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by David Baldacci
Warner Books, October 2005
448 pages
ISBN: 0446577383

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

The Camel Club are four individuals who, for reasons known only to themselves, are distrustful of the United States federal government. They know that Washington DC is a town filled with secrets where national security matters are often settled with a handshake or a simple nod.

Every once in a while they manage to expose political wrongdoings through their connections of lower-level government informants and thorough research. However, they have never uncovered anything as big as they are about to face in David Baldacci's latest novel. It is something bigger than themselves and they are going to need all the help that they can get.

Movie director Oliver Stone came up with a movie that purports to explain who assassinated president John F Kennedy, but in this book the leader of the Camel Club, a man with no past who calls himself 'Oliver Stone'. probably knows what really happened.

One night, together with the Camel Club, he witnesses the murder of a Secret Service agent knowing that this is the beginning of something big. He knows that nobody is going to believe them and the last thing they want is to draw attention to themselves.

There are few people that they can trust. This motley crew of conspiracy theorists work together with a savvy Department of Justice attorney and a veteran Secret Service agent to expose an elaborate terrorist plot that makes the events of September 11, 2001 seem like nothing at all. The Camel Club can only pray they will stop the terrorists on time because if not, World War III will just be around the corner.

THE CAMEL CLUB is one of David Baldacci's most ambitious projects and it shows. The story itself is an elaborate scenario of several scenes that have one thing in common -- the bad thing that is going to happen -- and readers get to explore it piecemeal as each piece of the puzzle falls into place.

Baldacci makes sure that everyone's point of view is given a voice. He gets into the mind of some characters who believe that their cause is righteous, without making any prejudgments. The suspense is overwhelming and it is a good yarn.

If there is something wrong with the book it is the excessive amount of twists in the novel. Just when you think something is resolved, something new pops up. It is like watching a full season of the television show 24. Nothing is ever obvious or black or white.

Baldacci manages to capture the reader with a chilling 'what if?' situation that hopefully will never come to pass. THE CAMEL CLUB is fun and slightly predictable even though it is a bit over the top. Baldacci fans will not be disappointed and newcomers will enjoy the escapist fiction. I know I did.

Reviewed by Angel L. Soto, October 2005

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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