Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe
True Blue: David Baldacci, 21 August–17 September, 2010.
My rating: ♦♦♦♦◊
True Blue is a top-class legal thriller, and Baldacci ticks so many boxes that many other writers don’t even bother to consider. Set in two polar opposite worlds: the rich middle and upper classes of lawyers, police chiefs and millionaire philanthropists, and the scrape-off-your-shoe estates of junkies and gangs, Baldacci leads you deep and believably into each. Whether in a top-notch restaurant with a motorcade of bodyguards or escaping a drug-laden shack of a flat, we are immersed so deep into their worlds that we can live two lives in one book.
Mace Perry and Roy Kingman are fantastic lead characters, with Mace as a kick-ass ex-cop and Kingman the wimpy sidekick. The sizzling chemistry between them is gripping in itself, and even moreso the relationship between Mace and her police chief sister.
One of the best characters in the book, though, is villainous supporting character Mona Danforth, the culmination of every dragon headteacher, every grade-A student and Connie from Holby City.
Many sub plots are introduced at the beginning of the book, which makes it hard to see which one is going to be the book’s subject. It takes a while for the wheels to start grinding because not enough time is spent on any one plot in order for anything to happen. But when they do start turning, they just keep speeding up and there is barely a moment to breathe along the journey. We zip from one twist to the next, and the shocks just keep on turning.
My only criticism is the book’s 114 chapters. A single scene can be broken up into several tiny chapters for no apparent reason, and this sometimes interrupts the flow of the narrative. But that is just a small irritant in what is a tremendous story, with tremendous characters who live on long after the Ducati is fired up for the final time.