One Good Deed
The #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci introduces an unforgettable new character: Archer, a straight-talking former World War II soldier fresh out of prison for a crime he didn't commit.It's 1949. When war veteran Aloysius Archer is released from Carderock Prison, he is sent to Poca City on parole with a short list of do's and a much longer list of don'ts: do report regularly to his parole officer, don't go to bars, certainly don't drink alcohol, do get a job--and don't ever associate with loose women. The small town quickly proves more complicated and dangerous than Archer's years serving in the war or his time in jail. Within a single night, his search for gainful employment - and a stiff drink - leads him to a local bar, where he is hired for what seems like a simple job: to collect a debt owed to a powerful local businessman, Hank Pittleman. Soon Archer discovers that recovering the debt won't be so easy. The indebted man has a furious grudge against Hank and refuses to pay; Hank's clever mistress has her own designs on Archer; and both Hank and Archer's stern parole officer, Miss Crabtree, are keeping a sharp eye on him. When a murder takes place right under Archer's nose, police suspicions rise against the ex-convict, and Archer realizes that the crime could send him right back to prison . . . if he doesn't use every skill in his arsenal to track down the real killer.

One Good Deed Details

TitleOne Good Deed
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 23rd, 2019
PublisherGrand Central Publishing
ISBN-139781538750575
Rating
GenreFiction, Mystery, Thriller, Historical, Historical Fiction

One Good Deed Review

  • Paromjit
    January 1, 1970
    David Baldacci ventures into historical crime fiction with style with his new protagonist, Aloysius Archer, set in 1949 in the drought stricken small Southern Poca City. It begins with Archer being released on parole from Carderock prison for a crime he didn't commit and arriving in Poca with a distinct giveaway prison shuffle. He is armed with a list of things he must not do, such as don't go to bars, drink alcohol, associate with loose women, and a smaller list of things he must do, like repor David Baldacci ventures into historical crime fiction with style with his new protagonist, Aloysius Archer, set in 1949 in the drought stricken small Southern Poca City. It begins with Archer being released on parole from Carderock prison for a crime he didn't commit and arriving in Poca with a distinct giveaway prison shuffle. He is armed with a list of things he must not do, such as don't go to bars, drink alcohol, associate with loose women, and a smaller list of things he must do, like report regularly to his parole officer and acquire gainful employment immediately. On his first night, he visits a bar and bumps into a wealthy man, Hank Pittleman, with his multiple businesses that have revived the town economically, accompanied by his bit on the side, Jackie Tuttle. He offers Archer the job of collecting a debt from Lucas Tuttle, or at least the Cadillac that serves as collateral for it.However, Lucas has no intention of paying the debt or giving up the Cadillac until his daughter, Jackie, leaves Hank and returns home. Archer finds himself in a tight spot as he has spent most of the advance from Pittleman, and the situation is exacerbated further when there is a murder for which he is the primary suspect. After looking into Archer's background, Lieutenant Detective Irving Shaw begins to bond with Archer over their respective experiences in WW2, Shaw as a bomber pilot, and Archer as an infantryman, serving in Italy. Shaw draws in Archer into the investigation, providing Archer with vital experience of being a detective, learning the need for corroboration, skills in interviewing witnesses and suspects, and following leads. Archer has good instincts, and is a skilled observer, and he is motivated to do his best, because whilst Shaw may have begun to believe in his innocence, others in law enforcement do not, and he does not want to hang for crimes he didn't commit. With further murders, family secrets, lies, and conspiracies, Poca turns out to be a town with bucketfuls of intrigue, and Archer must find the truth if he is to live.This is a great historical crime fiction read from Baldacci, I loved the period details, the cultural and social norms of the day were well depicted, such as the blatant sexism, and the embedded certainty that a woman's place is in the home, looking after the man, and raising children. The two women that become most important to Archer, Jackie and his parole officer, Ernestine Crabtree, a woman with aspirations to become a writer, are independent, strong willed, and smart. Archer is a good man, he respects and is protective of women, extending old fashioned courtesies but he is rather naive when it comes to understanding or intuiting what women might be up to, taking them at face value and being too trusting. This is riveting read, entertaining and suspenseful. I am not certain if this is going to be a series, but Baldacci seems to hint that it will be, as he has Archer on the cusp of embarking on a career as a gumshoe at the end. Many thanks to Pan Macmillan for an ARC.
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  • Gary
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this stand alone by author David Baldacci an d it made me realise I really must read more of his work soon. Nicely written and the 640 pages flew by as I enjoyed the twists and turns in this entertaining read. Great characters, especially the lead one Aloysius Archer who I would love to read in other books if the author decided.It's 1949 and war veteran Aloysius Archer is released from Carderock Prison, he is sent to Poca City on parole with a short list of rules to follow to ke I really enjoyed this stand alone by author David Baldacci an d it made me realise I really must read more of his work soon. Nicely written and the 640 pages flew by as I enjoyed the twists and turns in this entertaining read. Great characters, especially the lead one Aloysius Archer who I would love to read in other books if the author decided.It's 1949 and war veteran Aloysius Archer is released from Carderock Prison, he is sent to Poca City on parole with a short list of rules to follow to keep him on the straight and narrow. Events move fast for Archer and the town quickly proves more complicated and dangerous than he would like. On his very first day of freedom he is offered what appears to be a straight forward job of collecting a debt owed to a powerful local businessman, Hank Pittleman. It is not long before Archer discovers that the job is not so easy and that the indebted man has a furious grudge against Hank and refuses to pay. Archer has a natural charm and the ladies are quick to notice him. Very soon Archer is attracting the attention of Hank's mistress Jackie Tuttle and Archer's parole officer, Miss Ernestine Crabtree.A murder takes place and ex prisoner Archer finds himself under police suspicion and he realises that this could easily take him back to prison. With his freedom at risk he gets together with Detective Shaw to solve the crime that threatens to send him back into prison.The book is reasonably slow paced but this did not affect my enjoyment at all, as the characters come to life in this exquisitely written novel.I would like to thank both Net Galley and Macmillan for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Louise Wilson
    January 1, 1970
    Aloysius Archer has been released from prison, for a crime he did not commit, and sent out of the of the way to a southern town to await his parole. He's only been there for twenty four hours and he's already been in lots of trouble. He had been instructed to meet his parole officer, Ernestine Crabtree, but he gets caught up in a feud between two local businessmen when he had went into the local bar. Hank Pittleman had paid him to collect a debt from his rival and this leads him into all sorts o Aloysius Archer has been released from prison, for a crime he did not commit, and sent out of the of the way to a southern town to await his parole. He's only been there for twenty four hours and he's already been in lots of trouble. He had been instructed to meet his parole officer, Ernestine Crabtree, but he gets caught up in a feud between two local businessmen when he had went into the local bar. Hank Pittleman had paid him to collect a debt from his rival and this leads him into all sorts of trouble. Archer has a natural charm with the ladies and that includes Hank's mistress, Jackie Tuttle and his parole officer, Ernestine Crabtree.I have read several of David Baldacci's books before and I honestly don't know why I stopped reading them. This book is set in post war America in 1949. The story is gripping from the first page as David Baldacci weaves his magic on you. I loved Archer's character, he's a lovable rogue. The rest of the characters are well rounded and believable. Of course the story covers a murder and Archer quickly becomes a suspect. Compelled to clear his name, he searches for answers. He gets together with Detective Shaw to find out the truth. The pace is slow. I do hope that we meet Archer again one day.I would like to thank NetGalley, Pan Macmillan and the author David Baldacci for my ARC In exchange for an honest review.
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  • Richard
    January 1, 1970
    7.5/10This was an enjoyable historical crime thriller from an author who is a massive name but one I've only delved into once previously. I wasn't sure what to expect but he pulled it off well with enough going on to keep me interested and enough world building to make me feel like I was back in the post-war 40's. The main character Archer is a decent protagonist, he's likeable but with enough flaws to make him interesting. Perhaps a little too much insta-swoon went on around him but it wasn't t 7.5/10This was an enjoyable historical crime thriller from an author who is a massive name but one I've only delved into once previously. I wasn't sure what to expect but he pulled it off well with enough going on to keep me interested and enough world building to make me feel like I was back in the post-war 40's. The main character Archer is a decent protagonist, he's likeable but with enough flaws to make him interesting. Perhaps a little too much insta-swoon went on around him but it wasn't too much to detract from the story. There are plenty of fingers pointing at Archer for a murder and we, as the reader, know that he didn't do it. Luckily the detective assigned to the case also believes he didn't do it and they work together to get to the root cause. There are plenty of things which don't seem what they appear and it's up to our guys to get to the bottom of it.It was interesting and never lagged without ever hitting the truly unputdownable stage. I liked the characters and found that the era was described well such as the treatment of women by men (aw, little lady. Back to the kitchen, these be numbers which will scramble your brain) and makes you appreciate we've come a long way on some things in society. If there is a follow up book then I would gladly read it, not only that I will now make more of an effort to read some more Baldacci books and see what else he has to offer.Thanks to NetGalley for a copy for review
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  • Liz Barnsley
    January 1, 1970
    A bit of a departure here and a very good one- the authors trademark fine writing and involved plotting with an edge of noir and a set of engaging characters.The southern 40’s setting is descriptively immersive, into this comes main protagonist Aloysius Archer, recently released prisoner, with a wavering set of moral judgments, about to get caught up in feuds, murder and mystery.For me this was a very good read indeed, a classic character study set within a considered thriller, a page turner wit A bit of a departure here and a very good one- the authors trademark fine writing and involved plotting with an edge of noir and a set of engaging characters.The southern 40’s setting is descriptively immersive, into this comes main protagonist Aloysius Archer, recently released prisoner, with a wavering set of moral judgments, about to get caught up in feuds, murder and mystery.For me this was a very good read indeed, a classic character study set within a considered thriller, a page turner with layered plotting and unexpected turns.Didn’t take me long to go through this one. One of those novels where once you are in you have no wish to emerge again until the end.Recommended
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  • Elaine Tomasso
    January 1, 1970
    I would like to thank Netgalley and Pan Macmillan for an advance copy of One Good Deed, a stand alone thriller set in Poca City, an unidentified Southern town in 1949.On release after a spell in prison for a crime he didn’t commit Aloysius Archer is given a one way ticket to Poca City, a town he doesn’t know but is prepared to get to know while serving his parole. On his first night businessman Hank Pettleman offers him a job as a debt collector on one particular debt. The job turns out to be mo I would like to thank Netgalley and Pan Macmillan for an advance copy of One Good Deed, a stand alone thriller set in Poca City, an unidentified Southern town in 1949.On release after a spell in prison for a crime he didn’t commit Aloysius Archer is given a one way ticket to Poca City, a town he doesn’t know but is prepared to get to know while serving his parole. On his first night businessman Hank Pettleman offers him a job as a debt collector on one particular debt. The job turns out to be more complicated than he was led to believe and more troublesome when he turns out to be the prime suspect in a murder.I thoroughly enjoyed One Good Deed which is a compulsive read with plenty of twists and turns. It is told from Archer’s point of view so the reader can get stuck in to events without distraction, which I did. Mr Baldacci has a very readable style of writing so I immediately felt comfortable with the setting and characters and while it might be classed as historical fiction there is nothing the reader can’t understand or puzzle over, apart from the location of Poca City (Oklahoma is my best guess). The plot is great, engaging and absorbing with all the requisite twists, culminating in a tour de force courtroom scene. Ok, if you really want to nitpick, some of the developments rely heavily on coincidence and serendipity but it’s highly entertaining so who cares?Aloysius Archer or just Archer as he prefers has a touch of the Jack Reachers about him, smart, chivalrous, handy in a fight and a bit of a nomad but his adventure is entirely different and his feminism a bit misplaced in 1949. He is an engaging character whom I would willingly meet again if the author is so inclined.One Good Deed is a good read which I have no hesitation in recommending.
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  • Andrea
    January 1, 1970
    'You might be an ex-con Archer, but you kept your heart, despite a war and then prison. And that's something. As bad as things might get, don't ever sell yourself short on that' _________Mr. D. BaldacciLet me start by saying that I've read several David Baldacci books and loved them all, however this one for me felt different, not least because it was set in the late 1940s. Aloysius Archer has just been released from prison for a crime that he claims he didn't commit. Sent to the small, hot, dus 'You might be an ex-con Archer, but you kept your heart, despite a war and then prison. And that's something. As bad as things might get, don't ever sell yourself short on that' _________Mr. D. BaldacciLet me start by saying that I've read several David Baldacci books and loved them all, however this one for me felt different, not least because it was set in the late 1940s. Aloysius Archer has just been released from prison for a crime that he claims he didn't commit. Sent to the small, hot, dusty town of Poca to serve his probation period, he meets Hank Pittleman and Jackie Tuttle, the woman he is having an affair with, and before long becomes embroiled with their business affairs to his detriment.....I found the first and last thirds of the book extremely gripping, but for me, I felt like the story lost it's way somewhat in the middle and was too padded out. Without giving away any spoilers, I also found some small holes in the plotline and some parts of the detail a little too convenient for my liking. It's for these reasons that I give this, otherwise well written book, four rather than five stars. I did rather enjoy revisiting the 1940s again with some of its old-fashioned ideals and I absolutely loved the character of Archer. I do hope we get to meet him again in future books.Many thanks to Netgalley for a copy of this ARC for which I have given my voluntary and unbiased review.
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  • Annette
    January 1, 1970
    David Baldacci usually writes contemporary thrillers but this new book is set in post World War 2 America.As is the case in all his books there is a lead protagonist , a bit of a loner/ outsider, who investigates a mystery, in this case it is ex-con Aloyisius Archer who turns up in Poca City on his release from gaol. He is directed to meet with his parole officer, Ernestine Crabtree, but gets caught up with a feud between two local businessmen when he pops into the local bar and Hank Pittleman p David Baldacci usually writes contemporary thrillers but this new book is set in post World War 2 America.As is the case in all his books there is a lead protagonist , a bit of a loner/ outsider, who investigates a mystery, in this case it is ex-con Aloyisius Archer who turns up in Poca City on his release from gaol. He is directed to meet with his parole officer, Ernestine Crabtree, but gets caught up with a feud between two local businessmen when he pops into the local bar and Hank Pittleman pays him to collect a debt from his rival. Being short of money, Archer agrees to do this and this decision leads him into all sorts of trouble.Archer is attracted to both Jackie, Pittleman’s mistress and also Ernestine Crabtree and the reader spends the book wondering if he will end up with either of them and if Jackie, in particular, is just using him for her own purposes.However when a murder occurs and Archer is implicated he decides to help the lead Detective Shaw to investigate in order to clear his name.There is a lot of description and period detail in this book. The author seems to want to describe exactly what all the characters are wearing, presumably so that the reader can picture the said characters. Sometimes there is slightly too much of this and, in my opinion, it really does slows down the plot. “ He wore a threadbare single breasted brown victory suit with peak lapels.” I particularly liked Archer who seemed to have made a couple of wrong decisions and ended up in jail for a crime he did not commit. There was a lot about his time in the army and this helps him bond with Detective Shaw who is also ex military.This is slightly different from Baldaccci’s previous novels and once I had got used to the historical setting and slower pace, I found it an interesting read which picked up as the novel progressed.I was left wondering at the end whether Aloyisius Archer was going to be featuring in another book as it had the feeling of a possible first in a series rather than a stand alone.Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for my arc in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Greville Waterman
    January 1, 1970
    A good standalone thriller from an exceptionally talented and experienced writer who knows his trade and craft.The plot hummed along at breakneck speed and the main character was suitably enigmatic and sympathetic enough to keep me reading.Excellent descriptions of time and place and I enjoyed every aspect of it.Highly recommended.
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  • Roy
    January 1, 1970
    Something a little different from the author. Southern thriller/crime set in the 40s. More of a historical setting. Still has Baldaccis trademark plotting and dialogue but with a level of description to the time period that he hasnt written before. Not sure if this will be a series or a standalone. Good fun. Definitely recommend this
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  • Mrs
    January 1, 1970
    Set in post war America in 1949, One Good Deed is a page turning mystery thriller.Our hero is Aloysius Archer, just released from prison for a crime he did not commit, a war hero serving his time in Europe during WW2. He is sent to Poca a town in a southern state to serve out his probation time, and so his adventure begins. Archer is a wonderful character, and as the book progresses you like him more and more, his humour and honesty shine through.This story is extremely evocative of the post war Set in post war America in 1949, One Good Deed is a page turning mystery thriller.Our hero is Aloysius Archer, just released from prison for a crime he did not commit, a war hero serving his time in Europe during WW2. He is sent to Poca a town in a southern state to serve out his probation time, and so his adventure begins. Archer is a wonderful character, and as the book progresses you like him more and more, his humour and honesty shine through.This story is extremely evocative of the post war period with fabulous descriptions of the clothing, behaviour and dialogue. I felt as if I was in an old 40’s film, with perhaps James Cagney, Robert Mitchum and a host of other old film stars of that time.Others have written a full synopsis better than I, just let it take you along on this wonderful adventure with thrills and surprises aplenty, and the court case and ending......utterly brilliant. Basically a wonderful well written read.My thanks to net galley and publisher for the opportunity to review this book honestly.
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  • Sally Channing
    January 1, 1970
    I got this as an ARC - and boy was I happy - the day before my holiday. What an excellent book, wonderfully written. This is a new character from David Baldacci, I hope he writes more about Archer in the future. Set in 1949 it was a great story of how we used to live and how hard everything was. Some really great female characters and some nasty men. Couldn’t put it down - now the wait for his next book....
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  • Gary
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this stand alone by author David Baldacci an d it made me realise I really must read more of his work soon. Nicely written and the 640 pages flew by as I enjoyed the twists and turns in this entertaining read. Great characters, especially the lead one Aloysius Archer who I would love to read in other books if the author decided.It's 1949 and war veteran Aloysius Archer is released from Carderock Prison, he is sent to Poca City on parole with a short list of rules to follow to ke I really enjoyed this stand alone by author David Baldacci an d it made me realise I really must read more of his work soon. Nicely written and the 640 pages flew by as I enjoyed the twists and turns in this entertaining read. Great characters, especially the lead one Aloysius Archer who I would love to read in other books if the author decided.It's 1949 and war veteran Aloysius Archer is released from Carderock Prison, he is sent to Poca City on parole with a short list of rules to follow to keep him on the straight and narrow. Events move fast for Archer and the town quickly proves more complicated and dangerous than he would like. On his very first day of freedom he is offered what appears to be a straight forward job of collecting a debt owed to a powerful local businessman, Hank Pittleman. It is not long before Archer discovers that the job is not so easy and that the indebted man has a furious grudge against Hank and refuses to pay. Archer has a natural charm and the ladies are quick to notice him. Very soon Archer is attracting the attention of Hank's mistress Jackie Tuttle and Archer's parole officer, Miss Ernestine Crabtree.A murder takes place and ex prisoner Archer finds himself under police suspicion and he realises that this could easily take him back to prison. With his freedom at risk he gets together with Detective Shaw to solve the crime that threatens to send him back into prison.The book is reasonably slow paced but this did not affect my enjoyment at all, as the characters come to life in this exquisitely written novel.I would like to thank both Net Galley and Macmillan for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Darcy
    January 1, 1970
    I feel like I should have liked this one more. I really like this author, initially I liked the noir feel of things, but as things went on Archer came off as a chump. It seemed like everyone was playing him. It wasn't til the end that Archer started to smarten up and then was able to play a few others. By the time the end came I was glad to be done with the book and didn't really care where that last trip took Archer and wasn't surprised at all.
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  • Jay Dwight
    January 1, 1970
    With the volume of work Baldacci produces, you might expect the quality to start to diminish. However, it doesn't! Another fast paced, complex but hypnotic plot that keeps you guessing as to what is going on and who is behind it all. A new character and a new time. Ex-convict Aloysius Archer lands in a dusty, small town after his release from prison. It's 1949. He takes a debt collection job and finds himself caught between two wealthy men. Murder and mystery ensue and Archer becomes a suspect. With the volume of work Baldacci produces, you might expect the quality to start to diminish. However, it doesn't! Another fast paced, complex but hypnotic plot that keeps you guessing as to what is going on and who is behind it all. A new character and a new time. Ex-convict Aloysius Archer lands in a dusty, small town after his release from prison. It's 1949. He takes a debt collection job and finds himself caught between two wealthy men. Murder and mystery ensue and Archer becomes a suspect. Compelled to clear his name, he begins searching for answers.Another good read, and I hope we get more of Archer in future novels.
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  • Joanne
    January 1, 1970
    Found an advance copy of the book and a charity shop in London, and fell in love with this book and new character Archer. Just out of prison and trying to make his way in the world, he becomes embroiled in a murder. A new storyline and I love Archer's character. I only hope that this is the start of a new series. Well written, engaging and one of Baldacci's better stories.
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  • Tracy Wood
    January 1, 1970
    Aloysius Archer is a good man, or at least he tries to be. He is also an ex-con sent to an out of the way southern town to wait out his parole. By the time he has been there 24 hours he has way more trouble than he knows what to do with. This is a brilliant 20th century historical crime novel with so much period authenticity you can picture it easily. Archer is an extremely likeable protagonist and, as you would expect from David Baldacci, all the other characters are well rounded and believable Aloysius Archer is a good man, or at least he tries to be. He is also an ex-con sent to an out of the way southern town to wait out his parole. By the time he has been there 24 hours he has way more trouble than he knows what to do with. This is a brilliant 20th century historical crime novel with so much period authenticity you can picture it easily. Archer is an extremely likeable protagonist and, as you would expect from David Baldacci, all the other characters are well rounded and believable. It was also great to read a story where evidence had to be gathered without the assistance of social media, mobile phones or detailed forensic tests and then interpreted because of the expertise of those hopefully on the right side of the law. I was able to read an advanced copy of this book thanks to NetGalley and the publishers in exchange for an unbiased review and would recommend it to fans of David Baldacci, those who enjoy first class storytelling or want to begin an exciting journey with a stand alone novel from an expert at thriller writing.
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  • Bookreporter.com Mystery & Thriller
    January 1, 1970
    To call David Baldacci a prolific writer would be a gross understatement. He has published over 40 novels for adults (several of which have been adapted for film and television) and seven for younger readers. All of his characters are complex and richly drawn out, and they make great chess pieces in the literary games in which he places them. Baldacci is one of the finest plotters in the business.ONE GOOD DEED is a stand-alone novel, and Baldacci's protagonist is far from conventional. Aloysius To call David Baldacci a prolific writer would be a gross understatement. He has published over 40 novels for adults (several of which have been adapted for film and television) and seven for younger readers. All of his characters are complex and richly drawn out, and they make great chess pieces in the literary games in which he places them. Baldacci is one of the finest plotters in the business.ONE GOOD DEED is a stand-alone novel, and Baldacci's protagonist is far from conventional. Aloysius Archer has just left prison. He steps onto a bus with no destination in mind and rides it all the way to Poca City. The year is 1949, and Archer has departed Carderock Prison following an early release for good behavior. A proud veteran of World War II, he was locked up for a crime he did not commit. Now, a few years later, he is once again a free man and sporting the long hair he decided to let grow out during his incarceration. If there are any goals or self-made promises of revenge on his mind, we are not privy to that when we are introduced to him.A few years shy of his 30th birthday, Archer is single and has no living immediate family. Baldacci chooses not to offer many details about the time he spent in prison other than to say that he was wrongly convicted. Archer makes the perfect antihero and is immediately a character readers can get behind. Little does he know the trials and tribulations Baldacci and his masterful plotting have in store for him. Let's just say that his street smarts and army experience will not fully prepare him for what is to come.Upon his entrance into Poca City, a town with which he is completely unfamiliar, Archer decides to spend the last bits of change he has left for a drink at a bar called The Cat's Meow. It is here that his presence draws the interest of a well-to-do stranger, Hank Pittleman, who strikes up a conversation with him that ends with a sort of job offer. Archer cannot help but notice the dazzling young lady on Hank's arm, who we soon learn is Jackie Tuttle. It turns out that Hank may be the richest person in the county and could use the assistance of a somewhat intimidating ex-con/army veteran.The task involves collecting on a debt that belongs to Jackie's father, Lucas, an extremely wealthy ranch owner. Lucas, though, has fallen on hard times due to a drought that has crippled his farm, and he borrowed $5,000 from Hank. Hank wants Archer to reclaim a Cadillac that is on Lucas' property as a message that he will take it as collateral towards the remainder of his debt. It's no surprise that Lucas may be waiting for just such an attempt, and he is a man to be reckoned with --- as well as being pretty handy with his shotgun.When Archer gets to Lucas' ranch, he decides to meet with the man directly and straight up tell him why he is there and who sent him. With that trusty shotgun aimed directly at Archer's crotch, Lucas kindly advises him to return to his “new employer” and let him know that he will not be getting the car or anything else during this visit. Additionally, Lucas asks Archer if he would help him out by rescuing his daughter from the married and untrustworthy Hank. As the Cadillac is nowhere to be found, Archer returns empty-handed. It's pretty obvious that this will not sit well with Hank, and the games have only just begun.As a recent parolee, Archer must report regularly to his local parole officer, who ends up being an attractive yet stern young woman, Miss Crabtree (and yes, I did chuckle at the Little Rascals reference!). He tells her that he is employed by Hank, and that is enough to satisfy her, as long as the employment is continuous. One night a few days later, Archer is walking in the area of The Cat's Meow and sees Jackie struggling with an obviously inebriated Hank. Archer helps Jackie get him into an open room at the Derby Hotel where he can sleep things off. Coincidently, it's only a few doors down from Archer's room. Archer and Jackie have a drink and end up in bed together.The next morning, Archer wakes up to an empty bed and wonders where Jackie ran off to. He heads down to the room where they left Hank and is shocked to find him dead on the floor with his throat cut in an aggressive and murderous act. Jackie turns up, and they both believe that her father is behind the slaying. They have no choice but to report the crime to the hotel and the police, which brings Lieutenant Detective Irving Shaw into the picture. Of course, things immediately point to Archer and Jackie, but Archer is quite bright and is able to talk himself out of incarceration, while Shaw looks into Lucas and other possible suspects.All I can say is that the relationship between Archer and Shaw, though starting out on a slippery slope, ends up being an outstanding matchup of characters in this complex novel and includes some of the best scenes and dialogue Baldacci has ever written.Archer has to find new employment and takes a job in a slaughterhouse that was owned by Hank. He is there to work, as well as to keep his eyes open. The rest of his spare time is spent in the presence of Shaw, who brings him along as he meets with everyone from Hank’s widow to Lucas. It is quite obvious that something far deeper is at play, and things will go around in circles several times finding Archer both in and out of suspicion.Baldacci has crafted an ingenious and addicting read in which each paragraph provides a new revelation. The time period and writing style immediately called to mind the works of the immortal James M. Cain, with clear influence from such classics as THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE and DOUBLE INDEMNITY. ONE GOOD DEED wraps up with an unexpected courtroom showdown that is as good as anything John Grisham has ever written. As much as I love Aloysius Archer, I hope that Baldacci keeps this a stand-alone. He has so many other series to work with, and I don't think it's possible to write another Archer novel better than this terrific slice of crime noir.Reviewed by Ray Palen
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  • Matt
    January 1, 1970
    In his latest standalone thriller, David Baldacci captivates readers while taking them on a voyage back in time. It’s 1949 and the War is over, as is the short time Aloysius Archer has spent in prison. Heading west, Archer settles in Poca City to serve out his parole. Seeking employment, Archer is approached by Hank Pittleman to help him retrieve a debt. Archer seems happy to help, as long as his parole officer considers this above board. However, as Archer soon discovers, the debtor is anything In his latest standalone thriller, David Baldacci captivates readers while taking them on a voyage back in time. It’s 1949 and the War is over, as is the short time Aloysius Archer has spent in prison. Heading west, Archer settles in Poca City to serve out his parole. Seeking employment, Archer is approached by Hank Pittleman to help him retrieve a debt. Archer seems happy to help, as long as his parole officer considers this above board. However, as Archer soon discovers, the debtor is anything but happy to repay what is owed and spins a tale of a lost daughter he wishes to protect. Working his verbal magic, Archer feels he might be making headway, until a murder shakes him to his core. The authorities are happy to look at the ex-con for the crime and the evidence points in Archer’s direction. Trying to clear his name and work with the locals to solve the case, Archer uncovers some interesting secrets that sees the investigation widen. Armed with this news and trying to stay one step ahead of the noose, Archer will do whatever it takes, using the sleuthing he heard in his favourite mystery novels while incarcerated. A wonderful novel that has the potential to begin a new series. Baldacci has done it again and I can recommend this to those who love his work, as well as the reader who finds joy in crime thrillers.I always enjoy new ventures by established authors, as it pushes them out of their comfort zone while allowing readers to see just how vast their abilities tend to be. David Baldacci has done this many times over the years, taking a standalone and, upon rave reviews, builds it into a new series, letting some of his past collections fade into the background. This novel surely has the potential for that, as it is not only well founded, but its characters are interesting and the narrative flows with ease. Aloysius Archer proves to be a wonderful protagonist, seeking to reinvent himself after fighting in Europe and doing a stint in jail. This backstory alone draws the reader to him, but there is more. As he arrives in town—almost Reacher-esque—knowing no one in particular, Archer soon connects with some of the locals and finds himself in the middle of a feud. His skills as an investigator are second to none and this is utilised effectively throughout, allowing Archer to grow and become even better liked by the reader. Supported by a handful of other strong characters, Archer finds himself trying to stay one step ahead of the law without disappearing entirely. The secondary characters are strong and serve to keep the story moving, though their interactions with Archer cannot be dismissed. There is some strong potential, should Baldacci continue the series, though it is apparent that certain storylines will dominate any future plots. Well written with a perfect mix to keep the reader engaged, Baldacci may have a major success on his hands, should he move in that direction.Kudos, Mr. Baldacci, for another great novel. I cannot wait to see what you have in store for readers down the road.Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...
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  • Monnie
    January 1, 1970
    Any time a book by one of my all-time favorite authors is released, it goes on my must-read list. And when it brings the promise of a new character, well, I immediately move it to the top; after all, it could be the start of something good.Honestly, I don't know if the intent here is to launch a series featuring World War II veteran and newly released prison inmate Aloysius Archer; I do know that if it is, count me in. Set in 1949, it's certainly different - with words like "gumshoe," "grub" and Any time a book by one of my all-time favorite authors is released, it goes on my must-read list. And when it brings the promise of a new character, well, I immediately move it to the top; after all, it could be the start of something good.Honestly, I don't know if the intent here is to launch a series featuring World War II veteran and newly released prison inmate Aloysius Archer; I do know that if it is, count me in. Set in 1949, it's certainly different - with words like "gumshoe," "grub" and "dames" sprinkled liberally throughout. Men wore hats (Archer, a fedora), ladies wore gloves and Veronica Lake peekaboo hairdos and everybody smoked - usually unfiltered Lucky Strikes or Pall Malls. The only thing halfway resembling technology came in the form of a Dictaphone machine (if you need to ask what that is, you're just a young whippersnapper).Deposited by bus in prison-assigned Poca City, Archer will be on parole for three years and report to officer Ernestine Crabtree. Chancing a stop in a local bar - off limits to parolees - he meets a flaunt-it-all high-roller who's there showing off his female arm candy. They begin to talk, and the guy hires Archer, who must find gainful employment as a condition of parole, to collect a debt (specifically, a Cadillac) he's owed by another local businessman. But when Archer goes to meet that man, he learns there's more to the story; that arm candy, it seems, is the daughter of the guy who hired him. What's more, that Caddy's going nowhere unless the daughter agrees to come back home to daddy - and she ain't budging.That leaves Archer somewhere between a rock and a hard place, and matters get even more complicated when said daughter decides she's sweet on Archer. If that weren't enough, everywhere he turns, the rather stuffy Miss Crabtree keeps her eye on his comings and goings - as does another ex-con Archer knows to be nastier than most. When one of the characters bites the dust right under Archer's nose, the law comes calling - tapping Archer, of course, as the primary suspect.Returning to jail understandably isn't on Archer's agenda, though, and the only way he can prove his innocence is to find the motive and unearth the real killer. That's exactly what he sets out to do, finding an unlikely ally in the form of one of the detectives on the case - who tells Archer he's got the makings to become a pretty good gumshoe (which I'm taking as a clue that we'll see him again).And that's where my part of the story ends; the rest is a very entertaining, finely tuned story that had me riveted right up to the end. Yes, it's a bit of a departure from the author's usual fare and the time setting is reminiscent of a Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett book. But I absolutely loved it, and I think other readers will agree. Highly recommended - oh, and more, please?
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  • Claudette
    January 1, 1970
    So, David Baldacci must have stayed up late one night to watch Humphrey Bogart movies and decided to write a book set in the late 40s. The good part is that Baldacci's books are always character and dialogue driven, and this book did move along. The bad part is Baldacci is really showing his youth here. He is so smitten with his period that all his descriptions are written in awe. Honestly, only a very wealthy woman would have been to afford the wardrobe he credits his 2 main women with. Every t So, David Baldacci must have stayed up late one night to watch Humphrey Bogart movies and decided to write a book set in the late 40s. The good part is that Baldacci's books are always character and dialogue driven, and this book did move along. The bad part is Baldacci is really showing his youth here. He is so smitten with his period that all his descriptions are written in awe. Honestly, only a very wealthy woman would have been to afford the wardrobe he credits his 2 main women with. Every time he sees them they are wearing a different hat, different gloves, etc. Then he is very excited about making sure the reader knows how inexpensive everything was! 2 fingers of whiskey? 50 cents! We're supposed to say "wow", but even with the post-war boom people were making what today would be laughable wages, so that 50 cents as a percentage of disposable income is comparable to today's prices. There is one part where Archer makes a phone call. From a phone booth. With a phone book attached with a chain. For 5 cents. On a rotary dial phone. I mean, seriously - talk to your mom or dad. Cel phones are fairly recent inventions!Ok. Now on to our story. We are supposed to swallow that, even in the late forties, a state homicide detective would pair up with a suspect, a jobless ex-con who just got out of jail, because of his war record. Not only that, but the detective is really keen on corroborating every detail, EXCEPT aforementioned war record - THAT, he takes at his word. The rest of the mystery is just as silly. Really, the whole book is just meant as a fun peek at that time period, because the story is really lame.
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  • Hugh Dunnett
    January 1, 1970
    David Baldacci is a name that is both familiar to me and unknown…I had a vague idea that he wrote thrillers but in what areas, eras, or series I had no idea. So I came to this with little knowledge and no preconceptions other than knowing that this is a big name author.From what I have learned, ‘One Good Deed’ is probably not representative of the author’s usual style. However, I am not hear to make exceptions for or to be interested in how the author’s previous works may have influenced or refl David Baldacci is a name that is both familiar to me and unknown…I had a vague idea that he wrote thrillers but in what areas, eras, or series I had no idea. So I came to this with little knowledge and no preconceptions other than knowing that this is a big name author.From what I have learned, ‘One Good Deed’ is probably not representative of the author’s usual style. However, I am not hear to make exceptions for or to be interested in how the author’s previous works may have influenced or reflect upon his latest novel.What I can say is that I do like the occasional gripping, page turning, popular thriller and that I am a big fan of 1940s and 50s crime novels. This book certainly had the feel of post-war America and was thrilling at times, but at others it stretched the bounds of belief just a little too far and all too often read more like a pastiche of the hard-boiled style rather than fitting snugly into the genre. Also, there are a number of turns of phrase that almost certainly would not arise in 1949 that are used in this book which is a little jarring, although it may just speak more of my being a pedant than anything else!That being said, this is a genuine page-turner and the author is certainly well versed in his methods of getting a story off to a flying start and (generally) keeping it there.At the end of the day, there may certainly be flaws in this novel but it is still a good nuts and bolts thriller that holds your interest from the first to the final page, just don’t expect anything ground breaking nor too many surprises.
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  • The Mare
    January 1, 1970
    I have read many other David Baldacci books, and have enjoyed them greatly, so was very excited to be reading his latest book. The book begins by introducing us to our main character Archer, who has just been released from prison after also serving in the second world war. He arrives at the small American town of Poca where he meets a local businessman in a bar who makes him a proposition - to reclaim a Cadillac from a guy as an asset against an unpaid loan. Archer accepts this job and so from h I have read many other David Baldacci books, and have enjoyed them greatly, so was very excited to be reading his latest book. The book begins by introducing us to our main character Archer, who has just been released from prison after also serving in the second world war. He arrives at the small American town of Poca where he meets a local businessman in a bar who makes him a proposition - to reclaim a Cadillac from a guy as an asset against an unpaid loan. Archer accepts this job and so from here a series of events unfolds. Archer finds himself caught up in scenarios which leave him as a suspect for a murder, torn between women, and whilst also working alongside the local Detective in town to solve the mystery of several successive murders. The novel is set during post WWII and so reflects the socioeconomic time and how America and those who have served are moving forwards after the war. Archer is sometimes presented as a somewhat an anti-hero who is a likeable character, and you feel yourself empathising with him at times as he is sometimes dealt unjust hands in life. The book was well written and characters were believable of this time. However, for me the ending greatly let this down as it seemed Baldacci went down the 'too obvious' route of who it could be, and the final part for me did not fit with the rest of the book and the way characters had been portrayed, and also left me with a few unanswered questions of certain characters actions. Although overall I enjoyed this book, I felt there could have been more of a twist with the outcomes at the end. My thanks go to netgalley and Pan Macmillan for being able to read and review an ARC of this.
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  • Vivienne
    January 1, 1970
    “It was a good day to be free of prison.”My thanks to Pan Macmillan for an eARC via NetGalley of David Baldacci’s latest ‘One Good Deed’ in exchange for an honest review. It was published on 25 July.This is something of a new direction for the prolific Baldacci as it is a work of historical fiction set in 1949.Aloysius Archer arrives in the Southern town of Poca City after some years of military service in Europe and a few years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. He still has three years of “It was a good day to be free of prison.”My thanks to Pan Macmillan for an eARC via NetGalley of David Baldacci’s latest ‘One Good Deed’ in exchange for an honest review. It was published on 25 July.This is something of a new direction for the prolific Baldacci as it is a work of historical fiction set in 1949.Aloysius Archer arrives in the Southern town of Poca City after some years of military service in Europe and a few years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. He still has three years of probation and Poca City is where the Department of Prisons say he has to serve his parole.He quickly ends up becoming embroiled in a feud between two local businessmen when he accepts a job as a debt collector for one of them. I have read a number of David Baldacci’s novels and have enjoyed each one. ‘One Good Deed’ was no exception and proved very engaging.Archer was a very likeable and principled protagonist, who tends to wander into trouble. He also seems to be very attractive to women; including the wayward daughter of one of the businessmen and another surprising admirer. Baldacci captures a real sense of the period including the entrenched misogynistic attitudes towards women. This was a very entertaining and satisfying crime thriller with some great surprises. Hopefully this marks the beginning of a new series and I will be looking out for details of new adventures for Archer.
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  • Phrynne
    January 1, 1970
    In One Good Deed Baldacci takes us back to 1949 and the town of Poca City, USA. Historical mystery no less! Is this a new direction for this author? And is this going to be a new series? I hope so because the main character, Aloysius Archer, is excellent and definitely worth following up. As the book commences he has just left prison having served a few years for a crime he did not commit. He is young, smart and good looking and probably a bit too nice for his own good. Prison has worn some of t In One Good Deed Baldacci takes us back to 1949 and the town of Poca City, USA. Historical mystery no less! Is this a new direction for this author? And is this going to be a new series? I hope so because the main character, Aloysius Archer, is excellent and definitely worth following up. As the book commences he has just left prison having served a few years for a crime he did not commit. He is young, smart and good looking and probably a bit too nice for his own good. Prison has worn some of that from him and events in Poca City eventually help him develop a healthy amount of suspicion regarding the intentions of others. I enjoyed every minute of this book. Baldacci always writes well and for this one he has done an enormous amount of research. People's attitudes, what they drove, what they drank and smoked - all these details are there to give the reader a really good feel for the atmosphere in small town USA in the late 40s early 50s.There is a short court scene at the end which is very entertaining and ties up all the details of who killed who. It also presents a nice, last minute surprise. Very enjoyable and highly recommended!
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  • Lynn Horton
    January 1, 1970
    This is my least-favorite Baldacci to date. I’m not a fan of the era of this story, nor do I particularly like crime fiction, even though I read it on occasion. But I do like Baldacci and believe that he’s a very fine author. I’ve read everything he’s written except the Atlee Pine novel (because I’m committed to not reading a thriller with a heroine unless it’s written by a woman).In terms of negatives, for me this book is slow, and the dialogue doesn’t work. The protagonist is unbelievably naiv This is my least-favorite Baldacci to date. I’m not a fan of the era of this story, nor do I particularly like crime fiction, even though I read it on occasion. But I do like Baldacci and believe that he’s a very fine author. I’ve read everything he’s written except the Atlee Pine novel (because I’m committed to not reading a thriller with a heroine unless it’s written by a woman).In terms of negatives, for me this book is slow, and the dialogue doesn’t work. The protagonist is unbelievably naive for someone who has committed a crime and just left prison. My other problem is that social issues increasingly thread through Baldacci's work. Although I respect the fact that he's a practicing Christian (as am I) and committed to justice and fairness and compassion, I'm at the point where I don't want to be lectured about it, or encounter it in when I sit with a book to relax and escape this increasingly caustic world.Positively, Baldacci’s writing is as clear as ever, his timing is good, and the twists and turns that mark his work drive this story too. But I miss the members of the Camel Club and the idiosyncrases of those earlier works that truly set him apart as an author with an original voice.
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  • Alan
    January 1, 1970
    Old-School HardboiledReview of the Audible Audio edition (2019) narrated by Edoardo BalleriniThis is probably a 4, but it is such a redemption from the absurd conspiracies of the recent Long Road to Mercy (2018) that it seemed like it deserved an extra notch or two.Aloyius Archer is a WWII veteran who is on parole in the late 1940's after having served a prison sentence. While looking for work he takes on a task of 'one good deed' to mediate a debt collection between two rivals. He then stumbles Old-School HardboiledReview of the Audible Audio edition (2019) narrated by Edoardo BalleriniThis is probably a 4, but it is such a redemption from the absurd conspiracies of the recent Long Road to Mercy (2018) that it seemed like it deserved an extra notch or two.Aloyius Archer is a WWII veteran who is on parole in the late 1940's after having served a prison sentence. While looking for work he takes on a task of 'one good deed' to mediate a debt collection between two rivals. He then stumbles into several murders in which he himself becomes a suspect and has to work to clear himself. There are all sorts of standard hardboiled characters: the ex-cons, the femme fatates, the hard-as-nails cop, the corrupt or at least dodgy authorities etc. If you are a fan of Raymond Chandler and such, then this should be catnip for you. The narration by veteran Edoardo Ballerini was excellent throughout.
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  • Donna
    January 1, 1970
    David Baldacci is one of my most read authors. He writes in a genre that used to be all I read. He does so many things well. Lately however, it seems like his books are a hit or miss. He writes characters that are unique and quirky in their own way. He also can pour creativity into the plot with some satisfying twists. I like all of those things. Overall, I liked this one. He took a stab at writing historical fiction. I appreciated that.....BUT!!! Two things. One is the dialogue.....it felt unre David Baldacci is one of my most read authors. He writes in a genre that used to be all I read. He does so many things well. Lately however, it seems like his books are a hit or miss. He writes characters that are unique and quirky in their own way. He also can pour creativity into the plot with some satisfying twists. I like all of those things. Overall, I liked this one. He took a stab at writing historical fiction. I appreciated that.....BUT!!! Two things. One is the dialogue.....it felt unrealistic. That was annoying. It could have been the narrator of the audio because the narrator could not do female voices at all. It was just awkward. I really wanted to believe it but I just couldn't get there. Secondly, the MC. He was likable, but he felt like a cliche for this genre. Overly handsome guy. Girls falling all over him. Sleeping with them all. Just got out of prison but has a strong moral compass. And of course, he finds all the answers and he manages to save the day. Whatever. Not a deal breaker, but I wanted to love this one. So 3 stars.
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  • Tony Nielsen
    January 1, 1970
    David Baldacci introduces us to a new character and an era which he doesn't often visit. The character's name is Archer, and the year is 1949.Following war service Archer was imprisoned in Cardegrock for a crime he didn't commit. On release he's sent on parole to a small town called Poca, with a "don'ts" list as long as your arm. Archer is a resourceful guy but even he becomes perplexed by the complications he encounters in Poca.Eager to gain employment and set himself on a new course Archer is David Baldacci introduces us to a new character and an era which he doesn't often visit. The character's name is Archer, and the year is 1949.Following war service Archer was imprisoned in Cardegrock for a crime he didn't commit. On release he's sent on parole to a small town called Poca, with a "don'ts" list as long as your arm. Archer is a resourceful guy but even he becomes perplexed by the complications he encounters in Poca.Eager to gain employment and set himself on a new course Archer is given the task of collecting a debt for local high flying businessman Hank Pittleman. What could go wrong ? Plenty, as it turns out. Archer is also answerable to the enigmatic parole officer Miss Crabtree.The plot thickens quickly as Archer sets about tackling his task of delivering the debt back to Hank Pittleman for which he has already been partly paid. Before he knows it a murder happens in Poca and Archer is an easy person to pin it on. This is a new adventure for David Baldacci readers and well worth your reading time.
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  • Deb Jones
    January 1, 1970
    This standalone that introduces the character, Aloysius Archer, feels like it may well be the beginning of a series -- something that would please this reader to no end!Set in post-WWII America, Archer is sent by the Department of Prisons to a town in the middle of nowhere to serve his three years of parole. He has a few dollars in his pocket and the suit of clothes he wore to prison and that's about it except for his worn hat, something which he thinks every man should wear.Is Archer ready for This standalone that introduces the character, Aloysius Archer, feels like it may well be the beginning of a series -- something that would please this reader to no end!Set in post-WWII America, Archer is sent by the Department of Prisons to a town in the middle of nowhere to serve his three years of parole. He has a few dollars in his pocket and the suit of clothes he wore to prison and that's about it except for his worn hat, something which he thinks every man should wear.Is Archer ready for Poca City, or is the question is Poca City ready for Archer? His only aim is to maintain his freedom and begin to live his life. The ex-con isn't there for 24 hours before he's offered a job by a well-to-do "gentlemen;" to repossess a car who which this gentleman holds the promissory note. From there, the action doesn't stop for Archer, with twists and turns he couldn't have imagined coming his way.
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