tl;dr — The Camel Club series by David Baldacci is a set of books that is easy reading and a great time pass.
Alex said, “Okay, I need to know something. Why the Camel Club?”
Stone answered, “Because camels have great stamina. They never give up.”
The Camel Club series is written by David Baldacci, best selling author of more than forty books. You can read the review of his Will Robie series here.
The series is set around four senior men in the US, who form the titular Camel Club whose aim is to find out the truth. Among these characters, the first among equals is Oliver Stone aka John Carr. The Camel Club expands as the series progresses due to new and interesting characters being introduced in each of the books. All the books are based around espionage of some sort and Oliver Stone’s history plays a big part in this.
Individual reviews of these books follow the review of the series.
The Camel Club series is excellent. The stories keep getting better as the series progresses. I have not found too many other set of books that do this (The Red Sparrow trilogy was an exception though. You can read the review here). And unlike the Will Robie series which was quite inconsistent, the Camel Club improves consistently as it progresses.
The series works due to its eclectic cast of characters. There is the requisite mysterious assassin, pugnacious soldier, stodgy bookworm and eccentric genius, each with their individual quirks and personalities. All of them are broken in some form or the other. Their behaviours, interactions and loyalty to one another form the foundation for this set of stories. These characters also grow with the series as they learn to overcome their foibles.
The stories are fast paced and easy reading. They make for a great time filler and one flows into the other. The plots are usually of a whodunnit nature, most of which are quite simplistic except for the last, which is reasonably convoluted.
Overall, this is a great read. Go for it if you have some spare time.
The Camel Club has an interesting premise in the action thriller genre. It consists of four washed up, eccentric senior gentlemen who want to make the world a better place. This premise intrigued me and made me pick up this book.
Now, I have read Baldacci’s Will Robie before and I liked that series. The review of the series is available here. The Camel Club is different since it does not rely on one individual to move the plot along though some members of the club are more equal than the others. This book takes the standard islamic terror plot and gives it an interesting twist. For the most part, the US is portrayed more as sinners than as being sinned against. The outlook here is far more international than I would have expected, which is good in a way. As a result, all the characters are interesting — both the protagonists and antagonists.
The Collectors is a perfectly acceptable entry in a perfectly acceptable series. It stars the same four main characters from The Camel Club with an new character added to mix things up.
I found some of the main characters to have mysteriously changed from the previous book. Milton no longer displays OCD behaviour and is a lot more assertive. Caleb has become more of a coward. Oliver makes mistakes you would not expect a 666 man to do. But, this is a book that does not take itself seriously and, I guess, neither should I.
It was fun to read and that’s all that matters
Stone Cold is an excellent entry in the Camel Club universe. It ties up the loose ends from The Collector while having a strong main story line independent of those ends. The previous entry, The Collectors, is a so so book and I was afraid that the series had taken a nose dive. Stone Cold redeems the series and rekindled my interest in the Camel Club.
Coming to the book itself — themes like redemption, revenge and forgiveness are explored here. Oliver’s past forms a bulk of the story as do the actors from his past. It has an ending that I really did not expect and it set up the next book in the series.
Overall, Stone Cold is a satisfying read.
Divine Justice is an excellent follow-on to Stone Cold. It continues from where the previous book left off, with John Carr killing his two adversaries. He then gets to a place called Divine where the nation wide search finally finds him, just as he is getting embroiled in local crime.
Divine Justice has shades of Witness (the Harrison Ford movie) with the change in focus from a big metro to the bucolic countryside. The plot is so-so but David Baldacci’s fast-paced writing keeps the reader interested at all times.
The only problem I see with this book is the way the power of plot is being used. John Carr is an unkillable machine where required and a bumbling idiot when the plot requires it. If you are able to get over this point, the book is great.
Hell’s Corner is easily the best book in the Camel Club series. It has a great plot involving intrigue and espionage along with an excellent villain.
Like other books by Baldacci, this is fast paced and easy to read. It has a great set of returning characters plus new ones, as with every installment in this series.
Originally published at Digital Amrit.