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Saving Faith Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 2000

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Editorial Reviews Review

It sounds like a movie pitch: "The story is like Tom Clancy crossed with John Grisham set in the Washington D.C. political world." But David Baldacci's Saving Faith successfully fuses elements from both of these chart-busters in this political thriller spiced with techno-wizardry.

The villain is a classic spy caricature: cold-war CIA super-patriot Robert Thornhill wants to reclaim the glory days of the Central Intelligence Agency--when money flowed like the Mississippi during a flood, and the FBI watched helplessly from the sidelines. Working from his secret underground bunker, he blackmails Danny Buchanan, one of the great Washington lobbyists, to front an enormous bribery scheme that will force Congress to bend to the CIA's whims. But Thornhill's plan springs a leak: Buchanan's assistant Faith Lockhart discovers her boss's dirty dealings, and she intends to expose the whole mess to Thornhill's nemesis, the FBI. Thornhill's associates attempt to assassinate Faith, but their bullet kills her FBI escort instead. Faith finds herself on the run with Lee Adams, a fit-and-trim PI who had been shadowing her at the behest of Buchanan.

If all this sounds a bit confusing, it is at times. Baldacci works hard to keep the tension steadily rising, but it is sometimes difficult to remember why Faith and Lee can't just stop running and go for help. Nevertheless, they are very likable heroes, and Baldacci's depiction of the world of lobbyists and the internecine warfare of the FBI and CIA (complete with state-of-the-art spy gadgets and transmission-proof chambers) elevates the novel with details that can come only from careful research. --Patrick O'Kelley --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Baldacci's fifth high-concept premise in as many novels (The Simple Truth; Absolute Power; etc.) propels his hard-working new thriller: a renegade CIA faction attempts to reassert the agency's primacy over the FBI by manipulating members of Congress who fund both outfits. To do so, the CIA conspirators aim to take over a bribery scheme they've discovered. The scam was concocted by legendary lobbyist Danny Buchanan, who has been greasing the palms of lawmakers to gain their support of bills aiding the poor and hungry overseas. The spooks plan to assassinate Buchanan and his prot?g?, the lovely Faith Lockhart, and force the legislators, under threat of exposure, to support the CIA over the FBI. First, however, they'll have to kill the FBI person guarding Faith, for she has confessed everything to the bureau in hopes of working a deal for herself and Buchanan. But the CIA villains haven't reckoned on the resilience of the two lobbyists, nor on the grit of FBI agent Brooke Reynolds, nor on the skill of PI Lee Adams, who gets caught up in the attempted hit on Faith and her guardianA and who then goes on the run with the lobbyist. The novel evolves into a frantic, exciting chase, FBI after CIA after Lee/Faith, with a few nifty twists. Baldacci's characters continue to grow in complexityAthere's an exceptionally fine scene in which Lee, drunk, nearly rapes FaithAbut, alas, so does his plotting. This novel is overdone, with too many heroes and subplots and enough data withheld from readers to generate confusion. Baldacci's prose can still break the jaws of subvocalizers, too. The novel moves fast, though, and its players and suspense are strongAas should be sales. Main selection of the Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club; simultaneous audiobook.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Vision; Reissue edition (September 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446608890
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446608893
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (536 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,989 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Baldacci published his first novel, ABSOLUTE POWER, in 1996. A major motion picture adaptation followed, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. In total, David has published 29 novels for adults, all of which have been national and international bestsellers; several have been adapted for film and television. His novels have been translated into more than 45 languages and sold in more than 80 countries; over 110 million copies are in print. David has also published four novels for younger readers, including the #1 bestseller THE FINISHER, which is in development for feature film.

David received his Bachelor's degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, after which he practiced law in Washington, D.C.

While David is involved with several philanthropic organizations, his greatest efforts are dedicated to his family's Wish You Well Foundation®. Established by David and his wife, Michelle, the Wish You Well Foundation supports family and adult literacy in the United States by fostering and promoting the development and expansion of literacy and educational programs. In 2008 the Foundation partnered with Feeding America to launch Feeding Body & Mind, a program to address the connection between literacy, poverty and hunger. Through Feeding Body & Mind, more than 1 million new and gently used books have been collected and distributed through food banks to families in need.

David and his family live in Virginia.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 18, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As a diehard Baldacci fan I consider this book his weakest effort so far. The plot is a little too contrived, the characters lack depth, and overall while the book is a decent read, it is not a thrilling page turner like his previous novels. If you have not read Baldacci before don't start with this one. Try "The Winner."It is far more thrilling and much better written.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 13, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Baldacci has fallen into the same trap that John Grisham did. After writing several engaging stories, he's now churning out books that do a decent job of entertaining but break little new ground. In fact, Saving Faith has so much in common with Pelican Brief that it's scary:
- smart, attractive female lead from hard-knocks upbrining who's making it on her own
- older father figure who acts as mentor
- cardboard cut-out bad guys from the federal government, complete with extraordinary powers
- elite international assassin who screws up his hit on our lovable female lead
The list goes on. Don't get me wrong - this isn't an entirely unlikeable story - it's just that it doesn't break any new ground. The characters are straight out of central casting - the strong but lonely PI, the about-to-be-divorced loner FBI agent who's fighting the system for what's right, etc.
The story moves along at a good clip, and the last 1/3 of the book is quite entertaining. There are a few twists that you may not see coming - and I won't reveal them here - but nothing earth-shattering.
Baldacci's at his best when describing the political system (he once practiced law in DC and knows quite a bit about the Hill). It's when he writes in intricate detail about a certain type of custom-made bullet imported from Europe for the assassin, or when he goes on and on about what type of gun someone is using, that he strays off-target. This isn't his area of expertise - it's as if it comes from someone else verbatim. He may have done his homework, but does it really serve the story?
Overall, this is a decent beach book. Not nearly as good as some of Baldacci's better books, but still a good read.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Marc Hall on December 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book was a huge disappointment when compared to Baldacci's previous works. Bland characters & constant pontificating about the big bad governmnent. I admire his attempt to raise awareness for the plight of LDC's, but how about writing a readable book & subsequently donating the proceeds. This book reminds me of Grisham's Street Lawyer, more opinion than story. You would be better off rereading Absolute Power or The Winner, then plow through this sub par work.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 26, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Complete with inside the beltway powermongers, hidden agendas, and a lot of dangerous dudes, and hired guns, Faith Lockhart, about to spill the beans to the feebs, finds she is, instead the target of an assasin's bullet. From then on, folks, hang out to your hats. It builds with all the speed of a Canadian logger roaring down I-89 during rush hour.
Baldacci accomplishes this in a book that can actually be finished in a couple of sittings and is guaranteed not to put you to sleep.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Steel on January 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I was really looking forward to this book, butunfortunately Baldacci is continuing the downward trend started by his last effort. Basically, his first three books were great, his last was pretty good, however Saving Faith is simply mediocre. Number one, the plot is poor. It really doesn't make any sense and it is very thin. Two, the characters are very one-dimensional and dull, with the exception of Thornhill (he is simply assinine). I wouldn't have really cared if someone had of come in and killed a bunch of them off- it might have been welcomed, in fact. Number three, the book is way too long- take out all the filler and you could probably cut out minimum 50 pages. It seemed as though Baldacci did a lot of research that he felt was necessary to stick in even though it bogged down the plot and cut out any possible excitement or suspense. For example, almost every chapter with Buchanan is virtually pointless except to take up page after page with all of the information Baldacci researched about politics in Washington. And finally, there really were no major twists at all, or any suprises much either. Although it does get better towards the end.
Having said all of this, it still isn't really a BAD book, but I expected much more form Baldacci; there just isn't anything to set it apart from other, much better books. It is in a word, mediocre. If you haven't read Baldacci before you definitely should read one of his earlier books.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Steve Nelson on December 25, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I have put this book down for the last time. I have struggled to get interested...... multiple times. Each time I picked it up again, I came away with the same question: do I care? No compelling plot line to keep me involved; no real interest in any of the characters; I reached page 141 and simply stopped reading and wrote these comments. I have been a victim of the hype usually associated with the release of any new work by a recent NY Times bestselling author. I have to learn to be more discriminating.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Mitch Vaccarino on December 30, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I had high hopes for Baldacci's latest based on online consumer reviews and on professional critiques of his earlier work. The best indicator of my post-read opinion (other than the title of this review) is the fact that, rather than pass the book on to a friend, I left it in the hotel room where I finished the novel while taking a short vacation.
Problem 1: If the villain had been any more evil and unlikable, he would have resembled an old Sunday morning cartoon character like Wile E. Coyote or Snidely Whiplash. Look, I know it's fiction, but can't I expect even a modicum of plausibility?
Problem 2: Once Baldacci had described the hero and heroine, I could have written the rest of the book for him, with only marginally less impressive results. I certainly knew how the book would end (although my own ending was more creative than Baldacci's), and I easily forecast most of the trials and tribulations these characters experienced.
Honestly, by the midpoint, I was feeling as if I'd wasted over $, and found finishing the book more an exercise in self-discipline than a run towards an exciting and enjoyable finish.
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