Book Review: A sure-fire author’s semi-misfire

Book Reviewed: True Blue (2009)
Author: David Baldacci
Published by: Grand Central Publishing

I recently have been raiding my aunt’s bookshelf (I’m visiting), and just finished reading David Baldacci’s 2009 book True Blue.  It was compellingly written and held my interest throughout, but I found it ultimately unsatisfying.
The basic setup: Mace Perry is a former Washington DC cop who has just served two years in prison after being framed for crimes she did not (willingly) commit.  She’s the main protagonist.  Her sister Beth is the DC Police Chief, a fact that both complicates and simplifies her life. 
Her sort-of-accidental sidekick is a lawyer named Roy Kingman, who is a former collegiate basketball player and now works for a high-end law firm.  He discovers the second body of the book when he opens the fridge in the break room and it falls into his arms.
David Baldacci sure knows how to hook in a reader.
True Blue was one of those “over the top” books: exaggerated characters pulling badass shit and getting away with it.  Vast, deep government conspiracy.  Fabulous wealth and massive, corrupt power.  All that stuff. There was a lot of basketball, some patriotism, and a lot of ambiguous morality. 
I found its resolution unsatisfying because the protagonist solves the crime, but does not achieve her primary objective—and in the process, she and Roy break a lot of laws, for which they do not seem to answer. Although there appears to be a mutual attraction between Mace and Roy, we never get any action, beyond a fairly chaste kiss.

At the end of the book I don’t have much sense of “what happens next.”  What will Mace do now?  She’s still not a cop.  Will she and Roy wander off in separate directions?  What will Roy do, now that he’s been canned from his cushy job?  I checked to see if Baldacci wrote a sequel, but apparently not so far, so we may never know.

Image Credits: The cover image is courtesy of the author’s website.  The True Blue page there includes a link for purchasing the book, as well as a short synopsis and background information. The photo of Baldacci is taken from an interview (well worth reading) on the Bitter Lawyer blog.

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jansgephardt

Kansas City-based Jan S. Gephardt is a writer, artist, and teacher. She makes nationally-recognized paper sculpture and writes sf mystery novels about a sapient police dog.

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