David Baldacci’s latest thriller set for release on July 12, The 6:20 Man, is another fine offering from this master of the form. The story, which derives its name from the time in the morning the main protagonist catches a train into the city, revolves around a former Army Ranger named Travis Devine, who now works as a financial analyst for a top Wall Street powerhouse firm. He hates his new job but soldiers on, pardon the pun, mostly as a self-inflicted punishment for an incident in his past. When a woman with whom he had a brief fling ends up dead by apparent suicide in the office, Travis is thrown headfirst into an investigation that will lead him into a shadowy world where nothing is as it seems. The financial firm of Cowl and Comely is hiding a secret, and the woman who died might have been killed to protect it. Apart from discovering why his ex-girlfriend died, Travis has a bigger interest in getting to the bottom of things. All the evidence points to him as the murderer.
The book starts fast and never lets up, with an impressive body count that makes you wonder if anyone in the book will survive. The pace is breathless, with action on almost every page. The chapters are short and punchy, which keeps the book moving along at a fine clip. And above all, the twisty story keeps you turning the pages long into the night.
If you’re already a Baldacci fan, this book certainly won’t disappoint, and if you haven’t read a David Baldacci thriller yet, this would be a good one to jump aboard with. My only slight frustration was that while many of the threads are tied up neatly at the end of the book, there are some that the author leaves hanging. The book is marketed as a standalone currently, although I have to wonder if this is the start of a new series featuring the Travis Devine character because that is how it feels. I certainly hope that the threads left dangling are the start of an overarching narrative in the same way that Baldacci uses Mercy in the Atlee Pine series. Either way, the book was a quick and satisfying read and contained all the hallmark Baldacci traits. Fast action, memorable characters, and a tight plot.