I really like David Baldacci, and me being a reader that likes series more than stand-alone books, I still had to read this book. My only problem is that I got into reading Angela Marsons and had to put this off a couple of weeks after it came out to read.
The first thing I have to say is do the audiobook. The book takes place in 1949 and if you like old 50's drama movies then this will be perfect for you. It reads just like one of those old movies. All the "Now see here's" and the women talking tough and then going all mushy. I bet Baldacci did a lot of research watching these old movies.
Then there's the way women are portrayed in this book;
Brooks nodded. “I am convinced, Mr. Archer. She has nothing to worry about from me. It was a terrible thing for her to endure. Even more so for a young woman. They are very delicate.”
Archer’s gaze at the man sharpened. “You married?”
Brooks looked surprised at the question. “Well, yes.”
“You work, and your wife stays at home?”
“She has no head for matters outside of the home.”
“You might be surprised about that, Mr. Brooks. I mean, I don’t see much logic behind men being the breadwinners and all except it’s just the way it’s always been, and for no good reason. Everybody deserves a fair shake.”
Brooks shook his head and smiled. “A woman’s place is in raising children and keeping the home and assisting her husband. But it’s still important work nonetheless and quite proper for someone with their fairer sensibilities. It’s a hard world out there, Mr. Archer, and men are designed to thrive in that world, not our women. I mean, that’s why they’re referred to as the weaker sex, after all.”
Now before I get into "One Good Deed" I want to say that Baldacci does not have weak women in his books, well, with the exception of this one, and not all the women are weak. This is the stereotyping of how women were played out in the older movies. I haven't read books from this period so I can't say about the books, but I'm sure there are loads of the old detective books that are the same way.
One Good Deed is about Aloysius Archer, a survivor of WWII, prison, and tough life in general. He's got a good head on his shoulders and wants to do right, as long as it keeps himself out of trouble. Naturally, from judging how I've talked about how the women are characterized in this book, he finds himself surrounded by two women, that can change their emotions like water from a faucet. One is his parole officer and the other is the mistress of a man that hires him to collect on a debt, which happens to be the father of the second woman.
There is lots of simple intrigues, murders, tough-talking, and even a trial. The pace of the book is good and if you can picture this book being written 60 years ago instead of released in July 2019, then you might enjoy it. I did.
f I go on much farther it will just be babbling so read the book. Listen to the audiobook. Just don't try to apply anything written in this book to a woman today.
A very strong 4 stars for this book.
One Good Deed by David Baldacci