Army Special Agent John Puller is just returning from a little R&R when his father summons him. These days, retired General Puller resides in a medical facility, his mind drifting in and out of reality. He has received a letter from his sister, Betsy, and even with his diminished sanity, he can tell that something is wrong. And he knows his son is the right man for this assignment.
Betsy has a house near the beach in Paradise, Florida, but when Agent Puller tries to reach her by phone, he gets no answer. He has a few days before he needs to report back to duty, so he goes down to check on her. Unfortunately, when he gets there, he discovers that Aunt Betsy is dead. While the police don’t seem to find her death suspicious, Puller does. And once he realizes he is being followed, he is even more convinced that she was murdered. If he can’t get the cops to do something, then he’ll do it himself.
"Teeming with David Baldacci’s characteristic roller coaster pacing, THE FORGOTTEN turns its own pages. Be forewarned: you’re in for a wild ride."
Of course, in his snooping around, Puller runs afoul of the local police, angers a group of gang members, and draws the attention of his own employer, the Army. As if he didn’t have enough to worry about, he encounters what only could be described as a giant, who might be on his side, but he is reserving judgment on that until later.
It becomes very clear from the start that all is not well in Paradise. Someone is running a highly profitable business --- and a highly illegal one --- selling human beings. But who? More to the point, does it have anything to do with Aunt Betsy’s death? Puller aims to find out. A giant named Mecho appears to be doing the same thing. Trust is a bit scarce between them, but maybe they can be of mutual benefit. As Puller gets closer to the truth, more roadblocks spring up in his path, and now the forecast is showing tropical storm Danielle bearing down on Paradise.
One-star General Julie Carson catches wind of Puller’s inquiries about the men he suspected were following him. Luckily, she’s a friend of his and decides to travel to Paradise to see what she can do to help. Things didn’t sound too good over the phone, and the CID agent likely needs someone to cover his flank, especially when the stakes are so high. And especially when he’s been getting mixed signals from the cops. Whose side are they on? Couple the impending storm with Puller’s recently acquired enemies, and he’s going to need a lot of help and even more luck in order to survive this case.
Agent John Puller, who made his first appearance in 2011's ZERO DAY, is a formidable yet deeply human character. His life is far from perfect, but still he carries on with humor and passion. That is never more evident than with this surprising ending. Teeming with David Baldacci’s characteristic roller coaster pacing, THE FORGOTTEN turns its own pages. Be forewarned: you’re in for a wild ride.
Reviewed by Kate Ayers on November 21, 2012