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Last Man Standing [Hardcover]

David Baldacci
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (192 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Nov. 6 2001
Web London roars into a dark alley one night with his FBI Hostage Rescue Team. Seconds later, the team is ambushed and every man is dead-except Web. As the FBI conducts their investigation, the suspicion surrounding Web deepens. Now, he needs help from an unlikely ally in his desperate search for the killer of his friends, and finds himself up against a force determined to finish the job that began in the alley-killing the seventh and sole surviving member of Charlie Team, Web London.

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From Amazon

Last Man Standing has the essential elements of a terrific David Baldacci novel: a tough but tender-hearted hero, dirty dealings in the nation's bureaucracy, and a roller-coaster plot. Web London, a member of the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team, froze up on a drug raid and thus became the sole survivor of a remote-controlled ambush that killed six of his compatriots. Now the only witness has disappeared and the inside man on the botched raid has gone underground.

As a pretty psychiatrist puzzles over the corners of Web's brain that kept him alive, Web himself stays on the move. He's certain that the ambush is connected to the prison escape of a neofascist leader, Ernest B. Free, whom he helped arrest five years earlier, and a series of new murders leads him to a Virginia horse farm and the driving force behind all the carnage. It may seem as though Baldacci gives away the mastermind too soon, but both the bad guys and the good guys are complex enough that there's plenty of punch all the way to the last page. --Barrie Trinkle

From Publishers Weekly

Last year's Wish You Well, a historical family drama set in rural Virginia, proved that Baldacci, previously known for his thrillers (particularly his debut, Absolute Power), can do much more than supply maximum suspense. His latest is another exciting thriller, but one that hasn't forsaken the ambitions of Wish You Well, plumbing the emotions and exploring the shadings of human nature in an impressive way. And for the first time, Baldacci has created characters that readers will demand to see back in a sequel. He has chosen an immensely interesting subject: the (real-life) FBI Hostage Rescue Team, a force so elite that many of the Seals, Delta Force grads and other special ops who apply to it don't make the cut. Baldacci's hero is hostage rescue team superstar Web London, who inexplicably (to himself and others) freezes during an operation that leaves the rest of his team dead; hence, the book's title. Web's investigation into the massacre involves him with several bands of criminals, most notably a white supremacist terrorist cell, a gang of D.C. drug peddlers headed by a charismatic giant, and a secret group involved in both terror and drug activities. At the same time, Web's exploration into why he froze leads him to psychoanalysis and hypnosis, to budding romance and, ultimately, to revelations that tie together all the strands and questions of the immensely complicated plot. This is Baldacci's most accomplished thriller. The action, conspiratorial and overt, shifting from urban to rural and back, is nearly nonstop and expertly drawn; heroes and villains alike are believable and equally flawed; and there's a newfound maturity of tone here, a somber acceptance of the suffering that necessarily attends human life. (On-sale Nov. 6)Forecast: The American flag waving on the book's cover will draw readers' eyes; the strong title and the Baldacci name will carry them to the cash register. Expect hefty sales. Simultaneous audio cassette (abridged and unabridged), audio CD (abridged) and large-print editions.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Mass Market Paperback
i've been reading this one to the page 241 now, it's getting better and better. baldacci actually did lot of good and thorough researches before putting them together and into a novel. the dialogues between the shrink and web london were all top-nothed and very well put. the dialogues? well, they are one of the bests that i've ever read. the only bad thing about this book is the typesetting. it's too tight and congested, making the pages only in heavy blocks of paragraphs, while making the dialogues not so easy to catch on. this is the worst typesetting book that i ever encountered, and i might hold the full responsibility to the editor that did not and simply overlooked such a burden that might hurt the eyes of the readers, shame on him/her! the plot and scenario might be too complicated to some readers but really are eye-candy to a reader like me. i love it. i just don't know why some of the readers have to judge a book's value by not too believable or sometimes gave a low rating due to some of their moral standard or the limits of their nerves. when reading a book, you have to evaluate how much the hardworks and his heart of a writer has put into it. by comparison to some horrible writers like higgings and patterson who just cash in with their old format to produce similar books one after another and produced them three to four books a year once they hit the jackpot of getting a best seller and become famous. these are actually the worst writers who we should shun away. baldacci definitely is not one of them, because so far he's writing books that were so differently each time, even sometimes the plots were a bit impossible to some readers. Read more ›
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3.0 out of 5 stars Plot not believable Feb. 23 2004
By Kris
Format:Mass Market Paperback
There were too many odd coincidences in this book to make it entirely enjoyable. It seemed too contrived, like the author had trouble creating a concise plot and had to draw so many unlikely connections to finally end the thing.
Further, there's not really any surprises, because "the last man standing" is just who you would expect it to be: the hero, the only one consistently referred to by his first name, "Web." The villains (the male villains, that is) are always identified by their last names or entire names (e.g., Nemo Strait, got that?)
On the other hand, until the last 50 pages or so, when the plot unravels in an orgy of violence and unlikely coincidences, it does make for interesting reading. Web's psychiatric experience is different, and the insights into the operations of the FBI were interesting.
The goings-on of a horse farm were entirely uninteresting to me, but if you like horses, you may get a "kick" out of the fact that Web and his "sidekick" spend a lot of time on a horse farm.
What I learned was this: if you read Balducci, you'll got a lot of interesting detail and some character study, but a contrived plot that could be improved upon by a ten-year old.
By the way there's a prominent 10-year old character in this book. He survives, with Web and a few other heroes and heroines. Diximus.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a story about an Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) assaulter named Web London who survived the massacre of his Team in a failed mission. Ridden with guilt and determination, he sets up his own investigation, breaking a lot of FBI rules along the way. The action is wrought with weapons and equipment detailing, usually relevant to the scene, written in straight-to-the point language with fast-paced sequences when the detailing is done and the door kicking begins. Humor is injected because of Web and Paul Romano's (his trusty sidekick) tendency to take things as they come because they've already seen so much and little surprises them. The melodrama is saved from its own goo because the author's approach is to avoid the touchy-feely aspects of emotion, an easy thing for an alpha male book like this one (It's got big guns, beer and NASCAR.). Lots of psychological twists that may be possible, a tad unbelievable, but not entirely over the top. The scope of the web (as in "spider's web"; not to be confused with the character) is a bit too broad; too many intersecting lines. In the end, I suppose whodunit makes sense after all, but what a tangle! However, it's all explained in the end... by the murderers of course. You have to keep in mind that they're just talking about the important details of what they've done, why they done it, as a matter of fact, as if it was the first time they were talking about it. As is they forgot to talk about it *before* they decided to do anything bad. Like, "Well, they're almost all dead. By the way, did I tell you why I wanted to do this? Lets talk about it then, in detail." It's really the only time it becomes a bit trite, but at least the killer/s didn't go into the whys and hows of it just before shooting the hero in the head. Read more ›
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3.0 out of 5 stars A Discombobulated Yawner Dec 21 2003
Web London, HRT operator, freezes up in a raid of a drug dealer's hide-out and all of Web's friends and co-workers are killed. Web had been a hero from previous ops but is ostracized by surviving wives and FBI officials. The few who believe in Web try to help him discover what really happenned in the blind alley. What they discover is a plot of revenge and a scheme to make millions of dollars in drug money from the sales of Oxycontin and other synthetic opiates.
There are several sub-plots in this long, cumbersome novel including a relationship with a 10 y.o. boy, a relationship with a psychiatrist who has replaced Web's previous psychiatrist who is an expert in hypnosis ( Uh, I wonder if that has anything to do with Web's behavior?), a horse farmer's son who was killed by white supremacists in a school shooting, a porno operation, and Web's two new friendships, coincidentally developed as he needs to solve the case.
Sorry to say, Baldacci missed the boat on this one. Not only was it confusing, it was far-fetched and difficult to believe. It is very frustrating to know how well Baldacci's stories can be, and then wade through this clunker. Hopefully, his most recent release will be much better.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Exciting
This was my first Baldacci book, and it is still my favorite. It is a very exciting book and the information you get on Hostage Rescue Team and FBI in general is fun to read... Read more
Published on April 22 2004 by Brendan
5.0 out of 5 stars A Satisfying Hero
This is the first book I've read by this author. I'm currently obsessively craving "thriller" mysteries, and this one "hit the spot". Read more
Published on April 16 2004 by Vanessa Larkspur
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining read...
To finish up my troika of weekend reading, I completed the book Last Man Standing by David Baldacci. This was recommended to me by Chris Miller, and he was right... Read more
Published on Feb. 22 2004 by Thomas Duff
1.0 out of 5 stars Appallingly bad book
What a waste of time and money; we bought the CD version and this served to highlight the moronic dialogue and the ludicrous plot. Read more
Published on Feb. 14 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars What a waste of time
Not only was this book a waste of time-it was a lot of time. I kept plowing through it hoping it would get better, but it just never did. Read more
Published on Jan. 28 2004 by Susang
5.0 out of 5 stars The non-stop action
This book was really good, once you have opened it you aren't going to want to close it. There is so much action you won't want to close it. Read more
Published on Jan. 19 2004 by kasie bird
1.0 out of 5 stars One of the worst books ever written
OK, so I exaggerate. But only a little. I can't believe (1) Baldacci actually submitted this for publication knowing his name would be associated with it, (2) a publishing house... Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2004 by billybudd22
1.0 out of 5 stars Thriller it is not: Last Man Standing by David Baldacci
This effort from Baldacci is a crushing disappointment. Unfortunately, almost from the opening page, it becomes very clear that this book is not going to be up to his usual... Read more
Published on Dec 21 2003 by Kevin Tipple
5.0 out of 5 stars Another six stars book by Baldacci
Excellent book! You won't be able to stop reading, and while you are reading you will never guess who are the bad guys and who are the good ones until the very end, the book never... Read more
Published on Nov. 26 2003 by Jorge Frid
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