Simply Lies, a new mystery by David Baldacci (2023)

David Baldacci is an extraordinary printing press. On average, two new novels a year. He’s prolific and sells millions of books.

I’ve been reading him for twenty years, and most of his books have been highly enjoyable and thrilling. See my related Baldacci blogs for more.

Simply Lies starts off with great promise. The central character, Mickey Gibson, has not appeared in a Baldacci book before, but I’d be shocked if this is just a stand-alone book that does not become series.

Mickey is a single mom, an ex-cop, and currently an analyst with a large private security film. She performs her job remotely, more of a computer detective, digging through cyberspace to solve client cases.

Mickey’s humdrum life takes a hard turn when she is forced to take a leave of absence and concurrently, becomes involved with a mysterious woman to solve a case. Very promising premise.

The story involves wealthy, mysterious psychopath, mob money, dirty cops, the witness protection program, a kidnapping and much more. Baldacci spins quite an elaborate tale of mystery and a treasure hunt. The problem is he also intertwines sex trafficking, crypto currency and blackmail, all of which depart from the central story and lead nowhere.

The 400 page book was unfortunately a struggle to finish. I’d say it’s overly long by about 50 pages, the story limps to the finish line. I thought the story was done when there was about 40 pages left.

Baldacci is a brilliant storyteller, he’s a bestselling author around the world. Occasionally there is a misfire, and Simply Lies is that rare exception.

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