Thursday, June 5, 2008

A Baldacci Double Entendre. . .

The title of David Baldacci's 1999 thriller, Saving Faith, is a double entendre. Much of the focus of the action is directed at saving the life of lobbyist Faith Lockhart. But I saw a challenge, after reading the book, in "saving faith" in the American political system as it operates in Washington, DC.

In this novel, Baldacci does a good bit of character development in the early chapters. I came to appreciate the likes of Lee Adams, Danny Buchanan, Faith Lockhart, Brooke Reynolds, even Robert Thornhill. I found the clandestine competition between the FBI and CIA interesting. But I found some of the early going a bit tedious as Baldacci talked about the inner workings of Congress and lobbying; it was almost like I was back in my political science courses of over 40 years ago. But that's me, not the average reader. My having specialized in legislative politics and behavior while pursuing graduate work in political science and having a brother who shared much of what he experienced as Staff Director and Chief Counsel of a U.S. Senate subcommittee in the 1960s must have been the reason.

But once what seemed like overly descriptive lessons were completed, the pace picked up and by the end I reached that "can't put the book down phase" which saw me finally finish Saving Faith about 1:30 a.m. the other day.

All in all, I enjoyed the book and have moved on now to a 1970 Baldacci wok, Last Man Standing.

Baldacci is a wonderful, prolific writer who also has done outstanding work supporting literacy efforts through the Wish You Well Foundation.

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