Welcome guys!!! Today’s review is of Hell’s Corner by David Baldacci. This was an amazing thriller with a political conspiracy that was so twisted, I couldn’t see, let alone guess the ending. I also really liked Oliver Stone, and loved Mary Chapman.
Book: Hell’s Corner
Author: David Baldacci
Summary: Oliver Stone and the Camel Club return in #1 bestselling author David Baldacci’s most stunning adventure yet.An attack on the heart of power . . . “In sight of the White House . . . “At a place known as . . . “HELL’S CORNER John Carr, aka Oliver Stone-once the most skilled assassin his country ever had-stands in Lafayette Park in front of the White House, perhaps for the last time. The president has personally requested that Stone serve his country again on a high-risk, covert mission. Though he’s fought for decades to leave his past career behind, Stone has no choice but to say yes. Then Stone’s mission changes drastically before it even begins. It’s the night of a state dinner honoring the British prime minister. As he watches the prime minister’s motorcade leave the White House that evening, a bomb is detonated in Lafayette Park, an apparent terrorist attack against both leaders. It’s in the chaotic aftermath that Stone takes on a new, more urgent assignment: find those responsible for the bombing. British MI-6 agent Mary Chapman becomes Stone’s partner in the search for the unknown attackers. But their opponents are elusive, capable, and increasingly lethal; worst of all, it seems that the park bombing may just have been the opening salvo in their plan. With nowhere else to turn, Stone enlists the help of the only people he knows he can trust: the Camel Club. Yet that may be a big mistake. In the shadowy worlds of politics and intelligence, there is no one you can really trust. Nothing is really what it seems to be. And Hell’s Corner truly lives up to its name. This may be Oliver Stone’s and the Camel Club’s last stand.
Quote: “Everyone has choices. You make them and then you live with the consequences.”
*Oliver Stone aka John Carr. I read the last book in the series, without knowing, and yet I was still able to enjoy this. It even made me more curious to learn more about Stone and his past. Even though Stone is old, he is still as sharp and quick as he was in his younger days and I liked that. He didn’t let age get the better of him, and he also didn’t really care about the fact that he upset a lot of important people. He only cared about his friends, his partner, and his back. He was willing to sacrifice himself for them and I really admired that.
*Mary Chapman. I. Need. More. Mary. I was horrified when I found out that this was the 5th book and the current last one, and that it was also published in 2010 meaning that there is pretty much a 0% chance that I’ll get more Mary. She is really sassy, and I loved her amazing British self. She’s also much younger than Stone, but just as seasoned and smart as he. They made an amazing team and she also added a lot of humor in an otherwise humorless book. She’s also from MI6 which is terrific, since I love MI6 (and FBI and CIA…). I also liked how she learned to question orders, and also how, even though she was loyal from the start, she grew even more loyal as the story progressed and was ready to sacrifice herself for Stone and his friends. And that’s really something, because she doesn’t really know his friends but she trusts Stone and he trusts them, and so she trusts and helps them too. It was just uplifting and put a permanent smile on my face.
*Plot. I really liked the conspiracy aspect, and how it was introduced from the get-go. I had a few theories, and was exasperated at first because no one seemed to be thinking about my ideas, but it turned out that my theory was wrong. The plot was intense, the characters were being led all around the place, and I was following right behind them. I also really liked the dynamics between the FBI, NIC, NSC, CIA, ATF, and all the other countless agencies that were involved. It was also hilarious how Mary was baffled at all the politics going on, and the fact that agents didn’t even trust their agencies, and how each agency seemed to be trying to bring the other down.
*The Ending. I was shocked, I was in disbelief and I really believed that (no spoilers!) it actually happened. I was going to cry. It was so amazing, fast paced, and wowing, and it was a really satisfying end, even though I sincerely wish that there were more books with Mary, or that she got her own series. *sighs*
*Restaurant Scene. There is this scene, Chapter 79, page 330 in the hardcover, in which Stone and Mary were arguing at a restaurant, and Mary got up to go, and Stone grabbed her wrist to stop her, and this guy comes over and tells Stone to let her go. And then Mary says:
“We were just arguing over who was going to pay the check. But thanks for coming to a lady’s aid, love.”Chapter 79, Page 330
I just loved it (And I also loved the “love” part too lol). It’s pretty trivial, and I’m probably over-exaggerating, but I really really liked that moment. It just made me feel so happy and warm.
Quote: “And just because they’re no longer a superpower doesn’t mean they don’t want to be again.”
*Nothing. I can’t think of a single thing that I disliked about this. Maybe it should have been a bit faster, but no, I think it was perfect.
Quote: “Every time I walk with Alex I’m reminded both how lucky I am to have friends like him and also how unworthy I am to have friends like him.”
I really loved this, I would recommend it, and I hope you enjoy it if you read it! The plot was great, the characters were fabulous, and the ending was totally unexpected and shocked me so much that I couldn’t believe it.
One sentence summary: An amazing political thriller with two spectacular main characters.
Overall, 5 stars
That’s it for this review! Have you read Hell’s Corner? Were you just as shocked by that ending? Do you know any books with amazing female agents from MI6 or another government agency? Let’s chat in the comments below!