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Hot summer reads

One Good Deed by David Baldacci, Grand Central Publishing, US $29.00, Pp 422, July 2019, ISBN 978-1538750568
The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams, William Morrow, US $26.99, Pp 480, July 2019, ISBN 978-0062834751

David Baldacci usually writes contemporary thrillers, but One Good Deed is set in the post-World War II period. In One Good Deed, David Baldacci introduces a new gripping character — Aloysius Archer — who is a straight-talking former World War II soldier. He was recently released from Carderock Prison where he had served a sentence for a crime he didn’t commit. It’s in 1949. The wounds of war are still fresh. As soon as Aloysius Archer is released from the prison, he  is asked to go to the drought-stricken small Southern Poca City on parole with a shortlist of ‘do’s’ — ‘do get a job’ — and a long list of ‘don’ts’ — don’t drink’ or ‘don’t associate with loose women’.’ He is to send the ‘do’s’ report to his parole officer and ‘don’t to bars. Archer’s parole officer, Miss Crabtree, is a no-nonsense person. Poca City is a small town and Archer finds it more complicated and dangerous than the war he fought or the prison he served in. On the very first day on his parole, his search for work takes him to a local bar — where he goes to have a drink. At the bar, he finds his employer who hires him for a simple job of collecting a debt from a businessman owed to Hank Pittleman. Archer thinks that the job will be a piece of cake but, to his utter surprise, he quickly realizes that it is a tough job. The businessman has a real grudge against Hank and does not want to pay. To make things more complicated, Aloysius Archer learns that Hank’s girlfriend has her own designs on Aloysius Archer. As Aloysius Archer is devising a strategy to recover the loan, a murder takes place in mysterious circumstances. The circumstantial evidence points to Aloysius Archer and the police start tightening the noose around his neck. Aloysius Archer realizes that the murder could send him back to the prison if he doesn’t track down the real killer. One Good Deed is an uproarious, tangled-web tale of an innocent man caught between two vengeful businessmen. David Baldacci knows how to pleasurably wind us up. The 422 pages will simply fly by as you start reading it.

About the author

David Baldacci is a global #1 bestselling author, and one of the world’s favorite storytellers. His books are published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries, with over 130 million worldwide sales. His works have been adapted for both feature film and television. David Baldacci is also the cofounder, along with his wife, of the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America. Still a resident of his native Virginia, he invites you to visit him at DavidBaldacci.com

*****

Set in the Bahamas in1941, The Golen Hour is the story of a young reporter who is investigating the Governor and his wife (the Duke and Duchess of Windsor) to write a feature in a New York society magazine. Leonora “Lulu” Randolph or Lulu is tough and smart but also ruthless. She has recently lost her husband. The Bahamas is a haven for spies and traitors. But, most importantly, the residence of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (the former Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson). American readers want to read about spies and traitors, but they are more interested in knowing about the glamorous royals whose love affair brought the British monarchy to its knees five years earlier. Being a colonial playground for rich people, the Bahamas was the right place for romance. Soon after arriving in the Bahamas, Lulu succeeds in infiltrating the Duke and Duchess’s social circle. She also establishes contacts with the powerful people who control the political and financial affairs in the Bahamas. As she penetrates deeper, she starts discovering the ugly reality beneath the glittering façade of the Bahamas. In Nassau, Leonora “Lulu” Randolph meets and falls in love with Benedict Thorpe — a charming scientist of questionable loyalties. Lulu’s investigations take a new turn when Nassau’s richest man is murdered in mysterious circumstances. Lulu realizes that some powerful people — including possibly the royals — are trying to cover it up. As she is trying to untangle the mystery, Benedict Thorpe disappears without any trace. Now, Lulu must go to London to discover Thorpe’s family history. Thorpe family has had a complicated history that involves a fateful love affair and a wartime tragedy. It is the story of a mother from whom all joy was stolen. Lulu realizes that the stories of two women are closely interwoven. It is a story of espionage, sacrifices, love, and courage. It is equally a struggle against a crime that leads to the ignominious fall of the royal couple. The Golden Hour is a great historical novel packed with thrills and suspense. It is quite entertaining and gripping.

About the author

Beatriz Williams is a New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction. A graduate of Stanford University with an MBA in Finance from Columbia University, Beatriz worked as a communication and corporate strategy consultant in New York and London before she turned her attention to writing novels that combine her passion for history with an obsessive devotion to voice and characterization. Beatriz’s books have won numerous awards, have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and appear regularly in bestseller lists around the world. Born in Seattle, Washington, Beatriz now lives near the Connecticut shore with her husband and four children, where she divides her time between writing and laundry.

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