David Baldacci’s new thriller The Guilty is a winner


Dallas Gorham (left) congratulates David Baldacci on his new book The Guilty

A few days ago, I attended a speech and book-signing by best-selling author David Baldacci at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. The speech was part of a book tour promoting his new thriller in the Will Bobie series, The Guilty. Like most of the over 200 people in attendance, I bought a copy to add to the other seven Baldacci books in my personal library. I’m only 136 pages into The Guilty so far, but I know already that it’s another winner for David Baldacci. As soon as I finish the book, I’ll post a review here on my blog.

David was funny, approachable, informative, and thoroughly delightful. He spoke for more than a half-hour to a room full of obvious Baldacci fans and then answered questions for another ten or fifteen minutes. I could tell from the questions that the other attendees had ready many, many of David’s over thirty novels. Then David signed books for another half-hour for everyone who wanted an autograph. Some, like me, even brought Baldacci books from home. He was kind enough to sign three of my favorites. He posed for pictures with anyone who wanted a  photo, and he personalized his book-signings. (He signed mine, “To Dallas, a fellow writer, Enjoy: David Baldacci.”) He took the time for everyone and did not rush.

David was a true gentlemen and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting him.

I am happy to say that I have read over a dozen of David’s books, starting years ago before I became a novelist. Once I started writing, I have kept the Baldacci books which I buy in my personal library.

A fast-paced action thriller about ecoterrorism, political corruption, and felony murder.

Chuck McCrary is a wisecracking former Green Beret turned private investigator with a special genius for helping people in trouble—especially if they can pay him for his efforts.
Michelle Babcock, the granddaughter of South Florida’s legendary restaurateur and Chuck’s friend, Hank Hickham, has disappeared. She wakes Chuck with a 4:30 a.m. phone call, desperate foDF_Cover_kindler help. James Ponder, her drug addicted boyfriend, has involved her in a double murder that could put her in prison for life unless Chuck can find her a way out.
Michelle only expected free tutoring in college chemistry when she slept with James Ponder, a graduate student obsessed with global warming protests, who has a talent for ecoterrorism. Instead, she is sucked into an unhealthy circle of friendships surrounding an amoral professor whose secret agenda has yielded him millions of dollars with more loot to come. Michelle is swept up in a nightmare of political corruption, terrorism, and mega-million-dollar crimes.
Chuck uncovers a conspiracy involving arson, murder, and the Chicago mob. A mysterious millionaire has masterminded a string of mega-million-dollar stock market scams that reach back for five years. The mastermind intends to cut his losses by murdering anyone who can lead the cops back to him. That includes Michelle, Chuck, and the conscienceless professor, who becomes Chuck’s unwilling ally.


One reason we keep turning pages in Dangerous Friends is to watch the gripping character of Chuck McCrary. The skill with which he handles clients, police detectives, mob assassins, and FBI agents—all while controlling the outcomes of the case—is as remarkable as the clues he uncovers. Chuck seeks justice without regard for the legalities involved and tries to leave the world just a little better than he found it.

It’s free for Kindle Unlimited members. Buy the electronic edition or the paperback at Amazon.com Buy It Now!

Robert B. Parker is the master of private detective mysteries. Ceremony is no exception. Ceremony is the ninth book in the Spenser series, written in 1982. Spenser’s girlfriend Susan Silverman asks him to locate a teenage girl who has run away from a dysfunctional home. Spenser’s adventures take him from tony suburbs to sleazy urban streets where he confronts a variety of misfits, pimps, and mobsters in his search for the runaway who has become a prostitute. When Spenser finds the runaway and tries to rescue her, she doesn’t want to go home because she thinks her home life is worse than life on the street. Spenser and Susan rack their brains on how to help this confused girl. Their solution will be a surprise to some readers. Spenser and Susan tackle a moral dilemma and develop a real-world compromise between the ideal and the practical. This is a thoroughly satisfying adventure where Hawk and Susan both take center stage to defeat the bad guys and bring a semblance of justice.

I discovered Lee Child and the Jack Reacher novels a couple of years ago when Tom Cruise was selected to star as Jack Reacher. I am a big Tom Cruise fan, so I read the novel the movie was to be based on. That’s when I discovered Lee Child. I quickly read all the Reacher novels.

Now that I’m a mystery novelist myself, I’ve set out to re-read my favorites as textbooks on how to be a better writer.

I first read The Killing Floor a couple of years ago. It is hard to believe that this is Lee Child’s first novel. I have read lots of first novels, and this is one of the best. The plot is tight and fast-moving. The characters are developed with skill and vision. The settings are described as though the reader is right there.

The edition I read included a foreword by Lee Child giving some of the background on how he developed the Reacher character. I found the foreword very helpful and entertaining. I loved the book and enjoyed it even more the second time through. Well done, Lee Child!

Today, with the Internet, you don’t even have to meet the people you do business with. Thus it was that I had already used Michael Butler to design the covers for “I”m No Hero” and Six Murders Too Many before I even met him. You can see samples of his work at http://www.torquecreativellc.com/

Mike lives and works in Colorado and I, of course, live and work in Florida. So how did we meet?

Another author in the Authors’ Roundtable of Mount Dora, FL www.authorsroundtable.org had used Mike and recommended him.

Michael ButlerFinally, this summer Mike happened to be in Central Florida and I got to meet him in person. That’s his picture to the left.

He’s now working on the cover for my second Carlos McCrary novel, Double Fake, Double Murder, which I expect to have finished in a couple of weeks.