Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Simple Truth” as Want to Read:
The Simple Truth
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Simple Truth

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  31,326 ratings  ·  895 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)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Simple Truth, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
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.
The Firm by Robin WaterfieldA Time to Kill by John GrishamThe Lincoln Lawyer by Michael ConnellyThe Pelican Brief by John GrishamThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Legal Thrillers
215 books — 411 voters
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonThe Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg LarssonGone Girl by Gillian FlynnThe Da Vinci Code by Dan BrownThe Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson
Thrillers You Must Read!
3,170 books — 5,161 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  31,326 ratings  ·  895 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Simple Truth
Oct 05, 2014 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 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller, re-read
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who love a tantilizing mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 26, 2020 rated it did not like it
The simple truth is that this book is so full of racist and sexist stereotypes that I couldnt get past the first 10%.

Baldacci writing a man: He was intellectually brilliant. Traditional good looks and just so smart. A legal genius. He knew all the things. Seriously, this guy was super excited intelligent.

Baldacci writing a woman: She had a petite figure with good hips and puckered lips. A little voluptuous but not too much. Long flow hair and a charming smile. The kind of girl youd want on a
Jun 22, 2011 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 10, 2011 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 wasnt. 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 final
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
The narration did not work for me. Maybe better writing could have developed the plot into a more realistic scenario? I muttered "ah come on" too many times.
Jul 10, 2007 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.
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not the best of Badacci's novels, this murder mystery which takes place in and around the US Supreme Court has a rather convoluted plot. Michael Fisk, a gifted young lawyer and US Supreme Court clerk, is murdered in what is made to look like a robbery. His estranged brother John, a criminal defense lawyer and former cop, decides he will aid the police in solving the crime. From this point forward the story involves politicians, convicts, CIA agents, FBI agents, police, Supreme Court security ...more
Craig Monson
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
An interesting comparison with Catherine Coulters BLOW OUT (which is also about dirty deeds at and around the US Supreme Court). Baldacci, manages, however, to go a step beyond the guilty pleasure principle. That means the author spends considerably more time on the workings and machinations of the court (which may frustrate readers who are daunted by detail), but also on the wider implications of the courts decisions and justice for all (which may put off readers strictly there for escapism). ...more
Aug 17, 2015 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
Mohammed M. Sheikh
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller, american
More reviews at---

Rufus Harms is in prison for 25 years now,for killing a small girl when he was in a military duty at fort plessy. locked in the jail for 25 years now,he suddenly applied against his charge on USA Supreme court.Micheal Fiske a clerk of the Supreme court allegedly takes the letter out and went on to meet Rufus at the jail. And the following day his body found at a area which is the known for it's criminal offences, and Rufus harms broke out
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The absolute best book I have read this year. This is Baldacci at his absolute best. The intertwining of the characters is delicious and the mystery runs right up to the end. There were so many shady people who could have been involved and even when I thought I was close, I was far off. Great story line, great twists and turns.
Jesse Whitehead
Mar 24, 2010 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,
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-reads
Had this book been written by anyone other than David Baldacci I may have rated it slightly higher. However, Baldacci one of my favorite authors and Ive grown to expect nothing less than perfection from him.

While this book is a serviceable thriller about a government conspiracy and murder cover-up, it lacks the normal level of finesse and plotting than I know from David. As other reviewers have stated, it does get off to an incredibly slow start and Im not quite sure what the purpose of the book
Peter Winstone
I Don't Believe It!!

Boring, ponderous & disjointed!! I am a great fan, have read numerous Baldaci books & normally give 4/5 stars so what went wrong? If this was the first Baldaci book I had read I certainly wouldn't read any more!!
Jennifer Brown
Aug 20, 2019 rated it did not like it
I listened to 2 hours of this audio (chapter 10) before turning it off. I jinxed myself last week when I mentioned I can usually finish a book (no matter how bad it is) as long as I'm listening to it! I just couldn't do another 11.5 hours of this tonight!!
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
Namita Sreekumar
Nov 23, 2014 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.
Feb 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Another winner, indeed. 8 of 10 stars
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
reading this book...was roads i have traveled...and Lived...2nd book i have read of his...AWESOME...i think they should make Movies with his Books... :)
Oct 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A David Baldacci thriller from the late 1990s. This one starts out with an African-American man, Rufus Harms, incarcerated in a military prison for 25 years for the murder of a little girl on a military base. He receives, via his brother Josh, a letter from the Army, which starts a series of significant events which end up at the United States Supreme Court. Rufus contacts Samuel Ryder, the attorney who had defended him in his initial case and asks him to make an appeal to the Supreme Court ...more
Dec 26, 2018 rated it liked it
I listen to this audiobook. David Baldacci is a mystery to me. I always want to like his books, and I often do enjoy the plots. But I always feel disappointed by his dialogue, which to me is often campy or cliche-ridden. That being said, this is a thriller that has some appealing plot twists and mysteries. Rufus Harms is a prisoner with a life sentence at a military prison. He killed a young girl on base. He has been in prison for 30 years. When a letter arrives at the prison for Rufus from the ...more
John Babb
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's no secret that I'm a David Baldacci fan. In The Simple Truth, he creates extremely complicated characters with multiple facets. The tale is a story of suspense, murders, character assassinations, and courtroom strategies. We even get an in depth look behind the scenes in the U.S. Supreme Court. Basically, a man is convicted of murder while in the military, but has no recollection of the act. He is imprisoned for 25 years. People who know a great deal more about the incident spend a great ...more
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it
It took me while to get into this book but I trusted Mr Baldacci and his style to take me to the end of a good ready.
Rufus Harms has been in the stockade 25 years for a murder he commited. But that is all about to change with a letter he receives from the military. He attempts to file an appeal directly to the Supreme Court. A string of murders begin to occur once the appeal leaves his hands.
Can he possibly get his case heard?
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This crime drama has a little of it all --the justice system from prisons all the way to the Supreme Court, politics, and the military. Toss together dark military secrets, a cop-turned-lawyer, a smart, beautiful court clerk, a convicted felon, a few noble law enforcement officers and several thugs and we have a murder mystery that keeps on burning to the end. Although some aspects of the concluding chapters are a bit unbelievable, (no spoilers here), the twists and turns of the novel make it ...more
This one is classic Baldacci, reminded me of themes in other books he wrote. I hated what Rufus had to go through, hated how he was wronged, but loved that there were people that stepped up to help him. Sure many of them didnt expect to at the start, but by the end most everyone was doing the right thing. By the end of the book you have hope that those that are left will live their lives in a way to honor and fix what had been done. ...more
A very good exciting "ride". Told in a very straightforward way and - not sure if this is the right word - stringently, meaning no unnecessary sidelines or flowery sub plots.

At times, emotionally hard to listen to / read, all this injustice against innocent people just gets to me and Baldacci manages to hit just this spot again and again. The characters were compelling enough and the plot as such good although the crime committed in some ways I thought did not justify such a big cover up. But
Wenzel Roessler
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
No letdown anywhere in this novel. Amazing plot twists added to a well written cast along with great pacing to a compelling plot. The ending was not rushed or cheap and at no time was this story slow or drifted off the trail.
Donna Hulsey
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Another homerun by Baldacci.. This story of a man falsely imprisoned for murdering a little girl has many twists and turns. And a surprise ending....
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Please change cover 3 25 Mar 24, 2016 10:18AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please update page count 3 14 Mar 13, 2016 07:32PM  
2020 Reading Chal...: Elaine's 40 book challenge 3 34 Feb 19, 2016 08:43PM  
Amazingly Gripping !!!! 2 28 Oct 02, 2013 01:07AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Blue Moon (Jack Reacher, #24)
  • The Night Fire (Harry Bosch #22; Renée Ballard, #3; Harry Bosch Universe, #32)
  • The Guardians
  • Dark Sacred Night (Harry Bosch, #21; Renée Ballard, #2; Harry Bosch Universe, #31)
  • Past Tense (Jack Reacher, #23)
  • No Rest for the Dead
  • Bloody Genius (Virgil Flowers, #12)
  • Holy Ghost (Virgil Flowers, #11)
  • Liar Liar (Detective Harriet Blue, #3)
  • The Reckoning
  • Lethal Agent (Mitch Rapp #18)
  • Lost
  • The First Lady
  • Texas Ranger: One shot to clear his name…
  • Red War (Mitch Rapp, #17)
  • Neon Prey (Lucas Davenport, #29)
  • Blindside (Michael Bennett, #12)
  • Criss Cross (Alex Cross, #27)
See similar books…
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 shed 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 ...more

Related Articles

Need another excuse to go to the bookstore this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the week. To create our list...
26 likes · 4 comments
“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.” 98 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.” 60 likes
More quotes…