Thriller No Man’s Land has strong el­e­ment of sci­ence fic­tion

China Daily (USA) - - LIFE -

David Bal­dacci’s typ­i­cal ac­tion thriller of­ten fea­tures a char­ac­ter in dire emo­tional straits. This gives the novel dra­matic depth and in­ten­sity, mak­ing it an un­for­get­table read. It has a strong el­e­ment of sci­ence fic­tion, is ac­tion-packed and thought­pro­vok­ing.

His lat­est, No Man’s Land, has two such trou­bled char­ac­ters: John Puller and Paul Rogers. Puller is a mil­i­tary in­ves­ti­ga­tor whose ac­com­plish­ments were chron­i­cled in sev­eral pre­vi­ous Bal­dacci nov­els. He’s vis­it­ing his fa­ther, who is hos­pi­tal­ized with de­men­tia, when two army of­fi­cials ar­rive with dev­as­tat­ing news.

The army, they an­nounce, has re­opened the 30-year-old case of his mother’s dis­ap­pear­ance af­ter re­ceiv­ing a let­ter ac­cus­ing his fa­ther of his wife’s mur­der.

Puller Sr., a leg­endary three-star gen­eral, wasn’t a sus­pect back then be­cause he was be­lieved to have been out of the coun­try. How­ever, new ev­i­dence and the let­ter show that he was at Fort Monroe, Vir­ginia— where the fam­ily lived at that time— a few hours be­fore Jackie Puller’s dis­ap­pear­ance.

Mean­while, Paul Rogers is on pa­role in an un­named town af­ter serv­ing 10 years for killing a man. Rogers, an un­nat­u­rally strong man with amys­te­ri­ous im­plant in the back of his head, has to con­stantly fight his im­pulse to kill. He con­sid­ers him­self the most dan­ger­ous an­i­mal of all be­cause he has “a hu­man brain to go along with the wild part”.

Now, the man has one goal: to re­turn to Fort Monroe, where he once lived, to take care of some “un­fin­ished busi­ness”.

Puller is al­ready there, try­ing to find out what hap­pened to his mother when he was 8 years old and his Air Force ma­jor-brother was 9. Only when he ac­ci­den­tally meets and gets to know Rogers is he able to un­cover the hor­ri­fy­ing truth be­hind the fam­ily tragedy, a se­cret the army has cov­ered up for decades.

David Bal­dacci’s lat­est book.

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