David Baldacci is one of my favourite authors to listen to. I find that his suspense novels translate well into audio format. His book, The Forgotten, is the second to feature John Puller, and was no exception.
John Puller is a Special Agent with the US Army - he's the guy they sent out to investigate crimes against the nation. But this time it's personal. A cryptic letter from his aunt sends Puller to Paradise, Florida to check on her welfare. But when he arrives, she's dead. The death is ruled accidental, but something is just off with the town and the cops. Puller decides to stick around a little longer and investigate on his own time. A lot of folks aren't too happy with that.....
Baldacci writes great suspense. His novels are almost always based on the good vs. evil premise with our protagonist determined to make it right. And just as many prepared to stop him. There's lots of flag waving, duty, honesty and loyalty contained within the storyline. The plotting is believable (and had me checking out abandoned oil rigs on the Internet) Lots of action and a little bit of romance add up to an entertaining listen. Jack Reacher fans would enjoy this character.
The words and the plot are the backbone, but the delivery of those words can make or break an audio book for me. Baldacci's books use two excellent readers. Ron McLarty is one of the best. He has a rich, resonant voice that is hugely expressive. He easily brings to life the character of John Puller, strong and full of purpose. In Baldacci's books, McLarty is often paired with a female reader - Orlagh Cassidy. She too has a very expressive voice that is sharp, clear and easy to understand. She has a good Southern accent, although her Latin accent was not as believable. The two of them seem to have a good chemistry. The other thing I enjoyed were the sound effects and music - these made the book more of a listening experience and enhanced the story. Listen to an excerpt of The Forgotten. Or, read an excerpt of The Forgotten.