I got Divine Justice as a birthday present. I don’t think I’ve ever read Baldacci before, so I was looking forward to the experience. After all, he was lauded on the cover as a “#1 New York Times Bestselling Author!”
After finishing it, I have very mixed feelings about the book.
First, I liked that it was set in Virginia, seeing as how I live here. All the places struck chords with me and the color and background of the book was wonderful to absorb. Baldacci knows how to write quick portraits of people and places around the state.
I also liked the fact that the book was a thriller. There’s nothing like the fast turns and quick plot changes in a good thriller to keep you reading. And this book really kept be reading! Good job.
However the book itself — and I’m not sure exactly how to say this — was trivial. It was a great airplane or beach book because little or no thinking on the reader’s part was required at all. Parts of the book reminded me of a Scooby Do episode, complete with the characters driving around in a van. The bad guys were comically bad and the good guys were always saving orphans from drowning. It was a bit trite and one-dimensional.
But pop fiction is like that. And if I sighed several times at the lameness of the depth, the book did it’s job: it kept me reading it. I managed to finish in just a day or two. Reading books like this is a great way to put your brain in neutral for a spell.
The only other bad part was that this was book #3 in a series about some group called “The Camel Club”. Perhaps if I had read the earlier books this one would have seemed more deep. I don’t know. What I do know is that Baldacci was able to pull me along even though I hadn’t read any of the other books.
The plot is basically a cat-and-mouse, chase book wrapped around a murder mystery. I won’t go into details — after all, the fun part is reading it yourself — but it delivers on the action, suspense, and thrills.
I might pick up another Camel Club book — I think Baldacci has already written another. Reading Divine Justice reminded me that there’s nothing like a nice summer book to help you relax.