Last week I had to travel by train from my home in the Midlands to Llandudno for a job interview. The morning of my departure I downloaded Divine Justice, so I would have something to read on my journey, in case I got bored with the other book I was reading. (Which I did – it really wasn’t the kind of day where I wanted to be reading political commentary all day!). I would say it was a good reading day, as I managed to read all of Divine Justice in the 8 hr journey there & back!
If you have not read any of the other books in the Camel Club series (The Camel Club, The Collectors, Stone Cold), then you probably want to stop here.
Stone Cold is the 1st David Baldacci book that I have read & I loved it, but after the fact (when I started reading my next book, which was also written by Baldacci) I discovered that it is part of the series & that I had just read the 3rd book in the series. I try to avoid doing this at all cost, but this time I just grabbed a book off my shelf & plowed straight in. Silly me! The books of the Camel Club series (just so you don’t make the same mistake I do), are: The Camel Club, The Collectors, Stone Cold, Divine Justice & Hell’s Corner (which came out over here on New Year’s Eve in hard cover).
You don’t need to have read any of the other books in the series to enjoy this one – it could definitely work as a stand alone novel, but whatever you do, do not read this one before you read The Collectors (otherwise you will already know the plot & outcome of The Collectors).
Stone Cold sees us following Harry Finn, whose job it is to test the security systems of companies after 9/11. You name it, Harry Finn has done it, all in the attempt to make security better, showing companies where they are failing. All of this is a sideline to what Harry really does, though. And what Harry really does is Murder. Back with the members of the Camel Club, picking up where The Collectors left off, Oliver and the other members of the Camel Club are helping Annabelle pick up the pieces of her con & attempting to protect her from certain death. All this while Oliver’s past comes back to haunt him – and the team.
Stone Cold is very Jason Bourne, if you know what I mean. I have read a few reviews where people have panned this book as a disappointment by Baldacci, but I thought it was a great book. It flowed well and was fast paced & kept me hooked right to the end – which is saying a lot! I liked the way that it tied into the earlier book, without seeming like a complete re-capping of The Collectors. I think the character of Oliver Stone is a brilliant creation & I really look forward to reading the next installment in this series. What I don’t understand is why Hollywood hasn’t snatched this series up – it’s got movies written all over it!
The Camel Club is the first in a series of books, about the Camel Club – a rag-tag group of men in Washington D.C. who have made it their aim to “police” the world of politics. The group comprises: Oliver Stone (not his real name), the group’s leader who has a secret past & a tent in Lafayette Park, opposite the White House, where he is a long standing protestor of the government & their desire to keep its citizens in the dark. Milton Farb an OCD suffering genius who has a photographic memory & is a millionaire as a result of a stint on Jeopardy!, Caleb Shaw a mild-mannered Library of Congress employee who has a penchant for dressing in costume & Reuben Rhodes a Vietnam vet & former government employee who had been down on his luck, involved in booze & drugs before Stone found him & helped him get clean. Like I said, rag-tag.
The Camel Club sees Stone et al become witnesses to the murder of an NIC intelligence analyst, while they are on Roosevelt Island having their weekly Camel Club meeting. While the Camel Club try to make their escape the killers discover that they were not alone on the island & thus begins the hunt to eliminate the witnesses. We are introduced to all of the main characters of the series in this book – Carter Grey, the Intelligence chief, Secret Service agent Alex Ford & President James Brennan, all of whom are integral to the sub-plot of the book.
Ford is one of the agents assigned to investigate the murder, which everyone else is wanting to write off as a suicide. Ford doesn’t accept this & in the process manages to ruffle a few too many feathers landing himself back on Presidential protection duty. While on bodyguard duty Alex is forced to attend the renaming of the Pennsylvania town where President Brennan was born where unbeknownst to him & the rest of the Secret Service a trained terrorist cell are planning the unthinkable.
The Camel Club is the 3rd book of the Camel Club series which I have read & I would definitely recommend that you read them in the correct order! I didn’t (by mistake) & I have to admit, it sort of ruined books 2 & 3. I quite enjoyed The Camel Club, but I did struggle with it initially. It doesn’t flow like the 2nd & 3rd books do, largely in part due to the establishing of the “stories” of each of the characters. I suspect I wouldn’t have had a problem with this had I not read the other two first, though. All-in-all, a very enjoyable read & one I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a thriller!