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Last Man Standing Hardcover – Nov 6 2001
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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.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
Twists and turns from beginning to end, with endless surprises. Just as one had figured it out that theory was torpedoed again.Published 11 months ago by emannep
He is one of my favourite authors, always a true to life gripping story. This book is one of his better!Published 14 months ago by email@example.com
I doubt I'll ever allow myself to be hypnotyized. great story line and keeps the reader anticipating the next move.
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 morePublished on April 22 2004 by Amazon Customer
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 morePublished on April 16 2004 by Vanessa Larkspur
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 morePublished on Feb. 22 2004 by Thomas Duff
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 morePublished on Feb. 14 2004
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 morePublished on Jan. 28 2004 by Susang
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 morePublished on Jan. 19 2004 by kasie bird