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The Simple Truth

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4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  23,689 Ratings  ·  530 Reviews
Twenty five years ago, Rufus Harms was convicted of a murder he believes he committed. But when his memory is jogged by a letter from the army, he has a shocking realization: he's not guilty. From prison, Rufus secretly files an appeal with the Supreme Court, unaware that the real killers are onto him. But the long-time convict knows he's running out of time when his ...more
Paperback, 544 pages
Published November 1st 1999 by Grand Central Publishing (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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Suzanne
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!
Captainslog
Jul 09, 2011 Captainslog rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heather
Jul 10, 2007 Heather rated it really liked it
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.
Jim
Aug 17, 2015 Jim rated it really liked it
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
...more
Linda
Apr 03, 2010 Linda rated it it was amazing
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
Rod
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
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.
Linda Munro
Oct 02, 2016 Linda Munro rated it it was amazing
I became acquainted with David Baldacci through goodreads.com. I have only read his more recent books, until now. I found this novel at our library’s recent annual book sale.

This novel opens with an Oscar Wilde quote: “The truth is rarely pure and never simple.” This quote is an accurate indication of how this book plays out.

Rufus Harms is in a military prison, where he has spent the last quarter century of his life. Rufus’ brother Josh is about the only person to visit him, and one day he sne
...more
Bruce Perrin
Sep 16, 2016 Bruce Perrin rated it it was amazing
The Simple Truth is anything but simple – in the telling anyway

The Simple Truth is the story of Rufus Harms, who recovers his memory 25 years after being convicted of killing a young girl. That memory, however, proves his innocence, touching off a series of events involving smuggled documents and clandestine meetings, chases and gun battles, tense emotional drama, and yes, more murder.

Balducci does a good job, keeping the tension and suspense high. While those seeking to aid Harms in clearing hi
...more
Jerry
Jul 20, 2010 Jerry rated it really liked it
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
May 11, 2010 Jesse Whitehead rated it it was ok
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
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
...more
Jim
Nov 04, 2010 Jim rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Sam
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
Atishay
Nov 29, 2008 Atishay rated it it was amazing
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
Namita Sreekumar
Nov 27, 2014 Namita Sreekumar rated it really liked it
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.
Maureen
May 26, 2008 Maureen rated it really liked it
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.
Eric
Dec 18, 2012 Eric rated it liked it
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.
Bill
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.
Sheila
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.
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.
Susan Grace
Aug 30, 2015 Susan Grace rated it really liked it
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!
David
Jan 03, 2016 David rated it liked it
Not his best work. A 3---------.
Peter Jochinger
May 26, 2016 Peter Jochinger rated it really liked it
Another entertaining read
Jen
Nov 15, 2007 Jen rated it really liked it
Shelves: highly-recommend
This is my favorite Baldacci book.
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
Huma
Jun 19, 2013 Huma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baldacci
This is one of the earlier books of Baldacci. This book is based on true events. Like everything he writes, I loved to read this one too. It's a fast-paced thriller and you can see glimpses of many crafts here that Baldacci perfects in his future books. I think the success of Baldacci is in the depth he gives his characters; whether it is an assassin in his new series, or the crime solving duo of former secret agents. Fans of Grisham-esque thrillers will love this one.

Rufus Harms has been in pr
...more
Donna Shaw
Oct 27, 2016 Donna Shaw rated it really liked it
Rufus Harms was guilty to the murder of a child while in the army and has been in prison for 25 years. He receives a letter from the army that brings back the memory of how the murder occurred. How contacts his attorney and this story takes off. It includes attorneys, family, the FBI and the Supreme Court. Bodies start piling up and you aren't sure who's responsible. This is a good read that includes a love story, complicated people and tears at the end.
Charice Lind mehring
Oct 31, 2016 Charice Lind mehring rated it it was amazing
Shelves: david-baldacci
Another excellent story. Twists and turns that keep you guessing throughout the book. Just when you think you have it figured out another twist comes along with another revelation as to who is involved. Well written and difficult to put down.
Mary Beth
Oct 26, 2016 Mary Beth rated it it was amazing
Twenty five years ago, Rufus Harms was convicted of a murder he believes he committed. But when his memory is jogged by a letter from the army, he has a shocking realization: he's not guilty.
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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
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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.” 86 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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