In this extraordinary work, David Baldacci uses his unsurpassed storytelling skills to explore the essence of survival itself, as a conspiracy of violence surrounds an FBI agent whose fate was to be the . . . Last Man Standing.
Seven seconds. That's all it took for Web London to lose everything: his friends, his team, his reputation. Point man of the FBI's super-elite Hostage Rescue Team, Web roared into a blind alley towards a drug leader's lair, only to meet a high-tech, custom-designed ambush that killed everyone around him.
Coping with the blame-filled words of anguished widows and the suspicions of colleagues, Web tries to put his life back together. To do so, he must discover why he was the one man who lived through the ambush – and find the only other person who came out of the alley alive . . . a ten-year-old boy who has since disappeared. Acting on his instincts, Web believes he knows where the killer will strike next. Only this time, he may not survive the attack.
Last year's Wish You Well, a historical family drama set in rural Virginia, proved that Baldacci, previously known for his thrillers (particularly his debut, Absolute Power), can do much more than supply maximum suspense. His latest is another exciting thriller, but one that hasn't forsaken the ambitions of Wish You Well, plumbing the emotions and exploring the shadings of human nature in an impressive way. And for the first time, Baldacci has created characters that readers will demand to see back in a sequel. He has chosen an immensely interesting subject: the (real-life) FBI Hostage Rescue Team, a force so elite that many of the Seals, Delta Force grads and other special ops who apply to it don't make the cut. Baldacci's hero is hostage rescue team superstar Web London, who inexplicably (to himself and others) freezes during an operation that leaves the rest of his team dead; hence, the book's title. Web's investigation into the massacre involves him with several bands of criminals, most notably a white supremacist terrorist cell, a gang of D.C. drug peddlers headed by a charismatic giant, and a secret group involved in both terror and drug activities. At the same time, Web's exploration into why he froze leads him to psychoanalysis and hypnosis, to budding romance and, ultimately, to revelations that tie together all the strands and questions of the immensely complicated plot. This is Baldacci's most accomplished thriller. The action, conspiratorial and overt, shifting from urban to rural and back, is nearly nonstop and expertly drawn; heroes and villains alike are believable and equally flawed; and there's a newfound maturity of tone here, a somber acceptance of the suffering that necessarily attends human life. (On-sale Nov. 6)