Tuesday Pop Review- Hell’s Corner by David Baldacci

Good morning all, and welcome to your Tuesday Pop Review!  Today we review the 2010 release Hell’s Corner by my favorite fiction author, David Baldacci.  Hell’s Corner is the fifth installment in Baldacci’s Camel Club series (The Camel Club, The Collectors, Stone Cold, Divine Justice).  The Camel Club is an expanding group of past-their-prime but still capable good guys looking to expose corruption at the government level.  The head protagonist is named Oliver Stone, though we have known for several installments that his true name is John Carr, a Vietnam veteran turned government assassin turned retired cemetary-keeper.

In this installment of the series, the exiled Stone is recruited by the U.S. President to attempt to thwart Russian takeover of Mexico’s drug cartels.  “Agent” Stone is quickly sidetracked, however, by an explosive detonation in Lafayette Park just across the street from the White House, an area where he spent several years protesting (Lafayette Park was a fixture in Stone’s life in the original Camel Club novel).  Given that the British Prime Minister was at the White House at the time of the explosion, the Brits join the investigation of the bombing, teaming Stone up with MI-6 agent Mary Chapman. 

Chapman proves to be a likeable and worthy addition to the cast.  We also have return appearances from fellow Camel Club members Caleb Shaw, Reuben Rhodes, Alex Ford, Annabelle Conroy, Harry Finn and even Joe Knox from Divine Justice.  We see a consistent pattern in these books that every new character that comes into Stone’s life develops an immediate loyalty and camaraderie with him, and rightly so.  

This book is yet another smartly written whodunit? meets cat-and-mouse  by Baldacci, who clearly does a scary amount of research.  He keeps you on the edge throughout, and always leaves you wondering whether good will actually prevail over evil.  I recommend this book as well as every other book in this series. 

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