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The #1 bestselling author of The Collectors and Simple Genius returns with STONE COLD...an unforgetable novel of revenge, conspiracy, and murder that brings a band of unlikely heroes face-to-face with their greatest threat.
Oliver Stone, the leader of the mysterious group that calls itself the Camel Club, is both feared and respected by those who've crossed his path. Keeping a vigilant watch over our leaders in Washington, D.C., the Camel Club has won over some allies, but it has also earned formidable enemies-including those in power who will do anything to prevent Stone and his friends from uncovering the hidden, secret work of the government.
Annabelle Conroy, an honorary member of the Camel Club, is also the greatest con artist of her generation. She has swindled forty million dollars from casino king Jerry Bagger, the man who murdered her mother. Now he's hot on her trail with only one goal in mind: Annabelle's death. But as Stone and the Camel Club circle the wagons to protect Annabelle, a new opponent, who makes Bagger's menace pale by comparison, suddenly arises.
One by one, men from Stone's shadowy past are turning up dead. Behind this slaughter stands one man: Harry Finn. To almost all who know him, Finn is a doting father and loving husband who uses his skills behind the scenes to keep our nation safe. But the other face of Harry Finn is that of an unstoppable killer who inevitably sets his lethal bull's-eye on Oliver Stone. And with Finn, Stone may well have met his match.
As Annabelle and the Camel Club fight for their lives, the twists and turns whipsaw, leading to a finale that is as explosive as it is shattering. And when buried secrets are at last violently resurrected, the members of the Camel Club left standing will be changed forever.
With unrelenting pacing, stunning reversals, and two of the most compelling characters in modern fiction, STONE COLD is David Baldacci writing at his breathtaking best.
- The characters are becoming tedious.
Having read many of Mr. Baldacci's books, I had looked forward to Stone Cold. Most reviews were very positive. I was very disappointed as the characters have become very uninteresting and repetitive. Does anyone really care that Jerry Bagger is chasing the same woman for revenge? This is a group of has beens. I hope Mr. Baldacci moves on to another theme....more info
- The Camel Club
Since there have been so many reviews written already, I won't bother giving a plot synopsis. Suffice it to say that this 3rd novel in The Camel Club series live up to the excellence of the earlier two. Taut, intricately-plotted storylines, a complex and sympathetic primary cast of characters, a compelling secondary cast of characters, action and suspense. My one question is the ending. I hope what seemed to have happened at the end really didn't. I want this series to go on. Reading this novel made for an enjoyable weekend on the patio. Luckily, the weather was nice....more info
- Cat-and-mouse game
In this third book of the Camel Club series, Annabelle Conroy is fleeing from a casino owner whom she has swindled to the tune of forty million dollars. Meanwhile a man named Harry Finn is methodically killing off former CIA agents. Eventually these two plots intersect and soon it becomes a cat-and-mouse game with the government men being the "bad guys" who are opposed to those who would take away their power. The plot becomes increasingly more complicated as old secrets are revealed and old grudges are avenged. The action is non-stop and the pages turn quickly in typical David Balducci style....more info
- Revenge City
Author David Baldacci's Camel Club, a key element in the book, excludes dromedaries and his Oliver Stone, a central character, only directs himself to the kitchen. Nevertheless, this book is a very fast read. The story centers on a plot to avenge the murder of a high CIA operative. The avenger is the dead man's son, Harry Finn, the kind of guy who can take out a platoon of hostile gunmen by using his strength and cunning.
Another vengeful (and tough) character is Annabelle Conroy, whose mother was murdered by a vicious casino owner. So, the tale is largely about revenge. How Finn's and Conroy's lust for payback come together is an integral part of the book.
Finn's "day job" is working for the Department of Homeland Security to determine how tough security really is around potential terrorist targets. He repeatedly finds that this security is very flimsy and easily penetrated by someone as clever and resourceful as he. Although this is a work of fantasy, it suggests a real need for increased vigilance.
The book suffers from a couple of bizarre coincidences as the conclusion approaches. One expects this sort of thing in a thrilling spy games yarn, but Baldacci drops some real whoppers here. Not to worry, though. It's still an exciting conclusion.
I can see movie written all over this novel. If it is produced, it will be a challenge for Hollywood to top the book....more info
- Another good one with the Camel Club
I continue to really like David Baldacci's novels. They are fun, fast paced and just plain enjoyable to read.....Always looking forward to the next one.......more info
- Great conclusion to Baldacci's Camel Trilogy
This is the third of David Baldacci's books to feature the Camel Club. I do not know if he had three books with the Camel Club in mind initially, but he pulled it off brilliantly. This one, Stone Cold, is better than his last. I will point out that the books are best read in order because each book builds on the one previous.
Two stories unfold, one of which is the conclusion to Annabelle Conroy's saga with Jerry Bagger. Annabelle took the casino owner (and the person responsible for her moms murder) to the cleaners for millions and Jerry does not forget. Meanwhile, Stone has a killer looking for his old comrades in the spook world and then for Stone himself once it slips put that he is alive and well. The book is sometimes told through the eyes of the killer so we can see his reasoning and perspective.
I could not put it down after I started reading it. The plot skips along at a break neck pace and Baldacci keeps you jumping from one location to another. Another great work! I cannot wait for his next.
Author of Fantasy Football Guidebook and Fantasy Football Almanac 2009 (out 1 May 2009)
- Great Reading
This is the 3rd book in a trilogy and it's very exciting and fun to read. The Collectors and The Camel Club are the first two books in the series and I enjoyed them both very much. David Baldacci is a good writer who moves the story along very ably. He brings his characters to life and makes you care about them....more info
- From J. Kaye's Book Blog
I felt THE COLLECTORS really didn't end and after reading STONE COLD is the third in the Camel Club Series, I see I was right. STONE COLD picks up where the second book left off.
If you've read the previous books, Oliver Stone's past has remained a bit of a mystery. Oh sure, we knew some, but in this one we'll find out all the little details. And for those of you who have been feeling a bit tepid about the first two books, this one will rock your socks off. That said, you'll need to read (or for audio buffs, listen to) the first two books in order to be emotionally invested for this third book. Baldacci has an ending that will leave you absolutely stunned.
What a fantastic series!
- Pretty Darn Bad
I will allow Mr. Baldacci's own words form the review for this book:
"He was dressed in his usual faded jeans and shirttail-out clothing. And with round eyeglasses on and his intelligent, introspective expression, he looked like an accountant who enjoyed listening to Aerosmith after a day of crunching numbers. Although he was amazingly athletic, living by his wits was actually how he put bread on the table and iPods in his kids' ears, and he was very good at his work."
This is where I stopped reading, and I would suggest you do the same....more info
- A great read with tons of excitement
I was really excited for this novel to come out. After reading the other two camel club books i was hooked on the series. This book picked up with the same pace that last book left off. It turned out to be a great read with an exciting and dramatic finish. I love how Baldacci ties multiple plots together in his writing and this books ties up so many loose ends and answers so many questions.
If you are looking to learn more about the mysterious Oliver Stone, or should i say John Carr, and you want to find out how it all goes down with Jerry Bagger, the Casino Boss, then this is definitly the book to read. Look forward to having just about all your questions answered in a very fast paced read.
Kudos again Mr. Baldacci for another great novel. I truely hope the Camel Club continues to live on for years to come....more info
- The Camel Club Strikes Again
The third of the Camel Club books is the best. You must read the Camel Club, and The Collectors before reading Stone Cold to get the full effect of the trilogy. Great action and intrigue. Don't want to tell you about the plot, but it keeps you on edge right up till the end. This review is based on audio unabridged cd. A winner from David Balducci...more info
- Characters in Search of a Story
All prior and favorable reviews notwithstanding, likewise previous novels from Baldacci, the novel "Stone Cold" appears to be, as my review title implies, a collection of characters incredibly mismatched to perform an even more incredible story. There is no logical thread between the two main themes of the novel, the con and the betrayal, and even less of a credible thread between the characters other than one hastily contrived in order to produce a novel of over three hundred pages. In fact, the book reads as though there had not been an outline; i.e., the author made up each chapter as he went along, perhaps between cups of coffee....more info
- Not that stoned
I'm a big fan of that other guy (T.Clancy) and Baldacci came well recommended. Well...I think "Stone Cold" will be the last one from this author. Thanks anyway. WDY...more info
- Who is Harry Finn?
This is the third of David Baldacci's books to feature the Camel Club. The books are best read in order because each book builds on earlier events and further develops characters already introduced.
This time around, the Camel Club (Oliver Stone, Milton Farb, Reuben Rhodes and Caleb Shaw) are fighting on two fronts. Casino king Jerry Bagger is hunting Annabelle Conroy, an honorary member of the Club, who conned him out of millions. At the same time, Stone himself is under direct threat. Ghosts from Stone's mysterious past seem to be surfacing, and some significant people are being murdered. We know early on who is doing the murdering, but understanding why (and who will be next) adds a whole dimension to the story.
There's plenty of action in this novel with some interesting twists and turns. I think this is the best of Mr Baldacci's novels I have read so far, and I'll certainly be looking forward to the next.
- STONE COLD
David Baldacci's books are exciting and always keep you one the edge. I used the books on CD's and I find myself driving the extra few minutes just to listen. I give them a 5 star rating....more info
- Stone Cold by David Baldacci
A very good read.... David Baldacci upholds his high standards with his latest book, Stone Cold. The pace is fast and it is well written and eminently readable.....he has created great characters - you can meet them in Camel Club and The Collectors, Stone Cold comes after these two. One can always count on a great book from Baldacci...! ...more info
- He knows how to write
The third story of The Camel Club will keep you on the cutting-edge of your seat that you might fall. The three stories herein are great so you won't be able to close the book till you finish it. The plot and the characters are great and the pace is fast so you'll enjoy reading this one....more info
- Hits the ground running and never lets up
Stone Cold is the third installment in the Camel Club series and is easily the best. The first novel in the series (The Camel Club) was a bloated, convoluted mess. The second (The Collectors) was a considerable improvement but still a far cry from `must read fiction'. With Stone Cold, Baldacci finally delivers the knock out punch.
Baldacci hits the ground running in Stone Cold, carrying on where The Collectors left off. Stone Cold is lean for a Baldacci novel, maintaining a relentless pace from start to finish. The novel incorporates two story lines: one involving a casino boss determined to track down the woman who scammed him out of millions, and one involving the son of a former CIA agent falsely accused of treason, who is methodically murdering the men responsible for his father's death.
My only complaint (actually, more of an observation than a complaint) is related to the big showdown in the closing chapters of the novel. There is a point (I don't want to reveal too much) where Stone is on the verge of escape after a daring rescue, when something happens to make him very angry. He turns back and, almost single-handedly, annihilates a highly trained, heavily armed team of men.
My issue with this scene is three-fold. First, it's just too `Rambo-like' to be plausible. (Stone is described as killing with such efficiency, it is as if he can direct the path of his bullets through sheer force of will). My second gripe is the fact that Baldacci writes this scene `after-the-fact' in summary. There is a missed opportunity for the reader to experience the action `as it happens'. The third issue I have with this scene is the misplaced morality of it. The men that Stone retaliates against are only foot soldiers following orders, armed with inaccurate information (much as Stone was, as a member of an elite assignation squad during the Cold War). Stone's fury is misdirected in this case at men who are just doing their job and think that they are protecting the interests of their country. (Rest assured, Stone will settle all old scores before the final page is turned)
My complaint (ok - my `petty whining') about this scene is half-hearted. There isn't much to complain about. The genre doesn't get much better and let's face it; `Rambo-like' behavior is a requirement in this type of novel and, quite frankly, if a few faceless, nameless soldiers have to die so we can fully appreciate Stone's fury - so be it.
The bottom line: If The Camel Club left a bad taste in your mouth and you're reluctant to read another bad Baldacci novel, put your fears aside. Stone Cold is a good one. In fact, it's very good.
The story is comprised of a predictable set actions and circumstances by cartoon mystery-thriller characters. Had to force myself to finish it. Boring. ...more info
- Best Camel Club yet
This is Balcacci's fourth book in the Camel Club series and it is excellent. I suggest reading the three earlier books before reading this....more info
- Who proofreads and edits Baldacci's books?
First of all, I was shocked with how little introduction Baldacci gave for the members of his so-called "camel club". Unfortunately, I did not read the previous entries to this series and was dumbfounded when I realized that I was supposed to "know" these characters. I would not recommend this book as a stand-alone novel to any reader.
Furthermore, Mr. Baldacci tries too hard to make his book read like a movie script. Very short chapters "twists and turns on every page" that would make every USA Today reviewer jump up and down with joy. It just appears he is trying too hard.
The story itself starts out fairly interesting, but the confusing array of unnecessary characters makes it tedious to read. The novel becomes progressively less interesting and is too long for it's own sake. The action becomes very unrealistic and Clive Cussler'esque. I would expect more realism from Baldacci.
His technical research: This is an area where Baldacci is absolutely to sloppy. Another reviewer already pointed out that Baldacci refers to the desktop computer case as a "CPU". You do not need to be a computer wiz to know that this is incorrect. This is unacceptable in this day and age. In addition, during one of the "action scenes" he uses the age old trick of blinding agents, who using night vision scopes, by turning on the lights. This does NOT work - you do not loose your eyesight for days (not even minutes) when exposed to bright lights when wearing night vision goggles. I believe Mr. Baldacci has watched too many spy movies.
Last, but not least, I must say that any passage in the book that involves the Finn character having interactions with his kids is absolutely unreadable. The way these kids talk are not even Hollywood - it is so corny and unrealistically saccharine it gave me horrible toothaches.
I strongly suggest Mr. Baldacci gets a better editor before he releases his next novel. He has shown in the past that he can spin a decent yarn, but his work needs fundamental editing and proofreading.
Baldacci - if you read this give me a call - I'll do it!...more info
- Harry Finn, Please Stand Up
I found this fast paced & feel it's the best in the Camel Club Series. The focus is mainly on Oliver, Annabelle, Jerry Bagger, & Harry Finn. Harry Finn? Harry, please introduce yourself.
This series is best read in succession for the full impact of the stories. This edition of Camel Club actually has two stories. One of Jerry Bagger trying to bag Annabelle who conned him badly. The other brings Oliver Stone's intricate, dark past to light.
The book is thoroughly entertaining & will certainly hold your interest.
Mr. Baldacci's choice of Harry Finn as a new character was a good one. I hope you stick around, Harry ...more info
- Stone Cold is Red Hot
Stone Cold is a mind magnet that pulls you from page to page.
The action moves at a blistering pace, but stops every now and then so you can catch your breath and enjoy the clever and witty prose.
The characters are rich and deep as needed for a thriller to move with agility and purpose along a sharp plotline.
Bestseller Baldacci gets another solid hit----5 stars!...more info
- David Baldacci is the best
David Baldacci's way of writing capture me as a reader spellbound. I loved The Winner, Absolut Control among other of his work. The Camel Club grows on me and together with Annabelle in Stone Cold- they are simply irresistible ! The way David Baldacci describes his characters are amazing. I have read almost all his books and he is my favorite followed by Ken Follett and John Grisham....more info
- The Camel Club's Best Yet!
The members of the Camel Club are sleuths who detest government treachery. They center their quest on the touchstone of truth. This latest installment is the authors best accomplishment with these characters yet. The book is fast paced with new, well developed characters. Their nemesis, Carter Grey is at his reviling best in this book. The reader believes he is at the limits of hating Carter, when one page over the hate surges to a new level. The cunning the author crafted in this book is excellent. Here's to hoping for more of the crafty Camel Club....more info
- Stone Cold
We listened to Stone Cold on our way from North Carolina to Washington, DC and back. This thriller kept us intriged the entire trip and made the trip seem very short. We purchased this audio book after listening to The Collector. We just had to find out what happened to Annabelle Conroy and the Camel Club. Don't miss this one or The Collector. ...more info
- Another Baldacci thrill ride; with a twist; End of The Camel Club?
This novel is another fine Baldacci book, it has a twist at the end, which I won't tell, but I wonder if it's the end of the "Camel Club"? Oliver Stone/John Carr and his merry band of cohorts have time, battling a casino king and and several government officials. They lose one of their own (you'll have to listen to/read it to find out which one). I have suggested that it might make a fine movie to Mr. Baldacci, along with the first two "Camel Club" books, the titled book from which the group gets its name, and The Collectors. The suspense is from the beginning to the end. Mr. Ron McLarty gives an intense reading; capturing the style and substance of Mr. Baldacci's words, a first rate book, and a little scary (making one wonder about some officials: let's hope there aren't any real life folks like his fictional Carter Gray). I have all of his books and they keep getting better. ...more info
- Excellent Page Turner
I've never read Baldacci before but after reading this book I am super excited to read the rest of his work. Stone Cold is a great page turner. I actually found myself thinking of actors to play the characters in the book. Baldacci paints perfect pictures without weighing the reader down in minute details. Every page felt important. The good guys are easy to root for, the bad guys easy to fear and root against.
You made it to this page considering purchasing this book, do it, you won't be disappointed. Pick up Camel Club as well, it will help with character development, although not necessary because I started with this book....more info
- Stone Cold
If you have read the previous books by this author about the "camel club" this will not disappoint. ...more info
A little bumpy here and there, but for the most part it was very fun and engaging. I go hot and cold with Baldacci and this one is a hot one. Go get it. ...more info
- GREAT BOOK!
I really enjoyed this book!!! I especially like the Camel Club characters. Baldacci's writings keep you glued to the plot, with unexpected twists and turns as the story unfolds....more info
- Left Wanting!
Maybe my expectations where set too high by reading "Pillars of the Earth" [ASIN:B000MJ08AQ The Pillars of the Earth] prior to "Stone Cold". Since I'm a relatively frugal person, I did make myself finish the book. In a nutshell - I felt that the character and story line building were weak and hastily written. Since I have not read other work by this author, I don't know if this is his writing style, or just a book that needed to be finished to pacify his publisher....more info
- Too James Patterson-esque!
Not a bad story, but Baldacci has gone the way of James Patterson. Short chapters, half-pages, jumpy story-line. One of the things I liked about Baldacci was that he had his own style. Now he has Patterson's instead. I quit reading Patterson due to the cookie-cutter, half-page, short chapters - basically half a book in a whole-book price - and quality! Now I may have to give up on Baldacci, too?! Have to add - can't wait for the next Nelson DeMille!!...more info
- great read
This is by far the best of the Camel Club series. It's a fun, fast paced action thriller. I love the building up of the different story until the final climax. I would highly recommended this book and hope Mr. Baldacci churns out more of Mr. Oliver Stone. ...more info
- A literal cliff hanger!
"Stone Cold" brings back The Camel Club in a third successful outing with two story lines loosely crossing each other's paths!
In the Camel Club's previous novel, "The Collectors", Annabelle Conroy, the beautiful and resourceful con artist extraordinaire, relieved Jerry Bagger, her mother's murderer and filthy rich casino owner and crime boss, of $40 milliion dollars. Bagger will stop at nothing to exact his revenge and kill Annabelle ... slowly, luxuriously and very, very painfully!
Meanwhile (one might say, back at the ranch!), someone is assassinating past members of Oliver Stone's elite 666 squad, a CIA assassination team. Three down and two to go. John Carr, "officially" dead, killed and buried many years earlier, lives disguised and in deep cover as lowly Oliver Stone. The only remaining "live" members of the team are Senator Roger Simpson, a front-running candidate for the big seat in the Oval Office in the White House, and Carter Gray, director of the CIA. They're so worried that Gray reaches the decision to exhume John Carr's coffin thereby revealing the fact that John Carr is still alive and well. Oliver Stone is being held out as bait for the assassin.
"Stone Cold" is jam-packed with fast paced Hollywood style action and dialogue to be sure but it's completely successful and enjoyable nonetheless! A great reprise of some international cold war style spy vs spy intrigue together with a story revolving around a sleazy, despicable crime boss and his quest to exact revenge on the babe he might have loved but who stole his respect and honour instead.
Friendship, loyalty, love, honour and duty are themes that ripple through both interwoven stories and the ending, in particular, while shocking (in great thriller style) is warm and pleasing. It's certain to bring a lump to the throats of many readers.
That said, some readers will be disturbed by the extent to which a few threads at the end of the story are left untied. But, for me, that just spells sequel and I'll spend the next few months waiting with bated breath.
Highly recommended for lovers of suspense thrillers and fans of David Baldacci and his wonderful creation, The Camel Club.
Paul Weiss...more info
This has to be Baldacci's best! It is definitely the best of the three Camel Club novels. I couldn't put it down and I was sad when it ended. The characters were awesome and the action non-stop. Great book!...more info
- Return of a favorite
The Collectors, the second installment of the Camel Club, left me looking at my watch and tapping my foot in anticipation of the next installment. There had to be more to this compelling story. Would Annabelle survive the vengeance of Jerry Bagger? What adventures would befall the members of the Camel Club next? In Stone Cold, David Baldacci does not disappoint. In spite of being written with the film camera in mind, this is a totally satisfying read. Character and plot development are not sacrificed. Only a few authors can create the conflict I experienced listening to this book on my commute. The conflict between wanting to know the plot's outcome and not wanting to leave these fully developed characters. It's a delicious place for a reader. Baldacci wrote a totally engaging read; it was a great treat. I look forward to the further adventures of the Camel Club....more info
- Camel Club, volume three
A couple books ago in The Collectors, David Baldacci did what I consider a cardinal sin in a thriller novel: he left a major storyline unresolved. While multi-book stories may be fine for science fiction or fantasy (and even that's debatable), they aren't appropriate for thrillers, which by definition, are novels of suspense. The payoff for the suspense should be in the same book.
In Stone Cold, the follow-up novel to The Collectors, it looks like Baldacci is about to repeat that sin. As in The Collectors, Stone Cold has two almost separate plots running parallel to each other. Happily, this time, Baldacci resolves both of the plots.
Stone Cold is actually the third novel featuring the Camel Club, a group of four loners who have a knack for uncovering grand conspiracies. The leader of the club is Oliver Stone, the long-held alias of ex-government assassin John Carr. Stone may have faked Carr's death, but the ghosts of the past are coming back to haunt him anyways.
One plot focuses on Harry Finn, a nice family guy who happens to also be a killer. He is murdering individuals linked to the death of his father, a group that included not only Carr, but retired intelligence chief Carter Gray. Finn's father was killed as a government-sanctioned hit, supposedly because he was a traitor; Finn doesn't buy it and is out for revenge. Though Carr/Stone is not on the hit list because he's presumed dead, Gray (who knows what's really going on) intends on changing that, endangering Stone and his friends.
Meanwhile, in the second story (unresolved in The Collectors), the Camel Club is assisting Annabelle Conroy, the beautiful con artist who is on the run from nasty casino owner Jerry Bagger. She had conned Bagger out of a heap of money, principally out of revenge for Bagger's murder of her mother. As Bagger closes in, the Camel Club tries to assist, with the aid of their honorary Club member, Secret Service agent Alex Ford.
With a good deal of twists and rapid-pace suspense, Baldacci atones for his past crime. Nonetheless, I would not recommend reading this book until you've read its predecessors, The Camel Club and The Collectors. Once you have, this book should be a fine addition to the series.
- Great Baldacci
The book was David Baldacci at his best. I am a big fan of "The Camel Club" and this book was no exception. The plot was fast paced...you never knew what was going to be around the next corner. Mr. Baldacci already has his next "Camel Club" teaser at the end of the book, and I am waiting anxiously for it to come out....more info
- Stone Cold
Latest episode of the Camel Club was, again, a great mystery from David Baldacci. One only hopes that with the ending, the Camel Club will recover and be back for more in the future....more info