As always, Baldacci does a fantastic job plotting thigs out and revealing just enough as the pages turn to keep readers engaged and on the edge of their seats. Without giving anything away, there are more twists and turns here than in last year’s book, and just when you think you have everything figured out—Baldacci throws a final surprise that’ll leave fans begging for more ... Readers can debate who his best lead character is at the moment, but one thing’s for sure, Atlee Pine is certainly in the discussion—and A Minute to Midnight is as good as anything he’s written over the last several years.
Baldacci’s legions of fans will probably love this book, but new readers will find it lacking in too many of the requisite storytelling skills. Baldacci’s plot, pacing, style, and dialogue all wreak havoc on a potentially gripping thriller with disappointing results ... There isn’t a single aspect of this work that could not be improved. The characters are never more than types, and the dialogue is painfully heavy handed. Baldacci has apparently never heard of pronoun reference or antecedents, and his prose ranges from perfunctory to pedestrian ... The serial killing plot, which appears about 60 pages into the book, is resolved by people suddenly deciding to spill their guts in arias that would make Puccini jealous, and the motivation is ridiculous and unconvincing ... The pace picks up in the last half when Baldacci adds the sniper and a bomb (another unbelievable scene) as though he’s remembered Raymond Chandler’s famous dictum. Unfortunately, the tactic screams of Dan Brown cliffhanger syndrome ... Thumbs down.
With his latest, A Minute to Midnight, the author changes gears and offers a murder mystery that spooks and horrifies ... Pine manages to solve these new cases and even discovers some surprising secrets about her parents, but the answer to her old case still evades her. For Atlee Pine fans, this is good news because it means Baldacci has another thriller about her in the oven.