The author brings back Oliver Stone, with his old friends and older enemies. Baldacci's adept character development coupled with deft narration from Ron McLarty makes for an enjoyable listening experience. Once again, Baldacci creates unique parallel stories that evolve and eventually intertwine. The expert McLarty gives clear and recognizable voices to all the characters. In particular, his consistent accents for the old Russian woman and for the acerbic Irish man capture the story's emotions and help bring home the plot. A whiny rare books expert and a bitter gangster round out the colorful cast. Hidden secrets, political espionage, and personal trust all clash in this fast-paced story. M.B. © AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine [Published: APR/ MAY 08]
Baldacci may not be a literary stylist, but he really knows how to spin a yarn, and with McLarty he gets a narrator who adds emotional depth to his characters without slowing down the breathless pace of his prose. McLarty uses his distinctive, almost avuncular delivery to excellent purpose in this action-packed thriller that finds the Camel Club members attacked by three tough customers seeking revenge... Aged baritones ofer no great challenge to McLarty's talent, yet his subtle shifts are admirable, from the toughtful, slightly rough-edged Stone to the rougher-edged Bagger to Gray's sneeringly perfect locution. But his art becomes more apparent as he effectively captures the voices of Annabelle, Finn and a gallery of other characters, including a bitter elderly Russan woman and a world-weary Irish-American man, providing them all a dimension not always on the page.
Baldacci weaves the strands of his plot flawlessly, with an attention to detail and character that set this book above the normal run of Washington thriller. McLarty, the actor-author who grew up in East Providence, assists with a fine set of accents (his Irish brogue for Annabelle's father, Paddy, is particularly good) that let listeners easily distinguish among the many characters.