One Good Deed

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 25 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

Slightly late with my feedback, for which I apologise.

There are some authors whose books you do not have to read anything about to know that you will find yourself lost deep in the pages.

David Baldacci is one such author and, true to expectations, One Good Deed delivers to his normal high standard.

If you know Baldacci, you know what to expect, If you don't, read it. Your book enjoying section of the brain will thank you; the rational side of the brain will hate it as you have stopped sleeping in an effort to finish the book in one go.
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An enjoyable historical crime thriller, well written and engaging, I couldn't put it down.

Thank you to NetGalley and to the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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My thanks to the Author publishers and NetGalley for providing me with a Kindle version of this book to read and honestly review. Usually the books I receive are from New author's to me, but this is not the case here, I have read and thoroughly enjoyed several books by this , before and this is no exception.
The year is 1949 and Aloysius Archer is recently released from prison for a crime he didn't commit. He soon finds himself in the middle of a feud between rival small town moguls and involved with beautiful femme fatales. As you would expect from this Author this is a clever compelling well written story, descriptive and evocative of the time and place, with plenty of suspense tension and plot twists, the story develops and becomes a real page turner with a terrific court case conclusion.
This is apparently a standalone novel, but I for one hope this is the start of a series, there are plenty of mentions by his mentor that Archer would make an excellent shamus, I heartily concur and sincerely hope Mr Baldacci does too.
Heartily recommended.
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David Baldacci is a name that is both familiar to me and unknown…
I had a vague idea that he wrote thrillers but in what areas, eras, or series I had no idea.  So I came to this with little knowledge and no preconceptions other than knowing that this is a big name author.
From what I have learned, ‘One Good Deed’ is probably not representative of the author’s usual style.  However, I am not hear to make exceptions for or to be interested in how the author’s previous works may have influenced or reflect upon his latest novel.

What I can say is that I do like the occasional gripping, page turning, popular thriller and that I am a big fan of 1940s and 50s crime novels.  This book certainly had the feel of post-war America and was thrilling at times, but at others it stretched the bounds of belief just a little too far and all too often read more like a pastiche of the hard-boiled style rather than fitting snugly into the genre.  
Also, there are a number of turns of phrase that almost certainly would not arise in 1949 that are used in this book which is a little jarring, although it may just speak more of my being a pedant than anything else!

That being said, this is a genuine page-turner and the author is certainly well versed in his methods of getting a story off to a flying start and (generally) keeping it there.
At the end of the day, there may certainly be flaws in this novel but it is still a good nuts and bolts thriller that holds your interest from the first to the final page, just don’t expect anything ground breaking nor too many surprises.
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“It was a good day to be free of prison.”

My thanks to Pan Macmillan for an eARC via NetGalley of David Baldacci’s latest ‘One Good Deed’ in exchange for an honest review. It was published on 25 July.

This is something of a new direction for the prolific Baldacci as it is a work of historical fiction set in 1949.

Aloysius Archer arrives in the Southern town of Poca City after some years of military service in Europe and a few years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. He still has three years of probation and Poca City is where the Department of Prisons say he has to serve his parole.

He quickly ends up becoming embroiled in a feud between two local businessmen when he accepts a job as a debt collector for one of them. 

I have read a number of David Baldacci’s novels and have enjoyed each one. ‘One Good Deed’ was no exception and proved very engaging.

Archer was a very likeable and principled protagonist, who tends to wander into trouble. He also seems to be very attractive to women; including the wayward daughter of one of the businessmen and another surprising admirer. 

Baldacci captures a real sense of the period including the entrenched misogynistic attitudes towards women. 

This was a very entertaining and satisfying crime thriller with some great surprises. Hopefully this marks the beginning of a new series and I will be looking out for details of new adventures for Archer.
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I have read many other David Baldacci books, and have enjoyed them greatly, so was very excited to be reading his latest book.  The book begins by introducing us to our main character Archer, who has just been released from prison after also serving in the second world war.  He arrives at the small American town of Poca where he meets a local businessman in a bar who makes him a proposition - to reclaim a Cadillac from a guy as an asset against an unpaid loan.  Archer accepts this job and so from here a series of events unfolds.  Archer finds himself caught up in scenarios which leave him as a suspect for a murder, torn between women, and whilst also working alongside the local Detective in town to solve the mystery of several successive murders.  The novel is set during post WWII  and so reflects the socioeconomic time and how America and those who have served are moving forwards after the war.  Archer is sometimes presented as a somewhat an anti-hero who is a likeable character, and you feel yourself empathising with him at times as he is sometimes dealt unjust hands in life.  The book was well written and characters were believable of this time.  However, for me the ending greatly let this down as it seemed Baldacci went down the 'too obvious' route of who it could be, and the final part for me did not fit with the rest of the book and the way characters had been portrayed, and also left me with a few unanswered questions of certain characters actions.  Although overall I enjoyed this book, I felt there could have been more of a twist with the outcomes at the end.  My thanks go to netgalley and Pan Macmillan for being able to read and review an ARC of this.
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I have read numerous books by David Baldacci and this one didn't disappoint.
A thrilling and entertaining read from a master storyteller, great characterisation with plenty of twists and turns to keep you interested. A little different from the authors usual thrillers but thoroughly enjoyable.
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Found this a little bit different to the norm from Mr Baldacci in that it was set in the past rather than present day.
Not withstanding that this was up to his usual standard with the usual in depth storyline with numeorus twists.
Never tire of reading his publications.
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7.5/10

This was an enjoyable historical crime thriller from an author who is a massive name but one I've only delved into once previously. I wasn't sure what to expect but he pulled it off well with enough going on to keep me interested and enough world building to make me feel like I was back in the post-war 40's. 

The main character Archer is a decent protagonist, he's likable but with enough flaws to make him interesting. Perhaps a little too much insta-swoon went on around him but it wasn't too much to detract from the story. There are plenty of fingers pointing at Archer for a murder and we, as the reader, know that he didn't do it. Luckily the detective assigned to the case also believes he didn't do it and they work together to get to the root cause. There are plenty of things which don't seem what they appear and it's up to our guys to get to the bottom of it.

It was interesting and never lagged without ever hitting the truly unputdownable stage. I liked the characters and found that the era was described well such as the treatment of women by men (aw, little lady. Back to the kitchen, these be numbers which will scramble your brain) and makes you appreciate we've come a long way on some things in society. 

If there is a follow up book then I would gladly read it, not only that I will now make more of an effort to read some more Baldacci books and see what else he has to offer.
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It has been a while since I have read a book by David Baldacci but after reading One Good Deed it won't be too long before another one of his books reaches the top of my TBR pile.

One Good Deed is a standalone book that features an ex soldier who is an ex con in America in 1949.

The story slowly builds until an excellent ending with some superb writing and brilliant pacing. All the main characters are well fleshed out and contribute to what is an excellent story.

There are numerous twists and turns that keep the pages clicking throughout and this book is fully recommended
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Aloysius Archer has been released from prison, for a crime he did not commi, and sent to a southern town to await his parole. He's only been there for twenty four hours and he's already been in lots of trouble. He had been instructed to meet his parole officer, Ernestine Crabtree, but got caught up in a feud with two local businessmen when he had went into the local bar. Hank Pittleman had paid him to collect a debt from his rival and this leads him into all sorts of trouble. archer has a natural charm with the ladies and this includes Hank's mistress, Jackie Tuttle and his parole officer, Ernestine Crabtree.

I have read several of David Baldacci's books before and I honestly don't know why I stopped reading them. This book is set in the post war America in 1949. The story is gripping from the first page as David Baldacci weaves his magic on you. I loved Archer's character, he's a lovable rogue. The rest of the characters are well rounded and believable. Of course the story covers a murder and Archer quickly becomes a suspect. Compelled to clear his name, he searches for answers. He gets together with Detective Shaw to find out the truth. This pace is slow. I hope that we meet Archer again one day. I do recommend this book.

I would like to thank NetGalley, Pan Macmillan and the author David Baldacci for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I would like to thank Netgalley and Pan Macmillan for an advance copy of One Good Deed, a stand alone thriller set in Poca City, an unidentified Southern town in 1949.

On release after a spell in prison for a crime he didn’t commit Aloysius Archer is given a one way ticket to Poca City, a town he doesn’t know but is prepared to get to know while serving his parole. On his first night businessman Hank Pettleman offers him a job as a debt collector on one particular debt. The job turns out to be more complicated than he was led to believe and more troublesome when he turns out to be the prime suspect in a murder.

I thoroughly enjoyed One Good Deed which is a compulsive read with plenty of twists and turns. It is told from Archer’s point of view so the reader can get stuck in to events without distraction, which I did. Mr Baldacci has a very readable style of writing so I immediately felt comfortable with the setting and characters and while it might be classed as historical fiction there is nothing the reader can’t understand or puzzle over, apart from the location of Poca City (Oklahoma is my best guess). The plot is great, engaging and absorbing with all the requisite twists, culminating in a tour de force courtroom scene. Ok, if you really want to nitpick, some of the developments rely heavily on coincidence and serendipity but it’s highly entertaining so who cares?

Aloysius Archer or just Archer as he prefers has a touch of the Jack Reachers about him, smart, chivalrous, handy in a fight and a bit of a nomad but his adventure is entirely different and his feminism a bit misplaced in 1949. He is an engaging character whom I would willingly meet again if the author is so inclined.

One Good Deed is a good read which I have no hesitation in recommending.
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David Baldacci ventures into historical crime fiction with style with his new protagonist, Aloysius Archer, set in 1949 in the drought stricken small Southern Poca City. It begins with Archer being released on parole from Carderock prison for a crime he didn't commit and arriving in Poca with a distinct giveaway prison shuffle. He is armed with a list of things he must not do, such as don't go to bars, drink alcohol, associate with loose women, and a smaller list of things he must do, like report regularly to his parole officer and acquire gainful employment immediately. On his first night, he visits a bar and bumps into a wealthy man, Hank Pittleman, with his multiple businesses that have revived the town economically, accompanied by his bit on the side, Jackie Tuttle. He offers Archer the job of collecting a debt from Lucas Tuttle, or at least the Cadillac that serves as collateral for it.

However, Lucas has no intention of paying the debt or giving up the Cadillac until his daughter, Jackie, leaves Hank and returns home. Archer finds himself in a tight spot as he has spent most of the advance from Pittleman, and the situation is exacerbated further when there is a murder for which he is the primary suspect. After looking into Archer's background, Lieutenant Detective Irving Shaw begins to bond with Archer over their respective experiences in WW2, Shaw as a bomber pilot, and Archer as an infantryman, serving in Italy. Shaw draws in Archer into the investigation, providing Archer with vital experience of being a detective, learning the need for corroboration, skills in interviewing witnesses and suspects, and following leads. Archer has good instincts, and is a skilled observer, and he is motivated to do his best, because whilst Shaw may have begun to believe in his innocence, others in law enforcement do not, and he does not want to hang for crimes he didn't commit. With further murders, family secrets, lies, and conspiracies, Poca turns out to be a town with bucketfuls of intrigue, and Archer must find the truth if he is to live.

This is a great historical crime fiction read from Baldacci, I loved the period details, the cultural and social norms of the day were well depicted, such as the blatant sexism, and the embedded certainty that a woman's place is in the home, looking after the man, and raising children. The two women that become most important to Archer, Jackie and his parole officer, Ernestine Crabtree, a woman with aspirations to become a writer, are independent, strong willed, and smart. Archer is a good man, he respects and is protective of women, extending old fashioned courtesies but he is rather naive when it comes to understanding or intuiting what women might be up to, taking them at face value and being too trusting. This is riveting read, entertaining and suspenseful. I am not certain if this is going to be a series, but Baldacci seems to hint that it will be, as he has Archer is on the cusp of embarking on a career as a gumshoe at the end. Many thanks to Pan Macmillan for an ARC.
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Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for allowing  me to review this book.

Loved the story and the characters 
A well written book
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Mr Baldacci can surely write a book that keeps you hooked till the last page.
It's was his first book I read and won't surely be the last.
It was a thrilling, entertaining read, I like the well written characters and the exciting plot.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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What a thrillingly good read!  I love David Baldacci's novels, and this one was another killer read by a very talented author.  This book is a standalone, and was a nice break of his normal series books.
I was riveted from the beginning and just loved the book.  Highly recommended.
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'You might be an ex-con Archer, but you kept your heart, despite a war and then prison.  And that's something.  As bad as things might get, don't ever sell yourself short on that' _________Mr. D. Baldacci

Let me start by saying that I've read several David Baldacci books and loved them all, however this one for me felt different, not least because it was set in the late 1940s.  Aloysius Archer has just been released from prison for a crime that he claims he didn't commit.  Sent to the small, hot, dusty town of Poca to serve his probation period, he meets Hank Pittleman and Jackie Tuttle, the woman he is having an affair with, and before long becomes embroiled with their business affairs to his detriment.....

I found the first and last thirds of the book extremely gripping, but for me, I felt like the story lost it's way somewhat in the middle and was too padded out.  Without giving away any spoilers, I also found some small holes in the plotline and some parts of the detail a little too convenient for my liking.   It's for these reasons that I give this, otherwise well written book, four rather than five stars.  

I did rather enjoy revisiting the 1940s again with some of its old-fashioned ideals and I absolutely loved the character of Archer.  I do hope we get to meet him again in future books.

Many thanks to Netgalley for a copy of this ARC for which I have given my voluntary and unbiased review.
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Not David Baldacci’s usual thriller, having said that I throughly enjoyed this book. Kept me interested until the last page.
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I really enjoyed this stand alone by author David Baldacci an d it made me realise I really must read more of his work soon. Nicely written and the 640 pages flew by as I enjoyed the twists and turns in this entertaining read. Great characters, especially the lead one Aloysius Archer who I would love to read in other books if the author decided.
It's 1949 and war veteran Aloysius Archer is released from Carderock Prison, he is sent to Poca City on parole with a short list of rules to follow to keep him on the straight and narrow. Events move fast for Archer and the town quickly proves more complicated and dangerous than he would like. On his very first day of freedom he is offered what appears to be a straight forward job of collecting a debt owed to a powerful local businessman, Hank Pittleman. It is not long before Archer discovers that the job is not so easy and that the indebted man has a furious grudge against Hank and refuses to pay. Archer has a natural charm and the ladies are quick to notice him. Very soon Archer is attracting the attention of Hank's mistress Jackie Tuttle and Archer's parole officer, Miss Ernestine Crabtree.

A murder takes place and ex prisoner Archer finds himself under police suspicion and he realises that this could easily take him back to prison. With his freedom at risk he gets together with Detective Shaw to solve the crime that threatens  to send him back into prison.
The book is reasonably slow paced but this did not affect my enjoyment at all, as the characters come to life in this exquisitely written novel.
I would like to thank both Net Galley and Macmillan for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
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Baldacci introduced me to thrillers and I’ve been a faithful fan ever since. One Good Deed is a departure from his usual offerings which are typically set in the modern day. I’ll be honest I wasn’t sure at first. I kept going -  it’s Baldacci, after all! - and within a few chapters I was hooked. 

Archer is a well-developed likeable (but not without his flaws) character who finds himself drawn in to the underbelly of your typical small-town USA.

When Archer finds a prominent local figure murdered in a hotel room on the same corridor as his room the narrative really takes off. I genuinely didn’t guess who was behind the murder. Or should that be 'murders'!

There's a nicely nuanced cast of heroes and villains (or are they?) and Baldacci as ever pays attention to his female characters. They are supremely well-written in OGD and he doesn't rely on cliches to describe them either. 

The detail of smalltown postwar America is exceptional. I could feel taste and smell every detail of Poca city. 

It’s a richly written, well-researched offering - an essential summer read.
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