End Game: David Baldacci
Will Robie and Jessica Reel each endured a dangerous mission only to be given another that would prove more deadly and dangerous. When Blue Man goes missing the DCI insists that they find him for the sake of the nation and the world. Blue Man is vital our security and what he provides for the organization is invaluable. But, first they find themselves on a trip to Grand Colorado where they will encounter groups of people that will stop at nothing to take them down and destroy and kidnap anyone in their way or sees or hears something that could stop what someone quite powerful has put into place.
Valerie Malloy is the sheriff and her deputy is Derrick Bender and both seem competent and astute. But, not everyone that you will meet is what he or she appears to be and some require their identities kept a secret. As Will and Jessica meet with the law enforcement of this town they explain that they are looking for the Blue Man and are led to Claire Bender who had a close relationship with him but is concerned about his disappearance. There are many others that are connected and when questioning a young man working at a convenience store in this town they become alerted to something that he saw that will not only put him in danger but cause a group of Neo-Nazi’s to go after him as well as anyone that stands in the way of what someone above them has put into place. A plot so well defined and orchestrated by this person Robie and Reel just might have met their match.
Jessica agrees to meet the head of a group called The Apostles who goes by the name Doctor King who claims that he wants to create change and teach those that as he states were born in a bubble to see there are other options and choices in life. Searching for answers she gets some but are very sketchy as they meet someone attached to the Neo-Nazi group named Luke and his girlfriend who goes by the name Sheila but in reality is the sheriff’s sister, Holly. Here is were things spiral out of control as we learn that Holly has many college degrees and turned down a job offer from Nasa and is dating Luke who also is quite intelligent but got caught up in this cause and is hoping to break free. But once you are part of this group your life is in danger when you try to leave as they all learn. Clement Lamarre was the man who saw something that would or might tie into Roger Walton’s disappearance/AKA The Blue Man. Lamarre went to rehab for using Opioids, code, heroin and did prison time for it. Walton showed up one time and visited the area and the word is that he is high up in DC in some way. Added tot hat a nurse at rehab said that Walton used JC Parry’s name when he came to see you why? JC was Sheila’s friend who is really Holly and presumably Parry talked to Walton and asked that he come to see him. Speaking to Sheila/Holly he learns she is Valerie’s sister and talked about what she learned from Clement about the van that came to his station and he filled with gas. Hoping that she and Luke Miller could start over in California and with Robie’s help they might succeed but not everything will go as planned. Things change when something happens and the truth behind one group is revealed as King and Reel face-off and each one comes clean with a certain amount of information. Just how is his group funded and by whom? Sometimes you have to as King says get into the dirt to find out what happens and learn about the really bad stuff. The Apostles are young guys looking for direction and Dolph’s compound ambushed Reel and Robie and she revealed the fate of two people that just wanted to start a better life but someone close to them would not learn about their deaths as yet.
Killing two people in cold blood because they learned something and new too much is one reason and Dolph things he’s above the law because he has money coming from someone else or somewhere and lawyers that he thinks will get him off. Walton they hope will be found but when you learn where and the major twist that the author created to stump readers from figuring it all out you won’t believe what else is about to come your way.
Gun running, racketeering, intimidation, drugs and human trafficking but in a different way as people are expendable according to this man as the author introduces Roark Lambert the man with the money and the vision to create underground bunkers within several silos incase the world is about to come to an end or does. Scott Randall and his horrific wife will set the tone for that has paid four million for their own living quarters. Going to the bar in town allowed them to learn more about the Apostles and the Neo-Nazis but every step of the way they are attacked, need protection or even help from their agency to get information but who took Clement Lamarre, JC Parry and the Blue Man. Added in when they go back to question another witness she is missing too as well as Valerie. Meet Patti Bender who is Derrick’s half-brother and seems to have her pulse on what is happening but what is her connection to all of this and who is running the operation that is bend on making people disappear? Lambert explains about Scott Randall and how he inherited his money from his father and lost it so where is it coming from now and just what is he really after? When more lives are taken Valerie demands that Robie come to the station to give his statement but when he gets there he realizes that she is another missing person. The link might be from Clyde’s Stop-In where Clement saw the van who had hooded people tied up in the back and he might have told Walton and Parry about it. Added in Holly might have known too. Beverly Drango was his girlfriend who might not be on the up and up so why was she eliminated?
Everyone who knew about the prisoners tied up and used as workers and were expendable disappeared but there is more as we enter the silos and see the accommodations and hear the voices of the Randall’s as the wife is a snob and he is even worse but the best part of the scene is what Robie and Reel do to both of them letting them know intimidation won’t work. But, there are some who are in this plot that are hiding in plain sight and who no one realizes the connection to one of the missing people and when author David Baldacci brings the climax and the final scenes to light you will witness carnage like you have never seen.
The DCI wanted constant updates and was worried about their lack of success and had no pity or seemed unfeeling about their way of going about trying to take down Dolph and get Blue Man back. She just wanted results. Going to search The Blue Man’s cabin again was a start and confessing to Reel about his interaction and more with Valerie created tension. Lambert’s bunker was their next choice to find out more information and did Lamarre tell Holly about the van while they were both in rehab? Parry told Blue Man and Holly did say she told Parry or Blue Man where she got her information.
Something bothered them about Randall and he learns that Drango was supposed to work a party or event at a hotel and when she did not show up Beverly is now missing or is she dead? Scott Randall is rich and the casino people that were hired to work the party like Beverly were expendable. The pieces were not fitting together until someone kidnaps Valerie Malloy, someone else decided to take out Derrick because he was involved in this entire investigation but who? Dolph knew they were coming and Robie realized that the Valerie was targeted but Reel told him why. But, finding something odd in the cabin sent them on the trail of what they hoped was answers. Learning about Randall’s party, how long he is married and more about his trophy wife, set them on a mission to find out exactly where his money was coming from and where it is hidden. Learning more about who owns an abandoned rock quarry and questioning why someone would want to buy the site and pay double what Lambert paid for the one he developed left some questions answered and others not.
The twist at the end and the reasons why Blue Man and the others were taken find that he and those mentioned as missing were not the only ones. What about the prisoners? Claire told Robie about something Blue Man did not know and when it is revealed he has to make a life changing choice. Promising Valerie that Dolph would pay for his crimes would he be able to keep his word when he and Reel were taken prisoner by this insane man? Someone was watching their backs but who and would this person save them before the trigger is pulled? Would Jessica kill and shoot Robie? Will they live to finally settle their feelings for each other? A dead stand off, a deadly ending and the final outcome reveals who is really behind the murders, the drugs that are bringing someone millions if not more and a dangerous and deadly use of firepower, make shift bombs all to hopefully conclude and find out just who will win THE END GAME! Lies, deceits, cover-ups, human trafficking, loyalties, betrayals, conflictions, hate, cults and the hope that one man will survive, once again author David Baldacci places Robie and Reel in some very no win situations as they create their own END GAME.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine