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The Simple Truth

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  22,595 Ratings  ·  495 Reviews
John Fiske is a hard-driving former cop who defends the very people he once put away. Sara Evans is the sharp young attorney with a cottage on the Potomac and everything going her way. Brought together by the case of a convicted killer, they desperately try to unravel a secret that reaches into Washington's power base: one simple truth that is killing everyone who gets too ...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 680 pages
Published February 1st 1999 by Thorndike Press (first published November 18th 1998)
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Christine Green I thoroughly enjoyed it and couldn't put it down. Finished over 700 pages in about 3 days. David Baldacci writes a damn good story.
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Feb 15, 2016 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
The first novel by this author they I've read, really enjoyed it. Felt very connected to Rufus and his plight. I will read more of this author for sure. This is a prolific author I really don't know much about. Maybe my friends will have to help me fill in the blanks!
Jul 09, 2011 Captainslog rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 10, 2007 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 03, 2010 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  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
John Bohnert
Mar 01, 2016 John Bohnert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm really enjoying reading these books by David Baldacci.
A well crafted fast moving treat it's my second read for the week.
I have been away all this week and read "Last Man Standing" and feel that David Baldacci has raised the Bar a level with this book we had interesting twists and one quite big surprise in the finale I would recommend this Book I f you want a top Mystery thriller after all that i will have to say 5 stars
Apr 20, 2015 Sam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, crime
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
Aug 17, 2015 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read one other novel by David Baldacci, Divine Justice, one of the Camel Club novels. This was a much better book. Browsing reviews of this book by other readers I get the impression that there are elements of this novel that are common to some of his other books as well. I can understand why that might well be annoying to readers who have read lots of an author's novels. But as someone who is dealing with just this one novel, I'm going to talk mostly just about this book.

I liked it an awfu
Jul 20, 2010 Jerry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jun 16, 2011 Gyula rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
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
Namita Sreekumar
Nov 27, 2014 Namita Sreekumar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Susan Grace
Aug 30, 2015 Susan Grace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
David Baldacci is a master storyteller! Always great characters, plenty of action, much intrigue and interesting politics! Clearly, I am a fan! Another great read!
Nov 04, 2010 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 29, 2008 Atishay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 03, 2016 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not his best work. A 3---------.
Oct 28, 2015 Abhishek rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s never a bad time to read a straight forward crime thriller. Sometimes that is the only thing you may want to read. Such was my plight when I picked up The Simple Truth by David Baldacci and the book did not disappoint. Filled with clichés, intertwined with action and romance, The Simple Truth has the right elements in the right pages to make it an entertaining read. David Baldacci gradually brings in all the key characters in the opening pages – a convicted murderer, a well-recognised Supre ...more
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
Feb 24, 2015 Phyllis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 14, 2015 Margaret rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
May 28, 2016 Mick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, maybe 3.5 stars.

The story started out intriguing, although it seemed to drag a little here and there. I'm not a big fan of the damsel-in-distress scenario, especially when it's not central to the plot, and Sara seemed one of these, her bravery only coming through in small, infrequent incidences. On the other hand, I liked John Fiske, the proverbial knight in shining honor. Props also for the black homicide detective who is drawn in such a way that if you weren't told he was a black man, yo
May 26, 2008 Maureen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Satrajit Sanyal
Nov 16, 2015 Satrajit Sanyal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
he Simple Truth is about an ex-con serving a life sentence in a military prison for a murder that he did not commit. As is typical, but completely acceptable, in this type of book there is the expected coverup and mix of unexpected bad guys. I won't go into more details about the book, as it would simply be reiterating what so many other reviewers have already done.
I found this book to be a very entertaining read, with pretty good characters depth, and enough plot twists to keep things interesti
Nov 14, 2007 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  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.
Dec 18, 2012 Eric rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 29, 2015 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 21, 2013 Sheila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are already thousands of ratings, so my statement will be short.
I really liked the story, although The Simple Truth took a long confusing trip to getting there.
Diana Nagy
Mar 11, 2016 Diana Nagy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
David Baldacci has never let me down. When I first started reading his books, I wasn't sure that I would enjoy the subject area he wrote about. However, once I started reading, I found that every single book thereafter I simply flew through and absolutely loved each and every book! The Simple Truth was no exception and since I haven't read Baldacci in a year or more, I got a bit of a reminder of how much I loved his books when I read this one. This one was literally amazing! I couldn't put it do ...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
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David Baldacci writes because he can't imagine not writing. He published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996; one year later, it was adapted for film, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. In total, David has published 30 novels for adults; all have been national and international bestsellers, and several have been adapted for film and television. His novels have been translated into ...more
More about David Baldacci...

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“Small mistakes tend to lead to large ones. Ours is a lifetime appoinment, and all you have is your reputation. Once it's gone, it doesn't comeback.” 82 likes
“Depending on the situation, sometimes you can know a person better in ten minutes than someone you have crossed paths with all your life.” 54 likes
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