Private Investigator and ex-World War II veteran Aloysius Archer heads to Los Angeles, the city where dreams are made and shattered, and is ensnared in a lethal case in this latest thriller in #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci’s Nero Award-winning series.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
David Baldacci’s third Aloysius Archer mystery, set in 1953, paints a dreamy portrait of golden-age Hollywood—until a chilling murder turns it into a nightmare. At first, Baldacci’s World War II veteran turned private eye is reluctant to take on frightened screenwriter Eleanor Lamb’s case. But when she goes missing—and the body of another detective is found in her house—Archer dives into an unpredictable investigation that pits him against mobsters and crooked cops. Baldacci cultivates an immersive sense of the era that feels straight out of a hardboiled detective novel by Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett, but you don’t need to have read them, or the other Archer books, to get into this. He nails the clothes, the cars, and even the food, but it’s his grim understanding of Hollywood sexism that makes the story feel eerily timeless. Dream Town is a really great read from a thriller master.
After a contrivance-filled opening, bestseller Baldacci's entertaining sequel to 2019's One Good Deed finishes strong. In 1949, WWII veteran and ex-con Aloysius Archer is headed for Bay Town, Calif., where he hopes to get a job with a PI firm, when he decides to stop in Reno, Nev. After refusing a stranger's request to protect the man from his enemies, Archer wins big at roulette and befriends Liberty Callahan, a caf dancer who hopes to become a Hollywood star. When Archer and Callahan stumble on three thugs assaulting the man in need of protection, Callahan shows off her firearms skill. Archer and Callahan decide to travel together, but more violence ensues before the pair reach Bay Town. There, Archer is hired by the PI firm, which has been retained by a mayoral candidate to thwart a blackmailer threatening to expose his extramarital affair. Multiple murders follow. Baldacci provides a nicely twisted motive for the homicides, though the prose can be purple ("Smoke curled off the end of the cigarillo and lifted to the sky like a fragment of a memory gone to Heaven"). Fans of classic L.A. noir will be satisfied.
David Baldacci tells excellent stories with lots of twists. A bit hard to keep some of the extraneous characters straight, but he makes Archer’s character realistic and likeable.
Rather a complicated story that was hard to follow especially the characters. Had to keep a character list to refer back to. Over all rather disappointing and boring.
Least favorite of his
Decent story, but the details were too much, took forever to read this one.