One Good Deed
Published July 23, 2019
This is the first of (currently) three books in the Aloysius Archer series set in post-WW2 America, about a former soldier released from prison after serving time for a crime he didn’t commit. I’ve read quite a few of Baldacci’s books, but struggle to keep up with all his different series. I probably wouldn’t have rushed into this one, except I was given book three by a friend and I can’t stand reading series out of order, so got the audiobook and listened to it in the car with my husband, who also enjoyed it.
It’s 1949, and Aloysius Archer has arrived in Poca City after a stint in prison, with nothing but a couple of dollars, the clothes on his back, and an appointment with a parole officer. Desperate for a job, he agrees to help a local businessman recover the security on a large debt for a fee, but this proves more complicated than expected. Suddenly he’s embroiled in historic grudges, being seduced by his employer’s vampish girlfriend, and facing a murder charge. Can Archer solve the crime and avoid another miscarriage of justice?
This was a solid noirish murder mystery with a likeable hero whose major weakness is pretty women. I liked the late 1940s small town setting although felt that even for that era, the police procedures and how the eventual court case played out seemed highly unlikely. The narrator did a good job with the male voices, sounding like the actors in films of that era, although I wish they’d had a different voice artist for the various female characters so they didn’t sound like drag queens. I haven’t decided which format to pick for the next book, but look forward to more of Archer’s adventures.