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The Simple Truth

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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  19,190 ratings  ·  418 reviews
As a young conscripted soldier, Rufus Harms was jailed for the brutal killings of a schoolgirl. Yet, after 25 hard years of incarceration, a stray letter from the US Army reveals new facts about the night of the murder.
Paperback, 506 pages
Published August 1st 2003 by Pan Publishing (first published 1998)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Suzanne
The first novel by this author they I've read, really enjoyed it. Felt very connected to Rufus and his plight. I all read more of this author for sure.
Captainslog
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heather
This story takes place in and around Washington DC. It centers around an old man who has spent the last 25 years of his life in a military prison for murder. He files an appeal (I won't tell you why), and a star clerk for the Supreme Court gets involved.

There are lots of twists and lots of suspense. There's murder, cover-up, romance, and everything else that David Baldacci is great at. If you've read anything else by him and liked it, you'll love this one.
Linda
Apr 03, 2010 Linda rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who love a tantilizing mystery
David B. has created a page turner in his novel SIMPLE TRUTH. A black man, Rufus, was attacked while in the Army and given a syringe of PCP. The attackers, we do not find out actually who they are until the last 20 pages, hope to kill him. Why? because he spends the Vietnam Era in the Army land side. They being "macho" think he deserves to die, for not seeing combat. He does not die but blacks out. He spends the rest of his life in an Army Prison. The book starts at the epoch when he asks for an ...more
Blair Spaulding
Good one from Baldacci! Kept me turning the pages.
Sam
This is a really good fast paced thriller packed full of conspiracy and intrigue as Rufus Harms tries to clear his name after spending 25 years behind bars, helped by John Fiske, whose brother got caught in the cross fire when he stumbles across Harms' case. There are lots of twists and turns that keep the story interesting and keep you guessing as to the motives and outcomes and the characters are well written and generally believable, although I still don't get why Harms' waited so long to try ...more
Jerry
Entertaining and suspenseful Grishamesque legal thriller!

"Truth" was our first novel by Baldacci, and a pleasant surprise indeed. From first learning that a long-imprisoned military convict is probably innocent of a young girl's murder, to the series of deaths the investigation into these old events precipitates, we can hardly wait to see what will happen next, not to mention "whodunit"! Supreme Court law clerk Michael Fiske gets in over his head when he begins to pursue the truth in the priso
...more
Jesse Whitehead
I usually find mystery/thriller books to be full of flat and unrealistic characters with poorly conceived stories. Realizing that most people who try out science fiction and fantasy -- my usual forte -- have the same complaints about those genres I decided to give a few of the more popular mysteries a try. I picked up a stack of books from a yard sale and started with the first one alphabetically.

This didn't do anything to dissuade from my opinions. The story was filled with useless details, rid
...more
Gyula
I do like a good thriller, especially with twists and turns. The first few pages of this book are so well written, that I found it promising. Reading further I was wondering if it was necessary to introduce so many characters in the beginning. Now I think it wasn’t. Some of them could appear later, and the first part of the book could be better paced.

Baldacci kept the secret hidden until the crisis, which was supposed to give suspense. Actually I found it out at the half of the book, so the fina
...more
Namita Sreekumar
Loved Baldacci's style of writing; for the simplicity of the language, especially because it revolves around law and justice. It is fast-paced with a little romance, action and suspense. He is, without doubt, one of the best 'political-thriller' authors I have come across! The Simple Truth is a page turner and a must-read.
Jim
David Baldacci is, in my view, on of the finest political-thriller writers today (and darn good apart from genre). His books keep me going much faster than many other enjoyable authors. The Simple Truth is an early work detailing foul deeds at a military prison that led to the death of a young girl and the incarceration of her soldier killer. Except, of course, the situation is not quite as simple as that, which begins to come to light when the prisoner receives a letter from the US Army that tr ...more
Atishay
David Baldacci is known for his page turning thrillers and un-putdownable fast reads. True. This is another one of them. But, there's a difference. This one is a Powerhouse
Never before since The Day of the Jackal has a thriller so impressed me. Why? Because the character development done is simply superb. The painful past, injuries and feelings portrayed by Baldacci through John Fiske are too spontaneous and human, making his character immediately realizable.
This is one book whose movie adapt
...more
Freya
Review on my blog Life as Freya

25 years later a letter arrives by mistake only to trigger an avalanche of memories. Rufus Harms recalls the events that led to the murder of a little girl that fateful night. He files an appeal in the Supreme Court and now his life is in danger.

Written by David Baldacci ‘The Simple Truth’ is a gripping novel. After graduation with BA honors in political science he attended law school and worked as a trial lawyer and even as a corporate lawyer. He has also written
...more
Phyllis
This is a page turner. The characters are (mostly) well defined, the suspense is real, it's well plotted, and it's fun. Okay, yet another government conspiracy book. I love that people can hold both the belief that the government can't do anything right and the belief that vast conspiracies exist at the highest levels. But, let's buy that and suspend belief for a while.

Read elsewhere for the plot summaries. Baldacci carries several plot lines, twisting them together only at the very end. Like Ag
...more
Margaret
Another freebie and just as bad as The Escape.
Formula for Baldacci book:
1. Tall, moody(= sensitive) male lead with a parent suffering dementia
2. Tall, over-achieving brother
3. Pretty girl as sidekick and for occasional Mills&Boon moments
4. Massive Bond-style conspiracy at the heart of a great US institution - preferably one that has been in place for decades without anyone noticing the problem
5. Wicked baddies who discuss all the criminal things they have done or plan to do on the phone. A
...more
Patricia
Michael Fiske is the current senior law clerk for Associate Justice Murphy of the U.S. Supreme Court. One day, in the mailroom, poring over new appeal submissions for his boss, he picks up a package that weighs far too little for an appeal and has no return address.

Opening it, he finds only two sheets of paper, a badly scrawled letter from a military prisoner by the name of Rufus Harms and a second sheet that is neatly typed, but unsigned. Glancing at the pages, he notices several names that are
...more
Maureen
I liked this book because it was a mystery.
It is very well written and an easy read. It is about a lawyer who sets out to clear a man who was sent to prison for a crime he did not commit. It certainly shows how the judicial system sometimes fails people. People are getting killed because of the research this lawyer is doing to find out the real truth.
Bill
Nov 14, 2007 Bill rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Suspense Fiction Lovers
David Baldacci's "The Simple Truth" was a good read. Good characters, suspense in the Richmond, VA and Washington D.C. area. I took 8th graders to D.C. and toured many of the locations. I recommend the book to suspense fiction lovers, and anyone interested in D.C.
Eric
My fourth Baldacci book and least favorite. Slow to develop, didn't really connect with the protagonist(s) and the big reveal at the end was anti-climactic.

Still, I enjoyed the other Baldacci's books that I read enough to compel me to try more.
Karen
Listened to this on audio in the car...Really liked it for entertainment value. I had not read Baldacci before & will be back for more. This was about Rufus Harms, a man convicted of murdering a little girl on an army base 25 years earlier who is not guilty. From prison he files an appeal to the supreme court not knowing there are several people who will go to great lengths to see he never gets his day in court. Enter Mike Fiske & Sara Evans, two Supreme Court Justice clerks, John Fiske, ...more
Sarah Smith
I absolutely, thoroughly enjoyed reading THE SIMPLE TRUTH by David Baldacci. Although I have never been a person who is interested in or drawn to reading novels that fall into the suspense/mystery genre, I am glad that I took a chance, stepped out of my comfort zone, and made THE SIMPLE TRUTH my first suspense thriller. THE SIMPLE TRUTH is the first novel by David Baldacci that I have ever read; however, I feel certain that it will not be my last. THE SIMPLE TRUTH was exquisitely written, superb ...more
Jim McCulloch
This is my second Baldacci read and a disappointment after reading one of his more current books. I know he grew as an author since writing this book but this is pretty marginal. Why?

It is riddled with POV (point of view) errors. Not just the occasional lapse. I estimate that nearly half the scenes contain two to four POV's. This "head hopping" makes the story difficult to understand as you are jolted between POV's. IF this book was professionally edited, the editor should be flipping hamburgers
...more
Papalodge
Arlington National Cemetary - For those who traced their history through the Book of Genesis and beyond, the bodies buried here could blame the existence of wars on the man called Cain and the mortal blow he struck his brother Abel.

The recurring theme in this story is 'talk to your brother'.

How very fine it must be to know that your loved one is in a better place..so comforting a notion.

Death as the beginning..with life more and less precious because of it.

Savage retaliations - heart pounding e
...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
This was the first Baldacci book I ever read. None of his others have been able to match this one for me.
Jen
This is my favorite Baldacci book.
Pat Edgar
David Baldacci never fails to deliver and this tense, fast-moving, intelligent legal thriller is no exception to the rule. Rufus Harms has already served 25 years of his life-term sentence for the brutal murder of a young child, an event of which he has only hazy memories. A letter from the army, and other emerging fragments of evidence, trigger something in his mind and help him to piece together the simple truth about what happened and set him on a quest to clear his name.

Although Rufus knows
...more
Manugw
NO FLAWS IN THIS ONE

The story is about a black military con who is seeking justice after serving 25 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. After receiving a letter he discovers that he is innocent and files and appeal with the US Supreme Court because he is well aware that he was a victim of a conspiracy of a group that will do the impossible to cover it up, this appeal is found by a clerk who gets so astounded that begins an investigation on his own bending the standard procedures of t
...more
Martip
Who doesn't love a story with a hulking beast of a man unjustly imprisoned for 25 years? Reminiscent of King's "The Green Mile's" hulking character--John Coffey or Steinbeck's Lenny of "The Grapes of Wrath," Baldacci's Rufus Harms and his imprisonment draws you into the question, "Did Rufus or didn't Rufus kill an innocent, young girl?" Cue two brothers, one a clerk of the Supreme Court and the other, a practicing criminal lawyer. Baldacci attracted my attention from the start with his descripti ...more
Bill
I got lost in this one. David Baldacci wrote what could have been a very good book but there were so many characters with similar -- or not different enough -- names that I kept forgetting who was who.

There were some very interesting characters and some really interesting information on the Supreme Court but I felt lost in this book.

There are too many moments where things just were not plausible. I am not giving anything away of great importance here so stick with me.

There are people with motive
...more
Nani
This is my third David Baldacci book and I’m still impressed enough with his writing and the quality/believability of his stories to read more. That being said, The Simple Truth is definitely number three of the three I’ve read. I prefer my mysteries to be a-religious and at times this book was just a little preachy, but considering that the main character is a devout Christian and I knew that before started reading, I won’t hold it against the book. I just had a problem accepting some of the im ...more
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Amazingly Gripping !!!! 2 24 Oct 02, 2013 01:07AM  
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David Baldacci published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996. A major motion picture adaptation followed, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. In total, David has published 28 novels, all of which have been national and international bestsellers; several have been adapted for film and television. His novels have been translated into more than 45 languages and sold in more than 80 cou ...more
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