BOOK REVIEW: LAST MAN STANDING
Last Man Standing is one of David Baldacci’s earlier books. Most of his books seem to be centered around Washington D.C. and politics. However he has written several books about law enforcement and especially the psychological aspect of crime. This particular book is located pretty much in the horse country of Virginia and in several doctor’s offices.
The Last Man Standing in this book is Web London, who has spent his career in law enforcement and most recently on HRT or Hostage Rescue Team. HRT is a specialty force of the FBI and is used in very special cases that involve hostages, sometimes political and sometimes they are not.
London achieved his title as Last Man Standing when in fact he was just that as his Charlie rescue team was set up in an ambush that no one could foresee. As the last man in the formation, London, for a reason that is revealed at the end of the book, does not immediately enter into the line of fire that wipes out his entire ream.
The action leaves him with psychological problems or feelings of guilt. As the story proceeds, London is not only active in trying to solve the case but he is also undergoing assistance to help absolve his feelings of guilt. His sessions with his psychologist actually become an integral part of the story as she not only finds out some startling information about London but also becomes entangled in helping solve the puzzle.
Woven into the story are several threads that bring out drug dealings and how they are primarily centered on Oxycontin. Also a major segment of the story involves the parents of a son who was killed in a previous shootout that occurred between London’s HRT and the Free Society. The Free Society is an organization of white supremacists that appear to be more involved in the entire story than what actually results. Their place however is critical and the revealing of parts of the episode in which the young boy was killed is a complete shock to the reader.
Baldacci zigs and zags with some very good writing to bring together a whole host of different happenings. Drug dealing, family compassion, illicit spying on unsuspecting members of the law enforcement community, and even some (unusual for Baldacci) sex scenes are put together to weave this entire adventure.
As a fan of Baldacci I was a little disillusioned by this book mainly because of the size of it and the amount of plots and subplots. It is still a very interesting book and has many hooks to grab the reader. However quite often you do tend to get bogged down in the abundance of happenings.
However it has so many more good points than bad it is another good read. I suppose I am just glad to see that as Baldacci got further into his career he seems to have tended to watch and keep his exciting works a little shorter in length.
REVIEWED BY ALLEN HOTT
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