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Last Man Standing Mass Market Paperback – August 26, 2002

3.8 out of 5 stars 602 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Last Man Standing has the essential elements of a terrific David Baldacci novel: a tough but tender-hearted hero, dirty dealings in the nation's bureaucracy, and a roller-coaster plot. Web London, a member of the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team, froze up on a drug raid and thus became the sole survivor of a remote-controlled ambush that killed six of his compatriots. Now the only witness has disappeared and the inside man on the botched raid has gone underground.

As a pretty psychiatrist puzzles over the corners of Web's brain that kept him alive, Web himself stays on the move. He's certain that the ambush is connected to the prison escape of a neofascist leader, Ernest B. Free, whom he helped arrest five years earlier, and a series of new murders leads him to a Virginia horse farm and the driving force behind all the carnage. It may seem as though Baldacci gives away the mastermind too soon, but both the bad guys and the good guys are complex enough that there's plenty of punch all the way to the last page. --Barrie Trinkle --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Last year's Wish You Well, a historical family drama set in rural Virginia, proved that Baldacci, previously known for his thrillers (particularly his debut, Absolute Power), can do much more than supply maximum suspense. His latest is another exciting thriller, but one that hasn't forsaken the ambitions of Wish You Well, plumbing the emotions and exploring the shadings of human nature in an impressive way. And for the first time, Baldacci has created characters that readers will demand to see back in a sequel. He has chosen an immensely interesting subject: the (real-life) FBI Hostage Rescue Team, a force so elite that many of the Seals, Delta Force grads and other special ops who apply to it don't make the cut. Baldacci's hero is hostage rescue team superstar Web London, who inexplicably (to himself and others) freezes during an operation that leaves the rest of his team dead; hence, the book's title. Web's investigation into the massacre involves him with several bands of criminals, most notably a white supremacist terrorist cell, a gang of D.C. drug peddlers headed by a charismatic giant, and a secret group involved in both terror and drug activities. At the same time, Web's exploration into why he froze leads him to psychoanalysis and hypnosis, to budding romance and, ultimately, to revelations that tie together all the strands and questions of the immensely complicated plot. This is Baldacci's most accomplished thriller. The action, conspiratorial and overt, shifting from urban to rural and back, is nearly nonstop and expertly drawn; heroes and villains alike are believable and equally flawed; and there's a newfound maturity of tone here, a somber acceptance of the suffering that necessarily attends human life. (On-sale Nov. 6)Forecast: The American flag waving on the book's cover will draw readers' eyes; the strong title and the Baldacci name will carry them to the cash register. Expect hefty sales. Simultaneous audio cassette (abridged and unabridged), audio CD (abridged) and large-print editions.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Vision; Edition Unstated edition (September 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446611778
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446611770
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (602 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #497,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Timothy J. Kindler VINE VOICE on November 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Having taken a pass on Baldacci's departure from the action/thriller (Wish You Well), I welcomed a return to previous form with Last Man Standing. I believe the latest effort was worth the wait. Like his previous works such as Total Control and Absolute Power, Baldacci grabs you at the beginning of Last Man Standing and doesn't let go. The work is another page turner, packed with action, suspense, plot twists and surprises. In the story, the central character, Web London, is a member of FBI HRT (Hostage Rescue Team). Previously decorated for heroism on many occasions, London finds himself inexplicably frozen during a rescue assault that wipes out the entire HRT assault team and leaves him as the last man standing. As the story unfolds, London is left to deal with the aftermath of the situation and attempt to find an explanation. Baldacci effectively utilizes shifts between the present and the past, and provides a broad character set to complement London's character. All-in-all, Last Man Standing is a great read that marks a return to the genre in which Baldacci made his mark originally. Hopefully, he will continue.
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Format: Hardcover
Web London heads up the FBI's super-elite Hostage Rescue Team, he is a master at what he does, but on their latest assignment he is not able to predict, or save them from the bloodshed that is about to erupt. Having his men assemble in an alley, Web feels confident that they will bring down the drug dealer they have set out to destroy, but within seconds they are ambushed...everyone killed, leaving Web the LAST MAN STANDING.
Trying to cope with the blame that has been placed on him by grieving widows, Web must try to put the pieces of that fateful night together. What went wrong? How were they ambushed? And who was the young boy Web saved in that alley, and why was he there?
As these questions plague Web he seeks the help of psychiatrist Claire Daniels, and with her help he will be able to confront his own tainted past, as well as answer the question WHY WAS HE CHOSEN TO BE THE ONLY SURVIVOR?
As Web's search begins the young boy disappears, and anyone connected to that fateful night will be violently silenced, but Web is confident he knows where the killer will strike next, only this time he may not survive the attack.
`Last Man Standing' marks the return to thriller writing for David Baldacci, unfortunately the novel is peopled with too many characters, and the plot is far more complicated than it should be. Characters come dropping in every chapter, and the in depth descriptions of weapons, and technical FBI jargon become a distraction rather than an important part to the plot.
As with all Baldacci novels his writing is clean, crisp and easy to read, and he CAN spin a good tale, only this time he has too much going on. As the old saying goes "LESS IS MORE".
Nick Gonnella
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Format: Hardcover
David Baldacci has done it again, crafting yet another fast-paced, action-packed page-turner. The hero of his newest thriller is tough-but-loveable Web London, a member of the FBI's elite Hostage Rescue Team. When a drug raid turns into a brutal and deadly ambush, Web must try to unravel the mystery of why he is the only member of his close-knit team to survive. The search takes him into the darkest corners of his past, to the mean streets of Washington, D.C., and out to seemingly bucolic Virginia hunt country, where Web meets a variety of unforgettable characters from all walks of life, each of whom sheds a bit of light on the mystery he must solve.
Baldacci's seventh novel - like his others - is one you won't be able to put down. Baldacci packs the book with a brilliant plot and more than a few surprises that will knock your socks off, and includes a wealth of detail that highlights his meticulous research skills. I can only hope that we'll see Web and company again in a future Baldacci thriller.
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Format: Hardcover
My 80+ year old aunt introduced me to David Baldacci by recommending "The Simple Truth" a couple of years ago. I have since read all of his books and they've cost me a lot of sleep. The main review provided enough details of the plot, so I'll just add a different perspective here. Yes, there are a lot of characters and plot twists. That just means you don't want to put the book down because it's easy to forget names, but I was so drawn in that I didn't want to put it down. There's also a fair amount of detail about HRT training, which I thought was interesting even though I have never thought about owning a gun.
Like many of Baldacci's other books, you don't know who to trust and often guess wrong. While the hero is male, some supporting characters are female and they are strong. That's important to me as a female reader--I HATE simpy and stupid women. Baldacci writes scenes that are easy to envision and characters that seem real. That sets him apart from many in this genre. I loved this book and hope for a sequel to keep Web London and some of the other characters alive.
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Format: Hardcover
Over the past few months, I've been trying like the dickens to broaden my reading horizons just a bit. My latest foray into the world of fiction was "Last Man Standing," the latest novel by David Baldacci. This is one of those books that I should have loved... but didn't . It falls into the genre of murder mystery/"techno"-thriller... much like Tom Clancy's books minus all of Clancy's geopolitical machinations and neo-conservative posturing. It's an interesting story told by an author with writing skills that can best be described as "nothing special."

"Last Man Standing" is the story of name of Web London, a thirteen-year veteran of the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team, who sees all six of his teammates shot to pieces during an assault on a drug trafficking ring. Web is the only man to escape death. For some reason, when the signal to move forward is given, he finds that he cannot walk, run, or even stand up. It's almost like he's paralyzed. He desperately wants to join in the fight, but he's physically in no condition to do so. He lies on the pavement, fully conscious of the slaughter going on around him, and unable to help in any way.

What follows is Web's attempts to find out why he was left the "last man standing." He's considered by many to be at best a coward and at worst a traitor. He's left feeling guilty and despondent. He decides to seek psychiatric help. The story takes readers on a journey from FBI headquarters in Quantico, Virginia, through some of the seamiest parts of the nation's capital, and to the gorgeous horse farming country of northern Virginia. Readers are introduced to a plethora of characters, all part of a sinister plot against the FBI and Web London in particular. Read the book to find out what happens to our hero!
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