‘The Escape’ receives high acclaim

Treason, spies, conspiracy and proof that the bond of a family is the strongest force in the world; The Escape by David Baldacci has it all. I turned each page with anticipation waiting for the next twist. It felt like a child reading a picture book anxiously waiting for the next colorful image.
The Escape is the story of brothers John and Robert Puller. It is the third book in Baldacci’s John Puller series. Sons of a famous General, both brothers were military men; John in the Army and Robert in the Air Force. John began his career by serving overseas while Robert immediately got a job in intelligence. By the time John came home, Robert was in prison for treason. After coming home, John became an Army CID agent. Little did he know that he would be investigating his brother’s escape from Leavenworth.
From beginning to end and everywhere in between, Baldacci masterfully keeps his audience’s attention. While some authors spend the first half of books monotonously building to the climax, Baldacci does nothing of the sort. It feels like a bullet is flying or a bomb is blowing practically every few pages. When there is not a fight happening, there is a plot twist that only a soothsayer could predict.
The Escape is not all action though; there are many touching parts. It is clear how emotionally difficult it is for John Puller to have his brother in prison. Then, when he is assigned to find his brother after he escapes, Puller is emotionally conflicted between his love for his brother and his dedication to the Army. Finally, when the Puller brother’s father is introduced, the book takes on a decidedly sensitive tone. Once a respected and feared General, their father is dying of Alzheimer’s disease. His illness brings out the brother’s sensitive side and brings them together. The ending of the book evokes happiness and contentment. Even though it’s technically a thriller, the story causes the entire range of emotions.
The Escape has several well-developed and compelling characters. John Puller, a former Army Ranger, is the quintessential tough guy. He independently takes down army criminals with both confidence and ease. His intellect is equally impressive to his physical prowess. Throughout the book, his investigative skills enable him to stay ahead of individuals trying to prevent him from solving the mystery. The majority of the time John Puller is the ideal soldier, more machine than man. When it comes to his father and his brother, however, a sensitive and unyieldingly loyal side is revealed. Although he is emotionally torn by it, his family comes before his duty to his country and the Army.
Robert Puller is different from his brother in many ways. He is far more intellectual than him. Although he is capable of combat, due to his training in the Air Force, he is far more inclined to use his brain than his fists. When he is provoked, however, he will respond in kind. He went straight into intelligence instead of joining any war efforts, much to his father’s chagrin.
John Puller’s partner in investigation is intelligence agent Captain Veronica Knox. She never served in the military; however, she went to war through intelligence groups. Knox is both very proud and defensive of her service to his country. She is protective of Puller but she is very furtive of her exact assignment, which makes him distrustful of her.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone. It is full of suspense and plot twists. Baldacci creates characters that are easy to become emotionally attached to. It is a page-turner from beginning to end.

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