The 6:20 Man
By: David Baldacci
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: 07/12/2022
Audio Narrators: 🎧 Zachary Webber, Christine Lakin, Mela Lee
Format: Hardcover, e-book, Audiobook
My Rating: 5 Stars + +
A cryptic murder pulls a former soldier turned financial analyst deep into the corruption and menace that prowl beneath the opulent world of finance, in #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci's new thriller.
Every day without fail, Travis Devine puts on a cheap suit, grabs his faux-leather briefcase, and boards the 6:20 commuter train to Manhattan, where he works as an entry-level analyst at the city's most prestigious investment firm. In the mornings, he gazes out the train window at the lavish homes of the uberwealthy, dreaming about joining their ranks. In the evenings, he listens to the fiscal news on his phone, already preparing for the next grueling day in the cutthroat realm of finance. Then one morning Devine's tedious routine is shattered by an anonymous email: She is dead.
Sara Ewes, Devine's coworker and former girlfriend, has been found hanging in a storage room of his office building--presumably a suicide, at least for now--prompting the NYPD to come calling on him. If that wasn't enough, before the day is out, Devine receives another ominous visit, a confrontation that threatens to dredge up grim secrets from his past in the army unless he participates in a clandestine investigation into his firm. This treacherous role will take him from the impossibly glittering lives he once saw only through a train window, to the darkest corners of the country's economic halls of power . . . where something rotten lurks. And apart from this high-stakes conspiracy, there's a killer out there with their own agenda, and Devine is the bull's-eye.
"Reading Baldacci is like listening to a flawlessly preformed symphony." —Forbes
"The Story Behind the Story"
Hoping this will be the start of a NEW series! TRAVIS DEVINE is utterly DIVINE in Baldacci's latest action thriller, THE 6:20 MAN! A massive fan of the author, I would not miss a book. Travis has been added to my favorite BALDACCI list of leading men. 😎
NYT bestselling author David Baldacci delivers a TIMELY, ACTION-PACKED, COMPLEX, KILLER crime adventure thriller featuring a former soldier-turned-financial analyst who gets pulled deep into the corruption and menace of the financial world of DARK MONEY.
You may think this is a "Girl on the Train," "Rear Window," a Ryan, Reacher, and Bourne action thriller/movie, or a Bernie Madoff Ponzi financial scheme— THINK AGAIN! It is so much more—could be ripped from today's headlines.
Greed, sex, lies, money-laundering, conspiracy, and MURDER.
Former U.S. Army Ranger Travis Devine takes the 6:20 commuter train to work daily. He despises his job at Cowl and Comely, the NY firm where he is an investment analyst. He's one of many "Burners," or interns, who work more than 80 hours weekly for low pay.
Devine wants his father's approval but has always been in the shadow of his highly successful siblings. His father did not want his son to serve his country. Devine has a tormented, dark past and feels he deserves to be punished.
Devine gets up early to work out and is on the 6:20 a.m. train to Manhattan from Mount Kisco daily, where he has a shared townhouse with much younger twentysomething roommates: a law student who recently graduated, a Russian computer hacker (he is so funny/loved the audio) and a woman who runs a successful online dating service.
On the morning train, the route passes some of the country's most expensive and affluent small towns and enclaves of homes. One of those homes is the home or mansion of Cowl, the boss, where the Burners are making him rich.
There is an excellent view of the pool of Cowl's home. All the guys on the train are glued to the windows. The sexy beautiful woman is quite the exhibitionist (or so it appears) taking her morning swim with her little bikini or nothing at all—later naked. Jaws are dropping. She is quite the beauty, but Travis wonders what her story is? Is she a paid girlfriend of Cowls? He has many. She appears unaware anyone is watching.
By the time he gets to the office, he receives a cryptic text. It is anonymous and untraceable. "She is dead." None of his fellow Burners received it. "She" is Sara Ewes, a colleague with whom he had once had sex once, and they dated for a short period. He would like to have a relationship, but she called it off. They kept the dating secret since it was not allowed at the company and grounds for dismissal.
Age 28, with a great career, brilliant, she hanged herself on the 52nd floor from one of the rafters in the building, and the janitor found her. Been there for six years MBA from Columbia. But why? Was it a suicide or murder?
Shortly thereafter, Travis receives a strange visitor. Emerson Campbell Retired Army. He knows why Travis left the Army. He is with the Department of Homeland Security in a joint operation with the Department of Defense. Office of Special projects. 500 operatives.
He wants him to be a PLANT inside the company. Find out what is going on. Money laundering and more. They need proof. This is a way for Travis to redeem himself. He does not have a choice, or they will turn him over to CID. They will send him to USDB" (US Disciplinary Barracks) for an act he had committed while in the Army.
On top of this, someone is setting him up for the murders since he had been dating the one girl that turned up pregnant and had aborted the baby, so he had a motive. Devine is a suspect, but the retired Army general protects him—for a price. Devine must help them unravel the secrets at the company, and if he refuses, he knows what will happen. No choice. Now he has a second job. It was serving his country once more and keeping himself out of prison.
In the undercover investigation, the former Ranger and Army scout knew that was something off about the lovely naked woman in the pool, who turns out to be Michelle. They need to join forces to discover what is going on with Cowl. Will she be the next murder victim?
Next, more bodies turn up dead. Another girl who works there, Jennifer, has been seen having sex with Cowl. Then another girl's parents. The list dead now ranks up to five. These people are getting too close, and they are eliminated.
He turns to his Russian hacker roommate for help and the online dating gal with mad tech skills. A journalist is sneaking around wanting answers, and his boss is getting suspicious. The closer he gets to the truth, the more danger he is in.
EVERYONE IS A SUSPECT!!!!
OMG! I loved this book. Baldacci is once again at the "Top of his game." He keeps you guessing to the final twist. Jaw-dropping twists to the end.
This high-powered, fascinating, multi-layered, action-packed crime thriller showcases the many dangers and far-reaching. People you least expect and the collateral damage. You cannot trust anyone! You may be a chess piece in this web of lies, conspiracy, and money laundering. As in this case, it is multi-murders. One by one.
One thing you can be assured—if anyone gets too close and learns too much, they are DEAD and ELIMINATED before you have time to catch your next breath (and covered up).
The audiobook was exceptional! Narrator Zachary Webber delivered an award-winning performance. (My favorite). His role as Will (Russian roommate was superb and funny). Christine Lakin and Mela Lee also had a satisfactory performance for the women characters, but Zachary was the STAR OF THE SHOW.
As David references in this video, over 40 trillion dollars of dark money is out there. What are they doing with it? Buying influence and securing their position. How are they doing it and getting by with it? The 6:20 Man explores the rigged financial world and the fallout.
If you have read the book Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer (back in 2016) plus other movies and books, a look at the trillion US dollars stolen from all over the world by white-collar criminals, mostly owners or CEOs of banks and corporations. The money is then laundered through offshore accounts and hidden in Western banks and funds.
From books, movies, news, and political campaigns. The Dark Money is hidden, and there is no accountability or tracing. The big guys control the world, and the government is left in the dark. I loved this book so much to see it from the inside out.
Action-packed, get this exceptional new thriller on your TBR list. The first financial one by the prolific author. Hope we see more of Travis Devine soon!
Check out Baldacci's FASCINATING "Behind the Scenes" Video above. I purchased the e-book, audiobook, and hardcover for my home library. A CLASSIC.
@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks
My Rating: 5 Stars ✨✨✨✨✨
About the Author
DAVID BALDACCI a global #1 bestselling author, and one of the world's favorite storytellers. His books are published in over forty-five languages and in more than eighty countries, with 150 million copies sold worldwide. His works have been adapted for both feature film and television. David Baldacci is also the cofounder, along with his wife, of the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America. Still a resident of his native Virginia, he invites you to visit him at DavidBaldacci.com and his foundation at WishYouWellFoundation.org