15. “Hell’s corner” by David Baldacci


Publisher: Pan Macmillan, 2010

Page count: 438 pages

“Hell’s corner” is the 5th book in the series about the Camel Club, a group of friends and co-conspirators headed up by Oliver Stone, a Vietnam war hero and former “Triple 6” CIA spy and assassin. At the beginning of the book, Oliver goes to the White House where the president enlists him to go to Latin America to root out a drug cartel believed to be funded by the Russians. Oliver stopped working for the government years ago after the CIA killed his wife and daughter when he threatened to leave the Agency, and so accepting another covert mission is contrary to everything Oliver believes in. Nevertheless, he agrees to the mission in order to atone his sins (chronicled in the previous Camel Club books) in return for a promise from the president that this will wipe the slate clean once and for all.

Upon leaving the president, Oliver is unwittingly caught in the middle of a bomb explosion right in front of the White House. His initial mission is therefore replaced by another, more urgent one: to find the person(s) responsible for the attack and uncover how they were able to instigate an attack in front of heavy security forces without being detected. Oliver is given extensive investigative powers and teams up with Special Agent Mary Chapman from British MI6 since the attack may have been aimed at the British prime minister who was visiting the president at the time of the explosion. When suspects and witnesses keep getting killed before their eyes, however, it becomes apparent that they have a mole in their midst and so Oliver has to turn to the only people he can really trust: the Camel Club.

“Hell’s corner” is the 5th spy thriller in the Camel Club series, and in many ways it lives up to its predecessors. It is an action-packed and fast-paced page turner that will keep you entertained and hooked from start to finish, and the Camel Club characters are as delightful as always. I also liked the introduction of Mary Chapman, a woman who certainly knows how to kick butt! Be forewarned, however, that the plot is not only incredible (as you’d expect from any spy novel worthy of its genre) but also, sadly, predictable at times. This is therefore a book best read in the same way you would watch an action thriller: at the edge of your seat, glued to the screen, and without making any attempts at anticipating the writer’s next move! Do this, and you will enjoy yourself immensely!

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