The original hardback version of Total Control was released in 1997. That’s got to be very early in Baldacci’s writing career, and it shows.  This is not one of my favorites and I’m a huge fan of Baldacci.

Briefly, a guy is caught up in corporate espionage. His wife finds herself in the middle and a desperate search for facts ensues that endangers her life, the lives of her young daughter and, her parents.

Liked: The typical Baldacci story is here. It’s a page turner. 1997 technology is fun to read, no cell phones or WWW or Internet, but pagers, AOL’s “You’ve Got Mail”, and computers are the writer’s dream come true. We still read newspaper stories via old fashioned newsprint – not websites.

Did not like: Eyes crossed as the plot became extremely complex. Rewind hell to keep it straight. The author uses characters to explain details to each other, i.e., to you, the reader. As David Baldacci matured as a writer, this willy-nilly direction isn’t necessary. With Total Control, I felt as if he had a legal pad list and checked off details through the last two chapters, put a bow on it, declared it done. Just didn’t work well as a means to tie up loose ends.

Narration by Jonathan Marosz is fine, no issues. Close to 17 hours of listening in unabridged audiobook format. Released in 2013 by Hachette Audio.

This has many decent ratings, so….you may find it peachy. But, I’ll not recommend.


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