cover image The 6:20 Man: A Thriller

The 6:20 Man: A Thriller

David Baldacci. Grand Central, $29 (432p) ISBN 978-1-5387-1984-8

Army veteran Travis Devine, the protagonist of this disappointing thriller from bestseller Baldacci (One Good Deed), had a distinguished career serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, but he quit under mysterious circumstances to join Cowl and Comely, a high-pressure Wall Street investment firm. Every weekday, he takes the 6:20 a.m. commuter train from the suburbs into Manhattan, where he toils until evening. His life’s upended when he gets a text from an unknown person informing him that a colleague, Sara Ewes, whom he had a romantic interest in, was found hanging in a storage room in his office building. That death, which may not be the suicide it appears to be, triggers a cascade of dramatic developments. Devine becomes a murder suspect, others are killed, and he’s tapped to conduct a covert investigation into Cowl and Comely by a Homeland Security official. Despite lip service paid to recent real-life revelations from leaked documents about U.S. companies’ role in international money laundering, the implausible plot, in which the DHS official gives Devine no real guidance, makes it difficult for the reader to suspend disbelief. Baldacci has done better. Agent: Aaron Priest, Aaron M. Priest Literary. (July)