Archer has been released from jail on parole in Paco City (a fictional town in a southern U.S. state). He meets rich businessman Hank Pittleman, who offers him a job, collecting a debt from Lucas Tuttle, a local farmer. As Archer proceeds, he discovers that it is not as simple as it seems, and when a man is murdered in the hotel where he’s staying, he becomes the chief suspect.
“He wore a threadbare single-breasted brown Victory suit with peak lapels that he’d bought from the Sears, Roebuck catalogue before heading off to war.”
“Wars don’t change how people are, Archer. They just kill a bunch ‘a folks and when it’s over, people go back to being how they always were. Most good, some not so good.”
“He rose and was looking out the window when an idea occurred to him. At the same moment, he saw the dull, mustard-colored Hudson Hornet with the brown stripe and chrome side light parked at the curb.”
“Tuttle had on a checkered sport coat, contrasting charcoal slacks, and black and white leather lace-up shoes. His bow tie held a pattern of black-and-white swirls. His crown-dented fedora covered the snowy hair.”~Quotes from “One Good Deed” by David Baldacci
Lots of cliches here, but a satisfying read. The plot is well-thought out, and I think Archer will be a well-liked character in subsequent books in this series. It’s good for a distracting read, and I will probably try the next one in the series, for the 1950s atmosphere and for the fascinating and detailed descriptions of everyone’s wardrobe choices.
the opinion of others:
- APNews: “Author David Baldacci is a master storyteller, and he invokes the classic feel of the post-war 1940s evident in the timeless literature and film of that time. A sympathetic hero and a cast of mysterious citizens in a small town summon familiar themes one expects in a Baldacci novel, and he once again doesn’t disappoint.”
- Kirkus: “Archer will be a great series character for fans of crime fiction. Let’s hope the cigarettes don’t kill him.”
- New York Journal of Books: “One Good Deed is filled with the aroma, sounds, hopes, and fears of post World War II America. Insightful and entertaining, Baldacci has captured the time and events perfectly with authenticity, beauty and flawless prose. Archer is a terrific anti-hero with plenty of longevity and originality built into him for future books. The supporting cast is just as memorable. Gripping from beginning to end.”