Summer page-turner: David Baldacci's 'Deliver Us From Evil'

The second novel in the Shaw and James series, Baldacci brings us the 'The Whole Truth' characters - one a mysterious operative and the other a secret agent - who must prevent millionaire Evan Waller from embarking on a dangerous new business venture - one that could cost millions of lives worldwide. Bring lots of sunscreen, Baldacci's latest suspense novel won't be put down.

Read an excerpt of the book below, and then head to the "GMA" Library to find more good reads.

Chapter 1

The ninety-six-year-old man sat in his comfy armchair enjoying a book on Joseph Stalin. No mainstream publisher would touch the delusion-filled manuscript since the author had been unfailingly complimentary about the sadistic Soviet leader. Yet the self-published book's positive opinion of Stalin appealed greatly to the old man. He'd purchased it directly from the writer not long before the latter was committed to a mental institution.

No stars could be seen hovering over the elderly man's large es- tate because of a storm moving inland from the nearby ocean. Though he was wealthy and living in great luxury, his personal needs were relatively simple. He wore a decades-old faded sweater, his shirt collar secured all the way to his fleshy neck, which was thick with wattles. His cheap pants lay loose over his skeletal and useless legs. The hypnotic drum of rain on the roof had begun and he settled farther back in his chair, content to delve into the mind and career of a madman who had killed tens of millions of people unlucky enough to live under his cruel fist.

The old man occasionally laughed at something he read, at least the particularly gruesome parts, and nodded his head in agreement over passages where disciples of Stalin explained his graphic meth- ods for the destruction of all civil liberties. In the Soviet dictator he clearly saw the leadership qualities necessary to drive a country to greatness while also causing the world to shake with terror. He tilted down his thick spectacles and glanced at his watch. Nearly eleven o'clock. The security system went on promptly at nine, with every door and window professionally monitored. His for- tress was secure.

A crack of thunder seemed to cause the lights to flicker. They sputtered twice more and fluttered out. In the lower-level electron- ics room the battery backup in the security system had been re- moved, causing it to cease functioning when the power supply was interrupted. Each door and window was instantly disarmed. Ten seconds later the massive backup generators kicked in and brought the electrical flow back to full power, returning the security system to online status. However, within that ten-second span a window had opened and a hand had darted out and caught the digital camera that had been tossed from ground level. The window closed and was locked a second before the system armed once more.

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