses a currently hot issue.  In this day and age, when the good and bad guys are not so clearly delineated, I can see why David Baldacci is a popular author.

Dear FTC, this was a free download from Audible.  If you have any issues with that, take it up with them.  Thanks!

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