I was rummaging through my bookcase the other night looking for something to read and came across a hardback copy of True Blue. Not sure when exactly I picked it up, but if I had to guess I’d say it was for Christmas last year. In any case, I’d just gotten done reading the latest trade of Fables so I cracked it open.
WARNING: THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS
Mason “Mace” Perry is a former police officer in D.C. who was framed for a crime she didn’t necessarily commit (sounds eerily similar to the A-Team doesn’t it?) Her sister Beth happens to be the police chief of the District. Mace desperately wants to be back on the force and feels that her only way to get back is to solve a high profile crime. She tags along with her sister (the chief) to a crime scene and gets involved not only with the case, but also with a local lawyer (Roy Kingman).
From here the story quickly devolves into one of murder, national security, gangland violence with a touch of social conscience (there’s a side story about a local DC billionaire who’s trying to bring “hope” to inner city folks thrown in for good measure). By the time the book ends most of the plot threads have been wrapped up with varying degrees of believability.
The major storyline (Mace trying to get back onto the force) plays out with quite a few twists and turns. In the end, there are so many different players in there that I had a hard time keeping track of who was doing what. On top of that, we’re REALLY asked to suspend disbelief here at the end. I’m not looking for absolutely everything to be explained to me, especially when I’m dealing with a “national security” type story, but I have to say that the way this one ended was just so-so. Additionally, the whole book was geared toward Mace getting back on the force. While the ending is one that I’d call “happy” she does not get her position back which was quite a bit of a let down.
Throughout the story, Mace and Roy are developing a relationship that never pays off. I certainly don’t need to have a romance novel but it seems that Baldacci is actually steering away from telling that part of the story when it’s begging to be told. We’re left with a “and off they rode into the sunset” type of ending.
Finally, there’s this social story where the billionaire is trying to give back. Honestly this has no place here and the fact that it never pays off is really a bummer. As I was reading this I was thinking that this guy HAD to be the “big bad guy” in the end otherwise the character is completely wasted. Nope… it’s just a bit player. I spose I was just hoping for a bit more.
All in all I’d mildly recommend True Blue but there are far better D.C. based booked out there and this is definitely not my favorite Baldacci offering.