Welcome to my coffee shop in the cyber neighborhood!

Yes, I’ve been gone a while…a long while. I’ve had some other physical and subsequent mental issues. I don’t really want to talk about them. It enhances the stress and potential depression. I read an article that explains the MIA from blogging probably better than I could.

Isolation: When Our Disease Makes Us Withdraw

So whether it’s starting over or
just continuing like I was never gone…

Welcome to my coffee shop in Cyber Space
Try the pumpkin spice scones!

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Book Review: The Collectors by David Baldacci (Camel Club #2)

Finished February 28, 2015

Synopsis at Good Reads

In Washington, D.C, where power is everything and too few have too much of it, four highly eccentric men with mysterious pasts call themselves the Camel Club. Their mission: find out what's really going on behind the closed doors of America's leaders.

The assassination of the U.S. Speaker of the House has shaken the nation. And the outrageous iconoclasts of the Camel Club have found a chilling connection with another death: the demise of the director of the Library of Congress's rare books room, whose body has been found in a locked vault where seemingly nothing could have harmed him.

A man who calls himself Oliver Stone is the groups unofficial leader. Staying one step ahead of his violent past and headquartered in a caretaker's cottage in Mt. Zion Cemetery, Stone, drawing on his vast experience and acute deductive powers, discovers that someone is selling America to its enemies one classified secret at a time. When Annabelle Conroy, the greatest con artist of her generation, struts onto the scene in high-heeled boots, the Camel Club gets a sexy new edge. And they'll need it, because the two murders are hurtling them into a world of high-stakes espionage that threatens to bring America to its knees.

From an ingenious con in Atlantic City tho the possible forgery of one of the rarest and most valuable books in America history, to a showdown of epic proportions in the very heart of the capitol, David Baldacci weaves a brilliant, white-knuckle tale of suspense in which every collector is searching for one missing prize: the one to die for.

My review at Good Reads

4 of 5 Stars

Sometimes I feel like that tough English teacher who doesn’t grade on a class curve but on a personal curve; how does this compare to what you’re capable of doing? I do rate this higher than the first Camel Club book, but I still struggle with believability issues.

I like the Camel Club; I mean I like the characters, the individuals in the club come from varied pasts and presents, build on each other’s strengths and support each other’s weaknesses, like people do in good friendships, and they are good friends. And those traits of supportive teamwork are essential in business for successful team efforts, which is why I don’t have any personal issues with the Camel Club’s efforts working in the end. It’s just sometimes it’s hard to believe they don’t get caught doing some things. Then again I’m usually surprised when they do get caught because they seem to be approaching it more sensibly than the times they didn’t. The point is that, believability of the plot aside; I’d sit down for coffee with any member of the Camel Club except that I would worry about the possibility a new very real conspiracy starting with a poisoned cup of coffee.

There was one “scene” in The Collectors where once the bad-guys left the room I could hear the announcer from the old Adam West Batman series posing the rhetorical “Will our heroes escape with their lives?” questions with a “Same Camel Chapter” promise to read on and find out. I enjoyed the old Batman series as a kid, but I sat down in front of the TV with very different expectations than I do when I open a thriller to read. I do admit that as I get used to that combination of serious, a little funny and some over the top so far the suspense is silly combination those expectations change and the reading is more pleasurable.

I liked the see-sawing between the head spy and the Camel Club and that the Camel Club did not have it all figured out in the second chapter. They were even wrong in some of their deductions from the facts presented. I like the addition of “Annabelle” even though her seeming infallibility was a bit much.

If you’re looking for a thriller that makes you wonder if maybe what you’re reading could actually be going on somewhere, there are Baldacci titles that will give you that, but 2 books in I’d say the Camel Club books don’t fit that bill. What you do get is four likable guys, some beyond logic clues and situations, a little bit of old Batman TV and a bad-guy reveal bat the end that has a little flavor of Scooby-Do with guns. I have to admit I enjoyed it although I’m not personally handing out any literary awards. As much as I hate cliff hangers, there is a cliff hanger, so Camel Club #3 is already in my e-library.

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