THE CAMEL CLUB
By David Baldacci
Area 51 (where the military is hiding a captured alien), the reptilians (I just heard about this a couple of days ago, so I am not sure who they are.), UFOs (according to Muldur and Scully – “the truth is out there”), the Illuminati, (a real group of scientists like Galileo and Da Vinci who did not oppose the Catholic Church but felt that science had a place in the world as well. The Catholic Church considered them to be heretics, so they met secretly. By the way, Beyonce calls herself a high priestess of the Illuminati. There is no such thing, but with an ego and a bank account the size of Beyonce’s, I guess she can be whoever she says she is.), 9/11 (Some folks actually believe the US government participated in the plan in order to get the public outraged so they would support a war in the Middle East.). All of these are some of the favorite topics for conspiracy theorists and late night talk radio show hosts.
Do you like conspiracy theories? Then The Camel Club might be a good book for you. I am not a conspiracy theorist and enjoyed the book, so you don’t have to be one to read this book.This novel is about a government conspiracy that reaches all levels of the US Government, except the president. The president has a key role in the novel, but doesn’t know it. Meet Oliver Stone (not the famous movie director) who is homeless but happens to camp out in his tent across from the White House so that he can keep tabs on the action, Milton who is brilliant, but suffers from a really bad case of OCD, Caleb who works with rare books at the Library of Congress, and Ruben, a giant of a man who is ex-military. These are the members of the Camel Club. They are conspiracy theorists and watch dogs of the US Government. Toss in a Secret Service agent, Alex Ford, a federal attorney, Kate, and some crooked government officials and you’ve got the makings for a really good story.
The Camel Club has a late night meeting on the government-run Teddy Roosevelt Island when they witness a murder made to look like a suicide. Milton goes into a panic and starts repeating numbers over and over. Ruben is shot in the arm. Caleb panics and hides in the bottom of the boat. Oliver is urging Ruben to row faster. All are in fear for their lives. As they escape in a row boat from the island, the assassins see them fleeing, but because of the fog they can’t make out the features of the Camel Club members, but their hunt is on.
Oliver, Milton, Caleb, and Ruben are in fear for their lives, but feel that they can’t go to the police. They try to solve the murder on their own, but can’t do it without Alex Ford’s help. Alex knows these guys and is friendly to them, but he only has 3 years left in the Secret Service and would rather spend them away from a lot of trouble that could endanger his record and retirement plans. His conscience won’t let him coast along, and his boss assigns him to look into the murder of the government agent killed on Roosevelt Island. In addition to this the US president is kidnapped from his own home town.
All of this makes for an interesting conspiracy that is fast paced and has more red herrings than a fish cannery. I really enjoyed this book, and sometimes stayed up past my bedtime reading it. It was hard to put down, but also hard to wake up in the morning for work. The story bogged down, in my opinion, in regards to the celebration that was to happen in the president’s home town. Some of the details were repeated a few times, and I didn’t enjoy the repetition. I felt it was overkill and so I gave the book 4.5 stars out of 5. I would recommend this book as it is a very good read, and will keep you on the edge of your seat waiting for all to be revealed. David Baldacci weaves a great web of deceit, with some surprising heroes, too.