Plot summary (from the publisher): Oliver Stone, the leader of the mysterious group that calls itself the Camel Club, is both feared and respected by those who’ve crossed his path. Keeping a vigilant watch over our leaders in Washington D.C., the Camel Club has won over some allies, but it has also earned formidable enemies-including those in power who will do anything to prevent Stone and his friends from uncovering the hidden, secret work of the government.
Annabelle Conroy, an honorary member of the Camel Club, is also the greatest con artist of her generation. She has swindled forty million dollars from casino king Jerry Bagger, the man who murdered her mother. Now he’s hot on her trail with only one goal in mind: Annabelle’s death. But as Stone and the Camel Club circle the wagons to protect Annabelle, a new opponent, who makes Bagger’s menace pale by comparison, suddenly arises.
One by one, men from Stone’s shadowy past are turning up dead. Behind this slaughter stands one man: Harry Finn. To almost all who know him, Finn is a doting father and loving husband who uses his skills behind the scenes to keep our nation safe. But the other face of Harry Finn is that of an unstoppable killer who inevitably sets his lethal bull’s-eye on Oliver Stone. And with Finn, Stone may well have met his match.
As Annabelle and the Camel Club fight for their lives, the twists and turns whipsaw, leading to a finale that is as explosive as it is shattering. And when buried secrets
are at last violently resurrected, the members of the Camel Club left standing will be changed forever.
Warning: Spoilers below!
- Yay, Annabelle is back! I still liked this character by the end of the book and hope that even though her real business with the Camel Club is done, she’ll drop by from time to time. Heck, I don’t even mind that there were hints at some kind of romance developing between her and Alex Ford. I usually hate that kind of thing, but am willing to accept it here if it means Annabelle can stay.
- I enjoyed the parts of the story that showed how easy it was for Harry Finn to breach all kinds of supposedly secure/impenetrable locations. People really are lax about security on a day-to-day basis, and it’s true that as long as you look/act like you belong, few will question you.
- I loved seeing Oliver Stone go all badass at the end! His killing of Simpson and Carter Gray cannot simply be overlooked, even by Alex Ford. And Oliver knows this, which is why he immediately went into hiding.
- Why did Caleb have to die??? What does this mean for the future of the Camel Club? I know there are more books in the series, but what direction will they take?
- The resolution of the Jerry Bagger plot was wholly unsatisfying. Having him go off the road and plunge into the Potomac wasn’t personal enough. I would have liked to see Annabelle shoot him (in a justifiable situation, not in cold blood).
- None of the stuff with Harry Finn’s family interested me at all. I know that was inserted to give the character more dimension and show the reader that he wasn’t a truly bad person (and to drum up some sympathy for when his kid gets snatched later on), but man, it was so boring!
- The whole thing about Jerry Bagger being a “man of his word” was ridiculous to me. There’s no way a guy like Bagger would honor a promise if it meant letting a sworn enemy like Annabelle’s father go free. It’s not like anyone else even knew about the promise, right? And point of pride or not, a guy like Bagger wouldn’t have that much integrity.
Overall, I found Stone Cold by David Baldacci to be reasonably entertaining. The book featured some things I liked and some I didn’t, so I think giving it 3 stars out of 5 is warranted here.