Deliver Us From Evil by David Baldacci

November 17, 2013

deliver_us_evil Plot summary (from the publisher): Evan Waller is a monster . . .

He has built a fortune from his willingness to buy and sell anything . . . and anyone. In search of new opportunities, Waller has just begun a new business venture: one that could lead to millions of deaths all over the globe. On his trail is Shaw, the mysterious operative from The Whole Truth, who has tracked Waller to Provence and must prevent him from closing his latest deal. But someone else is pursuing Waller: Reggie Campion, an agent for a secret vigilante group headquartered in a musty old English estate-and she has an agenda of her own.

Hunting the same man and unaware of each other’s mission, Shaw and Reggie will be caught in a deadly duel of nerves and wits. Hitchcockian in its intimate buildup of suspense and filled with the remarkable characters, breathtaking plot turns, and blockbuster finale that are David Baldacci’s hallmarks, DELIVER US FROM EVIL is one of the most gripping thrillers of the year.

Warning: Spoilers below!

Liked:

  • Shaw and Reggie being at cross-purposes near the beginning of the novel and trying to feel each other out made for an interesting situation. That was probably the best part of the whole book for me.
  • Well, Baldacci sure seems to know a lot about Provence. I guess he made great use of whatever tax write-off he received there. Still, he did make the place sound like it’s worth a visit.

Disliked:

  • Baldacci tried to insert British words and phrases where possible because of Reggie’s background. But instead of making her sound more authentic, the dialogue just came off as ridiculous — the kind of thing an American thinks a Brit would sound like.
  • Shaw’s counting was annoying and unbelievable. First, he counted to 100,000 in his cell to keep track of time and then he counted to a similarly large number while blindfolded in the helicopter to come up with an amazingly accurate estimate of where they landed. YEAH, RIGHT!!! Nobody, not even a trained agent, can concentrate that long on such a mind-numbing task.
  • Waller was just over-the-top evil. Baldacci shows him torturing people, dressing up in his old KGB uniform to watch home movies of his murderous past, etc. The various depictions of Waller’s evil were cliched and unoriginal.
  • How can this possibly be advertised as a “Shaw/Katie James” book when 99% of the story was about Shaw and Reggie??? I have no vested interest in Shaw and Katie, but that seemed pretty deceptive to me.
  • Oh, look: the bad guy, instead of just killing the hero in a straightforward manner, has to toy with him, thus allowing him (and the rest of his party) to escape. Gee, when has that ever happened before? Whatever happened to simply putting a bullet in someone’s brain? Waller had no trouble doing that with Dominic, but had to give Shaw way too much wiggle room.
  • This book was way too long. Way. too. long. The action dragged in many places, making this a much tougher read than it should have been.

Rating:

David Baldacci has written some very good thrillers in the past, but Deliver Us From Evil doesn’t even come close. It is bloated and boring, and strains believability (even for a thriller). I give this one 2 stars out of 5.

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