The Simple Truth is a tense courtroom drama with a fast-paced plot from bestselling author, David Baldacci.
As a young conscripted soldier, Rufus Harms was jailed for the brutal killing of a schoolgirl. Yet, after twenty-five hard years of incarceration, a stray letter from the US army reveals new facts about the night of the murder – and the evil secret shared by some of Washington's most powerful men. Fearful for his life, Harms seizes his one chance to escape. But within hours the only people who knew about the letter have been hunted down and eliminated.
As the unknown assassins close in on Harms, ex-cop turned criminal attorney John Fiske is drawn into the web. His younger brother is already a victim, the woman he loves is under threat. For the truth and the chance of a future, he will never give up the fight. But for both men time is already running out. Their enemy is buried deep within the system and completely ruthless when protecting the truth . . .
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
David Baldacci’s Inside Story: “If I have a hidden gem of a novel, I would say it’s my fourth, The Simple Truth. It was about an African-American called Rufus Harms, a giant of a man, who had served in the military and he had killed a young white girl. Nobody really knew why he had done it—it was as though he just went mad. He’s been in prison for that crime and 25 years later, he gets a letter from the United States Army which goes some way to clearing up why he did what he did. I won’t go into any more detail because I don’t want to give it away, but it’s a story I’m particularly proud of. I love the character’s name, I love how it’s about one man who stood up and struck back in a quest for redemption and truth. It was a gem because it’s a real action-adventure story. I also love Rufus’ older brother, Josh. He’s just kick-ass. If there had been a movie, Samuel L Jackson would’ve played Josh Harms.”
It's a truism that readers who like Grisham's novels often take to Baldacci's, but never has Baldacci's debt to the more veteran author been so evident as in this strong-boned thriller that features the Grishamesque premise of young lawyers who uncover a conspiracy reaching into the U.S. Supreme Court. Baldacci isn't as smooth a writer as Grisham: he'll hop point of view in mid-scene, and the opening sentence of this novel, at least as presented in the review galley, is a run-on. But for foxy plotting, Baldacci is easily Grisham's peer, and his characters are always captivating. Here, the principals are Rufus Harms, a slow-witted black giant who, after decades in a military prison, realizes that, for reasons revealed only at the novel's end, he is morally innocent of the murder for which he's doing time; John Fiske, a cop-turned-lawyer who's drawn into Harms's quest for justice after his younger brother, a Supreme Court clerk interested in Harms's case, is murdered; and Sara Evans, another Supreme Court clerk who joins forces and beds with Fiske. Plenty of cinema-ready action ensues as Harms, aided by his Vietnam vet brother, escapes from prison and Fiske and Sara try to get to him before the conspirators who put Harms behind bars do. The novel's resolution is predictable, however. This isn't Baldacci's most original book, but it's his most generously textured, distinguished by thoughtful delvings into family psychodramatics (of both the Fiske and Harms clans), a nicely rendered romance between two tentative lovers and, adding a welcome and strong backdrop of authenticity to the outlandish turns of events, vivid detailing of the Supreme Court behind closed doors where the truth, apparently, is anything but simple. 500,000 first printing; BOMC main selection; simultaneous TimeWarner audio.