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Total Control Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 1997

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

released in February 1997.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

In this recent best seller (LJ 1/97), narrated successfully by Jonathan Marosz, Sydney Archer is a corporate lawyer working to finalize a deal between Triton Global and Cybercom that will revolutionize the use of the Internet. That deal is about to go terribly wrong. Sydney's world is rocked when the plane her husband, Jason, is supposed to be on crashes, killing everyone on board. Sabotage is suspected, and the FBI is called in. Jason calls Sydney hours after the crash, very much alive, making him the prime suspect. The Cybercom deal hangs in the balance while Sydney outfoxes the FBI, the hired killers, and the Triton Global bad guys. This implausible plot is trite, and the obligatory sex and foul language add little to the story. Violence is rampant as a vehicle for removing unwanted characters and advancing the story. Still, Marosz manages to differentiate the many characters and pace the story well. For large fiction collections.?Joanna M. Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Coll. of Continuing Education Lib., Providence
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Vision (December 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446604844
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446604840
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (685 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Baldacci made a big splash on the literary scene with the publication of his first novel, ABSOLUTE POWER. A major motion picture adaptation followed, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. In total, David has published 27 novels, 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 worldwide. David has also published four novels for children.

David received his Bachelor's degree in political science 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 used books have been collected and distributed via area food banks.

David and his family live in Virginia.

Customer Reviews

David Baldacci is one of the best authors!
I look forward to reading or listening to all of his books.
Donna Marie Boggs
It has many twists and turns that keep it very interesting.
Robert Marks

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

218 of 231 people found the following review helpful By TheReader23 on October 18, 2000
Format: School & Library Binding
My first introduction to David Baldacci was back in 1996 when People Magazine picked his first book, Absolute Power, as the "Page Turner of the Week". I thought the premise of that book was phenomenal and I became an immediate fan. For some reason, I skipped over Total Control and went on to read his third and fourth books, The Winner and The Simple Truth. Both were good reads but nothing compared to Absolute Power. I'm glad I went back and read Total Control because it's in true Baldacci form in my opinion.
In this offering, Baldacci takes the typical American family, Sidney and Jason Archer and their little daughter Amy, and pits them against corporate greed at its worst. Sidney (the wife with a man's name) is a corporate attorney. Jason, the husband, is an executive with a technology company. Since Sidney is working on a deal that will merge her husband's company with another major technology firm, she is privy to many things that could lead to trouble. Jason, on the other hand, is struggling to make more money so that his wife can become a stay-at-home mom to their daughter. While this concept is characteristic of many American families, sometimes this drive can lead to a downward spiral of events from which there is no return. When Jason disappears, it is up to Sidney to try to clear his name while trying to save her own job at the same time. This book is replete with all the scenarios that followers of the thriller genre have come to expect. There's a plane crash, a car chase, espionage, kidnapping, phone-tapping and the usual sinister characters you find in most of Baldacci's books.
I read most of this book on the plane traveling from Minnesota to Philadelphia. It never seems to fail that when I'm flying, I'm usually reading a book that involves a plane crash.
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53 of 58 people found the following review helpful By J. Grattan VINE VOICE on November 17, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Total Control begins with two high-tech companies, both in need of technological infusion, pursuing a smaller firm whose advanced technology will guarantee future success. The potential for conflict is immediately evident as the same high-powered law firm is representing both companies in their bids. Attractive corporate attorney Sidney Archer is handling the affairs for one company, but it just so happens that her husband Jason is the main person collecting records pertinent to the sale for the same company.

Matters quickly fall apart when in the midst of a high level meeting involving all the principals of the deal, Sidney discovers that her husband has supposedly met his death in a plane crash, after having told his superiors that he would be home doing odds and ends. Suspicions multiply when the loss of millions from corporate accounts is discovered, not to mention the death of a high-level banking official on the same flight.

The story kicks into high gear when crusty FBI agent Lee Sawyer tries to make sense of it all. Of course, what would a story set in the cut-throat world of corporate high-tech be without the obnoxious, ruthless CEO; the brilliant, but slighted, guru; and lots of corporate security involving former CIA and FBI agents. Sidney is desperate to discover the truth about her husband. She finds herself somewhat clumsily navigating through building security systems, surveillance, phone taps, cryptic E-mails, computer security, and strange phone calls. It becomes evident that more than a Bonnie-and-Clyde caper is underway, and the bad guys have vast resources and are playing for keeps.

The book is entertaining but not without some problems. For this reader the writing seemed stilted or awkward - it didn't flow too well.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A. Harrell on April 29, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am recommending this book to all my friends who love a real heart-pounding thriller. I refused to put this book down until I finished it...Total Control has all the verve and excitement of Absolute Power but is infinitely more intriguing. The high-tech aspect of this novel was well researched. I love Baldacci�s treatment of his women characters: in Sidney Archer he has created a smart, determined and savvy tigress who exhibits extraordinary resolve and courage in her quest to find out about her husband�s surprising death. She is as adept at dealing with hired hit men as she is with slick corporate lawyers. The plot itself is a rather convoluted maze with enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing about the next plot line: chapter by chapter. This is pure David Baldacci. There is no filler here. If you want to read an exciting novel that holds your interest with each page this is it.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By C. Holmes on October 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I've enjoyed many of David Baldacci's books, although none of them are what I'd consider deep- more appropriate for a summer read or an audiobook in the car, where you don't have to pay complete attention. Total Control must have been an early novel, though. It's written as if the author's only experience in life is from movies and television- here's how an FBI agent acts, this is what an IT guy is like, etc. The female lawyer is especially bad- she's supposed to be a partner at a very large law firm, but both the police and the bad guys manipulate her by telling her all the trouble she's in, how she'll spend the rest of her life in jail, when she hasn't really done anything wrong. A partner at a large law firm wouldn't fall for that.

It's also annoying how extreme everything is- engines are massive, storms assault the entire Northeast. Why does everything have to be over the top? Also, why is everything thick- tick carpet, thick door, thick drapes, thick clouds, thick fingers, thick shoulders? It feels like weak writing.

Baldacci is not one to read if you're looking for something sophisticated, but many of his novels are much more plausible and enjoyable (the one with the character John Pullman, and the King & Maxwell series, especially).

Avoid this one.

Finally- and this is me being picky- law firms don't waste outer office space (and I think it was even a corner) on a library.
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