HELL'S CORNER by David Baldacci


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The Russian mafia, the Mexican drug cartel, billions of dollars and bombs targeting presidents and prime ministers combine to entrap John Carr (aka Oliver Stone) and the Camel Club into another quick-paced adventure.

Stone, disgraced virtuoso of the CIA's lethal Triple Six section, is summoned by the American president, who believes the Russian mafia, conspiring with the Moscow oligarchy, has overthrown the Mexican drug cartel's leadership and intends to do with cocaine what the USSR could not do with military force: destroy the USA. Stone contemplates his covert assignment while walking through Lafayette Park near the White House. Suddenly there's machine gun fire and a bomb explodes. With the British prime minister on hand for a state dinner, authorities first think it's a botched assassination attempt. Stone's mission is changed. Find out who set the bomb. Enter an old acquaintance of Stone's, British spymaster Sir James McElroy, and a cast of characters including MI6 operative Mary Chapman and agents from FBI, ATF, Secret Service and the shadowy NIC. Stone, Chapman and the Club encounter double-agents and triple-agents, villains and victims, as evidence spins in chaotic circles. The book moves through the Washington's halls of power, to the Bronx and to the aptly named Murder Mountain. Stone copes with nanobot technology, fear of biological weapons, a Turkish professor supposedly on the trail of Osama bin Laden and a beautiful lobbyist who is interested in more that peddling influence. Character development is basic, the Washington, D.C., setting is rendered with familiarity and the writing doesn't get in the way of the fast-moving plot.

Strap on your Glock. Grab an extra magazine of shells. There's danger and excitement lurking around this Corner.

Pub Date: Nov. 9th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-446-19552-2
Page count: 448pp
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2010


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