Associated Press

David Baldacci brings back Army Special Agent John Puller in “The Forgotten,” a follow-up to 2011’s “Zero Day.” In this new thriller, Puller receives a letter from his aunt that propels him into a conspiracy.

Paradise, Fla., has a picturesque setting, and from all appearances, the town seems to be the perfect place to live. Puller arrives to visit his aunt, but discovers she has died. He believes she was murdered, but the local police aren’t interested in his opinion. In his search for the truth, Puller must endure the wrath of both local law enforcement and the people who knew his aunt. The town of Paradise might have a name that invokes thoughts of Utopia, but the beauty masks a devastating secret.

Baldacci is a master when it comes to writing about small-town conspiracies and a lone hero who fights against all odds to clean up corruption. The narrative moves slowly, so the reader has a chance to solve the case along with Puller. It might seem straightforward, but the final reveal will surprise even hardcore thriller junkies.

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