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One Good Deed

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  7,076 ratings  ·  727 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, 432 pages
Published July 25th 2019 by Macmillan (first published July 23rd 2019)
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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…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)
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4.11  · 
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 ·  7,076 ratings  ·  727 reviews

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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
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Louise Wilson
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Deb Jones
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 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
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.
Liz Barnsley
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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 31, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I haggled with 2-3 stars and dropped it to 2 since Baldacci has several men emphasize the fact that at this time men thought women were worthless and uncapable of taking care of financial matters. I find this total bullshit as the older women in my life on my side and my husband's side all are the financial caretakers, myself included. I would say it would be safe to say was is true in most households back then and still true now.
The rest of the story so so. I am curious about the next book with
Jul 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another amazing book by David Baldacci. Absolutely love Archer
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-thriller
"When a man's fighting for his life, what choice does he have except do what he has to so he can survive?"

I really liked the idea of this book. Archer was an interesting character, and the 1940s setting was also pretty interesting.

But for the second time in a row now I couldn't shake the feeling that this didn't really feel like a book by one of my all-time-favorite authors. It just fell short of my expectations, and I have to admit I skimmed a few paragraphs here and there, which never happene
A David Baldacci, "Retro" post-WWII crime noir, has a veteran and newly paroled ex-con Aloysius Archer plunked down in small-town Oklahoma as he reenters the world outside of the military and prison...He becomes drawn into a murder mystery involving the two richest men in the first a suspect and the later, mentored by a state police homicide detective, Archer and the detective methodically unravel the mystery...decent read!
I thought this was a really good crime mystery. The setting was after WWII in a small town Paco, Oklahoma where a very likable protagonist Aloysius Archer helped a local detective solve crime.

I liked everything from story to character including the audio book performance. I don't understand why the story in the end turned into a legal courtroom drama. There wasn't a lot of it so it seem out of place. The preachy ending didn't help. Why bother dropping a few paragraphs about equality? From 4 sta
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Set in post war America in 1949, One Good Deed is a page turning mystery thriller.
Our hero is Aloysius Archer, just released from prison for a crime he did not commit, a war hero serving his time in Europe during WW2. He is sent to Poca a town in a southern state to serve out his probation time, and so his adventure begins. Archer is a wonderful character, and as the book progresses you like him more and more, his humour and honesty shine through.
This story is extremely evocative of the post war
Greville Waterman
A good standalone thriller from an exceptionally talented and experienced writer who knows his trade and craft.

The plot hummed along at breakneck speed and the main character was suitably enigmatic and sympathetic enough to keep me reading.

Excellent descriptions of time and place and I enjoyed every aspect of it.

Highly recommended.
Barb Martin
David Baldacci cheated. In "One Good Deed," he introduces Aloysius Archer, a WWII veteran and ex-con who stumbles into a small town and a trio of murders. Archer is a suspect, but the investigator lets him tag along and help with the investigation.

Yeah. Right.

What's worse is that Archer uncovers evidence and clues that tell him what's going on, but we're not privy to the information until it's unveiled in a dramatic fashion.


Writers are supposed to give readers a fair shot at figuring out t
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Goodreads Librari...: Please create new series 5 28 Aug 05, 2019 10:51AM  
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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“And he and millions of others had just fought a world war to ensure that neither anarchy nor fascism nor anything else would replace the reasonable screwing over of people without money by those who possessed damn near all of it.” 1 likes
“Hey, it’s all good.” 0 likes
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