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TOTAL CONTROL by David Baldacci

TOTAL CONTROL

by David Baldacci

Pub Date: Jan. 16th, 1997
ISBN: 0-446-52095-0

 In a hugger-mugger attempt to follow up his bestselling Absolute Power (1996), Baldacci pits a young widow against corporate villains who want her silenced at all costs. When her husband Jason apparently dies in the crash of a jetliner bound from Washington to L.A., Sidney Archer's near- perfect world implodes. A high-powered attorney working on the latest merger planned by Triton Global (a high-tech multinational that employed Jason on hush-hush computer projects), she can't accept that the beloved father of her precocious little daughter Amy is dead. Sidney's subliminal faith is not misplaced. Jason, who had shopped his company's darkest secrets in an effort to make a quick financial killing, switched planes before takeoff and is alive but not well in Seattle. On the day of his funeral, Sidney hears from him via phone. She keeps her own counsel, but Lee Sawyer (an FBI agent assigned to the case) is suspicious because available evidence suggests that Jason not only sabotaged the downed aircraft but also engineered a megabuck embezzlement. Presciently, however, the missing man had encrypted his proof of Triton's misdeeds on a duplicate disk that he mailed to himself before disappearing. Eager to get a printout that could clear Jason, Sidney sets out on a roundabout odyssey that takes her from suburban Virgina to Manhattan and points north. Although Triton's corrupt CEO and his murderous, stop-at-nothing minions are on her trail, clever Sidney foils them at almost every turn. With help from a besotted Sawyer, the pistol-packin' mama also begins unraveling the mystery of her mate's vanishing act. In a violent climactic confrontation on the stormy coast of Maine, the two learn the truth about an immense conspiracy in which Jason's fate is but a sideshow. A talky, tedious tale of an unlikely heroine's desperate life on the run, longer on confusion than suspense or narrative coherence. (Main selection of the Literary Guild; $500,000 ad/promo; author tour)