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Baldacci Takes New Direction in Latest Novel

Since the release of his first novel, Absolute Power in 1996, David Baldacci has established himself as a master of the political thriller. But the bestselling author has taken a new writing direction with his latest book One Summer (Grand Central Publishing, 352pgs), exploring family drama; a genre he experimented with early in his career. In an interview with Reuters, the writer discussed his experience crafting this sentimental story: “In some ways it was liberating. I didn’t have to lay out a lot of red herrings and clues. I could delve more deeply into the characters. Obviously, it’s a different sort of genre. But those sorts of stories were what I started with. I wrote short stories for 10 years before I became a thriller writer, and their themes were more like the themes explored in One Summer.”

The novel centers around Jack Armstrong an Iraq and Afghanistan war vet trying to take care of his children in the wake of his wife’s deadly accident, while struggling with his own serious illness. Baldacci revealed that the idea for the story came to him during a milestone event in his own family. “I was at church for my son’s confirmation, and I’d gotten there early because my wife had asked me to save some seats for friends and family, so I had some time to think. I had a lot of things going on with my family at the time. My dad had passed away a year earlier. My mom was ill. My daughter was getting ready to head off to college. And I was thinking about my mortality, and this story hit me and unspooled before me – the premise, the plot, the theme. I had to write it, and spent the next three months doing just that.”

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