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One Good Deed

(Archer #1)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  22,457 ratings  ·  2,056 reviews
The #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci introduces an unforgettable new character: Archer, a straight-talking former World War II soldier fresh out of prison for a crime he didn't commit.

It's 1949. When war veteran Aloysius Archer is released from Carderock Prison, he is sent to Poca City on parole with a short list of do's and a much longer list of don'ts:
Hardcover, Large Print, 432 pages
Published July 23rd 2019 by Grand Central Publishing
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Barbara I don’t believe Archer is African-American. It’s 1949, and he moves about Poca City way too freely for that era, seems to have no problems eating at t…moreI don’t believe Archer is African-American. It’s 1949, and he moves about Poca City way too freely for that era, seems to have no problems eating at the restaurants, checking into the hotel, or befriending the town folk. I was frustrated not knowing the state where the story is set, but he talks frequently about how dry and dusty the place is, so my guess is Arkansas or Oklahoma maybe. (less)
Sue Yes, it gets better, but this is definitely not the Baldacci we loved from earlier books. I think he was trying something new and different, but it on…moreYes, it gets better, but this is definitely not the Baldacci we loved from earlier books. I think he was trying something new and different, but it only gets mixed results in my opinion.(less)
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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David Baldacci ventures into historical crime fiction with style with his new protagonist, Aloysius Archer, set in 1949 in the drought stricken small Southern Poca City. It begins with Archer being released on parole from Carderock prison for a crime he didn't commit and arriving in Poca with a distinct giveaway prison shuffle. He is armed with a list of things he must not do, such as don't go to bars, drink alcohol, associate with loose women, and a smaller list of things he must do, like repor ...more
Jim Fonseca
DNF – did not finish so I did not give it a rating.

This book was a gift; I don’t usually read NYT best-seller thrillers – not my genre.

World War II veteran Archer has just been released from prison -- he’s a good guy so we know this was a mix-up. He’s a man of few words; the strong silent type. He won medals in the Italian campaign but he was “just doing my duty, ma’am.” He needs work so he hooks up with the wealthiest man in town, re-possessing a car for him. Archer is also hitting on two good-
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5000-2019
In One Good Deed Baldacci takes us back to 1949 and the town of Poca City, USA. Historical mystery no less! Is this a new direction for this author? And is this going to be a new series?

I hope so because the main character, Aloysius Archer, is excellent and definitely worth following up. As the book commences he has just left prison having served a few years for a crime he did not commit. He is young, smart and good looking and probably a bit too nice for his own good. Prison has worn some of t
David Putnam
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
When I heard the premise of this novel I really wanted to read it. I looked forward to it. When it finally arrived in the mail I put all other books aside. The book was everything I hoped for. The historical setting, the characters, the story line, it was great. The book was headed for five solid stars.
Then it started to deteriorate just a tad.
First, I didn’t go for the dialogue tag all the characters used with the main character. They said his name, “Archer,” while addressing him. It might’ve w
Aug 07, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This story is a complete and thorough literary waste. 0 of 10 stars
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
In his latest standalone thriller, David Baldacci captivates readers while taking them on a voyage back in time. It’s 1949 and the War is over, as is the short time Aloysius Archer has spent in prison. Heading west, Archer settles in Poca City to serve out his parole. Seeking employment, Archer is approached by Hank Pittleman to help him retrieve a debt. Archer seems happy to help, as long as his parole officer considers this above board. However, as Archer soon discovers, the debtor is anything ...more
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this stand alone by author David Baldacci an d it made me realise I really must read more of his work soon. Nicely written and the 640 pages flew by as I enjoyed the twists and turns in this entertaining read. Great characters, especially the lead one Aloysius Archer who I would love to read in other books if the author decided.
It's 1949 and war veteran Aloysius Archer is released from Carderock Prison, he is sent to Poca City on parole with a short list of rules to follow to ke
Aug 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, overdrive
This was my first experience with this author but, since this book is either a standalone or the start of a new series, I thought it was safe to begin here. Based on this book I am not interested in reading anything else of his. This is ersatz 1940s noir featuring Archer, a WWII veteran and ex-con. The dialogue is really horrible. No one has ever talked like these people. The police procedures are completely irrational including sharing facts with suspects, questioning suspects in each other’s p ...more
I have read David Baldacci’s books off and on over the years. I discovered this book’s writing style is a bit different than his usual writing style.

The story is a historical fiction set in 1949 in a small Southern town. The protagonist is Aloysius Archer a WWII veteran and a recent parolee. The book is interesting and well written. The plot twists and turns. The characters are interesting. I think this book would make a good series. I was left wanting to know what happens next with Archer. The
Louise Wilson
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Aloysius Archer has been released from prison, for a crime he did not commit, and sent out of the of the way to a southern town to await his parole. He's only been there for twenty four hours and he's already been in lots of trouble. He had been instructed to meet his parole officer, Ernestine Crabtree, but he gets caught up in a feud between two local businessmen when he had went into the local bar. Hank Pittleman had paid him to collect a debt from his rival and this leads him into all sorts o ...more
K.J. McGillick
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved the way Baldacci takes you back to 1940’s and you believe you are there. Mystery abounds
Jul 27, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a mediocre story for me. It was certainly out of the norm for a Baldacci book. The writing seemed stilted, especially during the conversations between characters. Way over descriptive when it came to the character's clothing. Who cares?! If his name was not on the cover I would have never guessed that he wrote this.

There were hints of this being the beginning of a new series. Not sure I will be reading any others if this is the case.
Jonathan K
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
While I don't typically make crime stories my first choice, I've read many others by this author and felt the 1949 time period was unique. Baldacci is a master when it comes to pacing, plot twists and momentum, and he delivers on all fronts. Written in third party similar to others from the time period, the reader is immersed, engaged and thrown curve balls. Add to that a recent paroled criminal who unlike most, lives with integrity, the makings for a great story unfold. While the basic story li ...more
David Baldacci introduces us to a new character, Aloysius Archer, in One Good Deed. The year is 1949 and Archer, an Army veteran, has just been released from Carderock Prison. He has been paroled to Poca City. We don't know why Archer was in prison or where Poca City is located. Somewhere in the south (United States). As a condition of his parole he is given a list of Do's (get a job) and Don't (go to bars, drink alcohol). Of course one of the first things Archer does after arriving in Poca City ...more
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Any time a book by one of my all-time favorite authors is released, it goes on my must-read list. And when it brings the promise of a new character, well, I immediately move it to the top; after all, it could be the start of something good.

Honestly, I don't know if the intent here is to launch a series featuring World War II veteran and newly released prison inmate Aloysius Archer; I do know that if it is, count me in. Set in 1949, it's certainly different - with words like "gumshoe," "grub" and
Terence M (Spring is in My Step!)
Audiobook - 11:40 Hours - Narrator: Edoardo Ballerini
4Stars - "I really liked it"
A few recent listens to some unsatisfactory audiobooks by David Baldacci had hardened into a lack of enthusiasm for this enigmatic author, just as "One Good Deed" popped up on my "Reading Listening Now" list. It would have been easy to defer starting the book, and I almost did, but then I remembered that I had awarded 3Stars, 4Stars or 5Stars to more than two-thirds of my Baldacci "listens", so why wouldn't I take a
I feel like I should have liked this one more. I really like this author, initially I liked the noir feel of things, but as things went on Archer came off as a chump. It seemed like everyone was playing him. It wasn't til the end that Archer started to smarten up and then was able to play a few others. By the time the end came I was glad to be done with the book and didn't really care where that last trip took Archer and wasn't surprised at all.
RM(Alwaysdaddygirl) Griffin (alwaysdaddyprincess)
4 stars.

Deb Jones
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This standalone that introduces the character, Aloysius Archer, feels like it may well be the beginning of a series -- something that would please this reader to no end!

Set in post-WWII America, Archer is sent by the Department of Prisons to a town in the middle of nowhere to serve his three years of parole. He has a few dollars in his pocket and the suit of clothes he wore to prison and that's about it except for his worn hat, something which he thinks every man should wear.

Is Archer ready for
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it

This was an enjoyable historical crime thriller from an author who is a massive name but one I've only delved into once previously. I wasn't sure what to expect but he pulled it off well with enough going on to keep me interested and enough world building to make me feel like I was back in the post-war 40's.

The main character Archer is a decent protagonist, he's likeable but with enough flaws to make him interesting. Perhaps a little too much insta-swoon went on around him but it wasn't t
Natalie M
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
What an absolute surprise!

I could imagine a traditional Clint Eastwood setting for this one. Set in 1949, Alyosius Archer has just been released from prison and finds himself in small town Poca City, paroled and ready to get his life back on track after serving in WWII and of course his sentence.

Enter town patriarch Pittleman, married but dating arch- rival Tuttle’s daughter, throw Archer in the middle, sent to collect an outstanding debt and you have the setting for a great showdown.

True to the
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Set in a small town in the South in 1949, Aloysius Archer is paroled from a state prison, where he was remanded after a raw deal and serving in the infantry in WWII. Poca City is a town in the rise, and despite rules prohibiting his presence in a bar, he meets the major domo there, with a pretty girl on his arm. The major domo takes a liking to Archer, who is a straightforward guy, hiring him to collect a debt from his rival, a prominent farmer, who is the estranged father of the pretty girl. Wh ...more
Lynn Horton
This is my least-favorite Baldacci to date. I’m not a fan of the era of this story, nor do I particularly like crime fiction, even though I read it on occasion. But I do like Baldacci and believe that he’s a very fine author. I’ve read everything he’s written except the Atlee Pine novel (because I’m committed to not reading a thriller with a heroine unless it’s written by a woman).

In terms of negatives, for me this book is slow, and the dialogue doesn’t work. The protagonist is unbelievably naiv
Liz Barnsley
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
A bit of a departure here and a very good one- the authors trademark fine writing and involved plotting with an edge of noir and a set of engaging characters.
The southern 40’s setting is descriptively immersive, into this comes main protagonist Aloysius Archer, recently released prisoner, with a wavering set of moral judgments, about to get caught up in feuds, murder and mystery.
For me this was a very good read indeed, a classic character study set within a considered thriller, a page turner wit
Elaine Tomasso
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would like to thank Netgalley and Pan Macmillan for an advance copy of One Good Deed, a stand alone thriller set in Poca City, an unidentified Southern town in 1949.

On release after a spell in prison for a crime he didn’t commit Aloysius Archer is given a one way ticket to Poca City, a town he doesn’t know but is prepared to get to know while serving his parole. On his first night businessman Hank Pettleman offers him a job as a debt collector on one particular debt. The job turns out to be mo
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
So, David Baldacci must have stayed up late one night to watch Humphrey Bogart movies and decided to write a book set in the late 40s. The good part is that Baldacci's books are always character and dialogue driven, and this book did move along. The bad part is Baldacci is really showing his youth here. He is so smitten with his period that all his descriptions are written in awe. Honestly, only a very wealthy woman would have been to afford the wardrobe he credits his 2 main women with. Every t ...more
Jul 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery
David Baldacci is one of my most read authors. He writes in a genre that used to be all I read. He does so many things well. Lately however, it seems like his books are a hit or miss. He writes characters that are unique and quirky in their own way. He also can pour creativity into the plot with some satisfying twists. I like all of those things.

Overall, I liked this one. He took a stab at writing historical fiction. I appreciated that.....BUT!!! Two things. One is the felt unre
Lorrea - WhatChaReadin'?
3.5 stars

Aloyosius Archer has just been released from prison for a crime he didn't commit. When he has to do his probation in Poca City, he's in for a lot more than he bargained for. Rules, a job, women, the list is endless. When the guy he took a job from ends up dead, Archer is the number one suspect. He'll do whatever he can not to go back to prison an innocent man. Set in 1949, Archer is a veteran of World War II and he is just trying to find his way in this world. Will Poca City be a steppi
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For the last couple of years, Baldacci has been producing two books a year, and focusing most of his attention on his series characters of Amos Decker (Memory Man), Will Robie, and John Puller. However, Baldacci is breaking his Spring/Fall book releasee schedule by publishing a third book this summer, in which he introduces a new character – World War II veteran Aloysius Archer – and explores a different historical era.

The book starts in 1949, when Archer arrives in Poca City after being release
Casey Wheeler
Aug 25, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book as I am a fan of David Baldacci and this appears to be the start of a new series. I was very disappointed by this book. The author tries to capture the style of the crime novels of the 1940's with limited success. In addition, Archer, the main character is slow to realize things and frequently puts his foot in his mouth. In addition, a number of things in thes story line cause the reader to believe things that in all likelyhood would never have occurred during that time per ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Please create new series 5 32 Aug 05, 2019 10:51AM  

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David Baldacci has been writing since childhood, when his mother gave him a lined notebook in which to write down his stories. (Much later, when David thanked her for being the spark that ignited his writing career, she revealed that she’d given him the notebook to keep him quiet, "because every mom needs a break now and then.”) He published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996; it was subsequ ...more

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