John Puller (CID) Series, No 1
Read by Ron McLarty and Orlagh Cassidy
October 31, 2011 / ISBN: 160788576X
Thriller / Suspense / Audiobook / CDs / Unabridged
by Brenda Weeaks
Mailman Howard Reed expected a typical day as he
delivered mail in the rural area of West Virginia. He was used to
coal dust in the air and contaminated water caused by the area's
livelihood - coal mining. But he wasn't use to a bloody dog greeting
him at a door or becoming violating ill at the sight to follow·
A family has been murdered·.
When the storyline turns to main character Army
CID John Puller, he's arriving by plane at a military prison in
Kansas. The prisoner he's visiting isn't under investigation ·
he's Puller's brother·. Later he heads back to Virginia and
the Criminal Investigative Division headquarters for his new assignment
· the West Virginia family murder. The father was retiring
from Defense Intelligence Agency, hence the government's involvement.
The murder scene is described as a slaughterhouse. Puller is expected
to play nice with local law enforcement in order to keep track of
the investigation. Puller's six years· experience at CID
has him suspicious as to why he's the lone investigator on this
case. A possible fall guy? He wouldn't put it past the new boss·.
Puller meets Drake detective Samantha Cole via a
phone call in the middle of the night; they agree to meet at the
murder scene. It's not safe or pleasant, as the guard before them
has found out. Of course Cole is attractive and shows Puller she
can hold her own. Cole owns her badge and isn't afraid to let others
know. Both Puller and Cole interview the locals concerning a possible
reason for their deaths. Another lead takes Puller back to the Pentagon
and an attractive one-star general with information about the dead
DIA colonel. Another direction concerns the Taliban and Russian
code. So which is it? The dark side of West Virginia's Coal industry?
Something more sinister like terrorists? Or something personal with
the late Colonel?
Baldacci is one of the best at leading readers in
different directions. The twists and turns are a real blast. The
main characters are well written and demand a reaction. Just remember
life is not fair, even in fiction. Expect an explosive conclusion.
As for Baldacci newest hero, Puller, he's good at
protecting himself as well as those around him. He's kind enough
to allow a stray cat to hang around; he calls him AWOL. His father
is high ranking and highly irritating · at least that's how
his sons feel. I look forward to future episodes with Puller.
I listened to the audio version. The sound effects
drive the intensity home especially towards the end. Don't expect
to press stop until this military ride is over. Do expect a seasoned
narration in this audio version. Ron McLarty and Orlagh Cassidy
carry the storyline like the seasoned professionals they are. Cassidy
has narrated various fiction and suspense. In Zero Day she
lends her voice to both the sultry and the professional side of
Cole. McLarty is best known for his thriller/suspense narrations,
but he's also popular with the young crowd as the narrator of The
Mercy Watson series. McLarty is an expert at bringing out the
best in a hero and the worst in an enemy.