Books & Literature

Book Review: The Edge, by David Baldacci

THRILLER: Retired from the Army’s most prestigious special ops force, Travis Devine is now part of an elite undercover team in Homeland Security. But when he’s brought in by DC Emerson Campbell to investigate the murder of a young woman, he quickly learns that this case is more personal than most.

Feature image credit: Pan Macmillan Australia

In 2022, David Baldacci introduced us to Travis Devine in his debut appearance, The 6:20 Man. Devine, a self-retired former military officer, took it upon himself to investigate and solve a crime buried deep within a high-profile finance business. At the end of the novel, he was recruited by America’s Homeland Security.

In The Edge, in his new role as an undercover operative, Devine is called upon by his handler to investigate the murder of a CIA operative in her former hometown of Potter, Maine. She’s a woman not only one of the Intelligence Community’s own, but also the daughter of a former senator and the man who saved Devine’s boss’s life.

From the moment he arrives, Devine is met with suspicion and mistrust, because Potter is a small town with big secrets, and the deeper Devine delves, the more precarious his investigation becomes. Soon, he’s looking at more than one body and the possibility he may be the next victim of a dedicated killer.

Within The Edge, Baldacci, as he is so adept at doing, creates a network of intertwined incidents, fast-paced action sequences and fleshed-out characters. The core mystery has strong roots in the town’s past and every person has a secret (big or small) that they are desperate to keep away from the prying eyes of the stranger in their midst.

While a sturdy thriller, The Edge doesn’t quite do justice to the promise of the previous Baldacci work. It feels, in essence, a little like a standalone that has been co-opted into the series. One could be forgiven for feeling it is more akin to Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series and that Devine could have just as easily been anyone — with his level of training and skills — who wandered into the scenario, unprompted.

Devine’s journey to and exit from Potter are peppered by an unexplained plot point, which provides the most intriguing and engaging action aspect of the book. The reader can clearly surmise that this will be the basis for book three of The 6:20 Man series.

With Baldacci having recently signed a further eight-book deal, it hopefully won’t be too long before we have both him and Travis Devine again.

Reviewed by Glen Christie

The views expressed in this review belong to the author and not Glam Adelaide, its affiliates, or employees.

Distributed by: Pan Macmillan Australia
Released: November 2023
RRP: $34.99

A thrilling ride as Travis Devine searches for answers to a long avoided question with deadly consequences.

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