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4.7 out of 5 stars185
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on 14 November 2007
I enjoyed the original Camel Club and even more so the Collectors so awaited this eagerly especially as it was set up with Bagger seeking revenge on Annabelle.

This book is a departure from traditional Baldacci style and I thought moves more mainstream to Patterson. The chapters are short and numerous, and the plot quickly flowing but with less depth. The characters are not developed sufficiently other than Stone who indeed takes centre stage as on a mission to rectify previous orders given by the government (great Jason Bourne/ Jack Reacher stuff I might add). Particularly dissapointing is Annabelle who does not seem as strong willed as portrayed well in The Collectors.

However, this is more a statement than a critisism and I enjoyed the book, immensely. I highly recommended it for those who appreciate the Camel Club, but perhaps a little isoteric as a standalone read.
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on 1 August 2011
I love all David Baldacci books, have bought loads and still looking for more. "Stone Cold" is another brilliant book which has a different Hero and which is part of the "Camel Club" series. It is therefore very important, to achieve maximum enjoyment, to read the books in the correct order. There are 5 books in the series and are as follows. The Camel Club, The Collectors, Stone Cold, Divine Justice and finally, Hell's corner. Happy reading.
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on 22 January 2008
I have read of lot of Baldacci, including one prior Camel Club effort. I have rated most of them highly, but I can't help feel that there's been a slide in quality. (I did not read the prequel to this one, however, so it may have lost some of its intended impact on me). Judging by other positive reviews, however, I am not going to bring the average rating down too much here with this somewhat negative review.

There are two sub-plots, one a conspiracy involving the past of one of the Camel Club members, and another involving the aftermath of a con-job executed by a Camel Club friend. They are unrelated, so I suspect both were there to make sure Baldacci could produce 400 pages - neither would have satisfied that test on its own.

It is an easy read without a great deal of real depth - but it has short, punchy chapters, some twists, and a lot of action to produce a good ride. But there are holes in the sub-plots, inaccuracies (which Baldacci admits to, to be fair) and a lot of coincidences to keep the plots moving. And there are bad guys at the highest levels of government, as usual, in an attempt to sustain interest. The writing is nothing special and there is little characterisation, although readers will have established favourites from the prequels.

In view of a couple of things that happen, the Camel Club will be different if Baldacci keeps it live. To me, however, the theme is wearing thin and Baldacci is struggling to come up with new ideas to keep the members actively engaged.

Here, I would say, he has just used too much licence to create his story and I suspect he will do more of the same next time. I would feel a lot better if Baldacci started with a new sheet to allow him to get back where he once was (then again, just prior to reading this book, I had finished a far-fetched Andrew Gross novel, and perhaps two of similar ilk, in a row, is one too many!). 7/10
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This is the third in the Camel Club series. A series that started off very light-hearted and got more serious as it has moved on. The author has also taken the focus off many of the characters to focus on just two or three and almost as much time is given to the main bad guy, an ex-special forces operator who is killing ex intelligence agents.

No light touch in this one and the author is comfortable with the characters and the supporting players. The plot blends the back-story of Annabel as her past starts to catch up and likewise with Stone his past also starts to come back to haunt him and he has to decide how to protect those he cares for.

This is an efficient thriller and possibly the best of the Camel Club books. No classic but good enough to keep you well entertained for a few hours.
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If you liked either The Camel Club or The Collectors, don't miss this book!

If you haven't read The Camel Club or The Collectors, read those books before this one.

Stone Cold is an exciting and major step forward in the plot development of the Camel Club series as Oliver Stone and Annabelle Conroy deal with deadly challenges and old demons. In Stone Cold, the Camel Club moves from focusing on quirky to being operationally driven by the tools and tradecraft of assassins. The title appears to be an attempt to capture the psychology of the professional assassin, someone who is effective because he brings no emotion to terminating life. In keeping with Mr. Baldacci's ability to define and beautifully develop new characters, you'll be fascinated by the new character, Harry Finn, who tests for terrorist vulnerabilities as a profession, is a loving husband and father, and moonlights in assassinating assassins to settle an old score.

The novel has three main story lines: Finn's quest to eliminate old enemies, Annabelle Conroy's efforts to avoid being crushed by Jerry Bagger (the man she conned out of forty million dollars in The Collectors), and Oliver Stone's attempt to stay out of the public eye as someone chooses to expose his old connections to the CIA. I found this worked well for making the story fast-paced and continually surprising because the stories interweave.

But ultimately the appeal of this book is that it brings a lot of resolution to past and current conflicts in the series.

The only thing I didn't like about the book was that it lacked most of the usual quirkiness of the characters and past plots. Instead, this book is more of a standard spy versus spy, crook versus crook, and government against the bad guys type of story. But it's quite good for what it is. I hope the quirkiness doesn't disappear after this story.

After you read this story, think about where you have followed orders . . . orders that you should have questioned. What orders should you be questioning now?
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There are no good guys in this novel, they are either killers, con artists or thugs.

Annabelle Conroy is on the run from vicious casino owner Jerry Blagger after taking him for forty million dollars. Ex SEAL and security expert Harry Finn is on a mission to kill all the CIA agents involved in assassinating his father. The Camel club lead by world class ex CIA assassin Oliver Stone join in the fun.

Thoroughly workmanlike the writing does not grip you as it should, the plot is fairly predictable but there are some good twists.

Baldacci fans will not be disappointed, otherwise enjoyable but not outstanding.
Stone Cold
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on 14 December 2008
I have read a number of David Baldacci's books and really enjoyed the Camel Club, so I was looking forward to re-acquainting myself with the Camel Club characters.

I enjoyed the pace of the story (it made a couple of plane journeys literally fly by) but I found some of the main characters acting oddly, or at least no mention was made of their foibles. Take Milton for example. Much was made of his OCD nature in the first book, but little or no OCD traits were evident in this book, which jarred. It was almost as if he were cured. There were other characters I found acting strangely. I don't want to go into details to avoid spoiling it for anyone else.

Nevertheless I enjoyed the book and would certainly recommend it to others, especially if traveling.
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If you liked either The Camel Club or The Collectors, don't miss this book!

If you haven't read The Camel Club or The Collectors, read those books before this one.

Stone Cold is an exciting and major step forward in the plot development of the Camel Club series as Oliver Stone and Annabelle Conroy deal with deadly challenges and old demons. In Stone Cold, the Camel Club moves from focusing on quirky to being operationally driven by the tools and tradecraft of assassins. The title appears to be an attempt to capture the psychology of the professional assassin, someone who is effective because he brings no emotion to terminating life. In keeping with Mr. Baldacci's ability to define and beautifully develop new characters, you'll be fascinated by the new character, Harry Finn, who tests for terrorist vulnerabilities as a profession, is a loving husband and father, and moonlights in assassinating assassins to settle an old score.

The novel has three main story lines: Finn's quest to eliminate old enemies, Annabelle Conroy's efforts to avoid being crushed by Jerry Bagger (the man she conned out of forty million dollars in The Collectors), and Oliver Stone's attempt to stay out of the public eye as someone chooses to expose his old connections to the CIA. I found this worked well for making the story fast-paced and continually surprising because the stories interweave.

But ultimately the appeal of this book is that it brings a lot of resolution to past and current conflicts in the series.

The only thing I didn't like about the book was that it lacked most of the usual quirkiness of the characters and past plots. Instead, this book is more of a standard spy versus spy, crook versus crook, and government against the bad guys type of story. But it's quite good for what it is. I hope the quirkiness doesn't disappear after this story.

After you read this story, think about where you have followed orders . . . orders that you should have questioned. What orders should you be questioning now?
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on 9 July 2008
This is a thoroughly enjoyable read. Its not as light hearted as the previous Camel Club books, nor does it hit the heights of Baldacci's very early work (e.g. Absolute Power), but it is fast paced and keeps you guessing until the end. My only, slight, criticism is that one or two of the devices used to tie up the loose ends at the finale are a little clumsy.
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on 19 November 2007
STONE COLD is a continuation from DAVID BALDACCI'S earlier works The Collectors and The Camel Club which are both worth reading. As for STONE COLD, the speed of this thriller is incredible as both subplots move out at an extraordinary pace yet the key players seem fully developed and plausible especially Harry and the CAMEL CLUB members. Both Oliver and Annabelle recognize the problems they respectively face as each knows they are in trouble, but in some ways welcome the confrontation. Underlying this strong thriller is a caution that government secrets are rarely security issues, but more likely the hiding of embarrassments usually caused by a lack of adequate checks and balances on arrogant imperial power!!! I would also recommend, if you missed reading TINO GEORGIOU'S masterpiece--THE FATES, go and read it. With fascinating and brilliantly created characters in `THE FATES' coupled with two intertwining plots makes for a completely enjoyable and page-turning read.
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