Total Control is one of David Baldacci's earlier books, which was published in 1996. It starts with a plane that goes down unexpectedly, leading the FBI to suspect foul play. The plane was carrying Jason Archer, who worked for a firm named Triton Global. Now, Jason's wife, Sidney Archer, is left widowed with a young daughter whom she must raise by herself. The situation is already difficult for her, but it's soon going to become worse because of allegations of corporate espionage against Jason. The FBI agent in charge of the investigation is Lee Sawyer, and Sidney knows that she ought to tell him everything she knows but, afraid of being implicated in this conspiracy and separated from her daughter, she holds back certain things.
The truth is that Jason didn't actually get on that plane; he sent someone else in his place while he flew to Seattle. He shows up later selling company secrets to a competitor. Of course, Sidney doesn't know any of this and starts investigating things herself which eventually leads to her being suspected in a triple homicide.
This is a great plot which has something for everyone—there's a little bit of breaking and entering, an encrypted computer disk that must be cracked, some blackmail and, of course, murder. As usual, David Baldacci keeps the reader hooked from beginning to end with his fast-paced, action-packed plot that features a gutsy female protagonist and an upright, dependable FBI agent who is as determined as a bulldog to get to the bottom of things.
David Baldacci was born in Virginia and went to school at Virginia Commonwealth University where he studied Political Science. He went on to study law at the University of Virginia's School of Law and became a practicing lawyer for nine years in Washington D.C. His first book, Absolute Power, was published in 1996 and made into a movie directed by Clint Eastwood, starring Eastwood himself and Gene Hackman. Since then, Baldacci has published twenty-five books, including two children's books. He was voted one of the 51 most beautiful people in the world in 1997 by People magazine. He is married with two teenage children and lives in Virginia.
Sidney Archer has the
world—a husband she loves, a job at which she excels, and a cherished young
daughter. Then, as a plane plummets into the Virginia countryside, everything
changes. Suddenly, there is no one whom Sidney Archer can trust.
Jason Archer is
a rising young executive at Triton Global, the world’s leading technology
conglomerate. Determined to give his family the best of everything, Archer has
secretly entered into a deadly game of cat and mouse. He is about to disappear—leaving
behind a wife who must sort out his lies from his truths, an air-crash
investigation team that’s suspicious as to why the plane he was ticketed on
suddenly fell from the sky, and a veteran FBI agent who wants to know it all.
From Seattle to Washington, D.C., from New Orleans to Maine, the hunt for Jason
Archer follows a trail as complex as the world he lived and worked in—a world
of enormously powerful computers, titanic financial standoffs, artificial intelligence,
the Internet, and a multi-million-dollar takeover deal.
With brilliant minds
colliding, ruthless men waging battles of intimidation, rainmakers going
toe-to-toe with killers, and security specialists making a fortune trying to
plug the holes, the startling truth behind Jason Archer's disappearance
explodes into a sinister plot with the murder of the country’s single most
powerful individual. And soon Archer’s wife, Sidney, aided by the relentless
and sharp-eyed FBI agent Lee Sawyer, will plunge straight into the violence
that is leaving behind a trail of dead bodies and shocking, exposed secrets.
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