Upcoming: “The Finisher” by David Baldacci (Macmillan)

BaldacciD-FinisherUKI’m a big fan of David Baldacci’s thrillers – be they his stand-alone novels, the King And Maxwell series, or (my favourite) the Camel Club novels, I have enjoyed every novel of his that I’ve read. It should be no wonder, therefore, that ever since I read Absolute Power (yes, the novel that was adapted into a movie starring Clint Eastwood), I have pre-ordered each of his novels as soon as I spot them on Amazon/Waterstone’s/Barnes & Noble. True, I’ve been lax in the past couple of years about keeping on top of things (I have yet to read either of his Will Robie novels, for example), but he remains one of my favourite thriller authors. He’s certainly, one of my favourite authors of the genre who is still producing novels at a prodigious rate (Vince Flynn has sadly passed away, and Kyle Mills seems to be writing less and less…). James Patterson doesn’t count, because he is to thrillers what Brandon Sanderson is to Fantasy.

Given my interest in Baldacci’s work, therefore, I was very surprised to learn that he’s turned his hand to YA fantasy. His next novel, The Finisher, looks like it’s going to be very different from his usual fare. And I must say, I’m rather looking forward to giving it a try. Here’s the UK synopsis…

Welcome to Wormwood: a place where curiosity is discouraged and no one has ever left. Until one girl, Vega Jane, discovers a map that suggests a mysterious world beyond the walls. A world with possibilities and creatures beyond her imagining. But she will be forced to fight for her freedom. And unravelling the truth may cost Vega her life.

BaldacciD-FinisherUSAnd the slightly longer US synopsis

Why would Quentin Herms flee into the Quag? There was nothing in the Quag except certain death.

Vega Jane has never left the village of Wormwood. But this isn’t unusual – nobody has ever left the village of Wormwood. At least not until Quentin Herms vanishes into the unknown.

Vega knows Quentin didn’t just leave – he was chased. And he’s left behind a very dangerous trail of clues that only she can decode.

The Quag is a dark forest filled with terrifying beasts and bloodthirsty Outliers. But just as deadly are the threats that exist within the walls of Wormwood. It is a place built on lies, where influential people are willing to kill to keep their secrets. Vega is determined to uncover the truth – but the closer she gets, the more she risks her life.

The Finisher is due to be published in the UK (Macmillan), and in the US (Scholastic) in early March 2014. His most recent novel for adults was King And Maxwell.

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