The Forgotten is Mr. Baldacci’s testament to his Aunt Peggy, as indicated in the dedication of this book. And what sets the story in motion is the abrupt death of John Puller’s aunt Betsy Simon, a woman who had been sort of a substitute for his mother. Ms. Simon dies in the seemingly peaceful city of Paradise, Florida. While the local police consider her death an accident, Puller is not convinced. His aunt had sent a letter to her brother – Puller’s father – where she wondered about something strange going on in Paradise. Puller launches his own investigation.
Mr. Baldacci has crafted a top-notch thriller. The language flows smoothly, and the pace is neck breaking for the most part, with stops just long enough for the reader to ponder about what’s next. He weaves expertly the threads of intricate plots within plots. Puller has his hands full with his investigation, but he also finds time to save a young teenager from an assault and to beat up her assailants and their friends when they come back for revenge. Two mysterious military-looking characters keep following Puller through the streets of Paradise, while a giant of a man by the name of Mecho has also arrived in the small town on his own mission. With human trafficking and a filthy rich couple in the background, you know all these threads will come together soon for an explosive climax.
What happened to Puller’s aunt? Who is Mecho and what is his mission in Paradise? What is the conspiracy and who are the ones seeking to bury it?