We were hoping for a festive read and David Baldacci’s book promised a ‘heart warming holiday tale’. It focuses on Tom Langdon, a disillusioned journalist as he travels from Washington to LA to be with his current girlfriend by Christmas Eve. Baldacci is well known as a thriller writer and this is somewhat out of his usual scenario. It was certainly an easy read, and a lot was packed into the cross continental train journey, however many of us found it underwhelming! The plot was weak (and in places ludicrous), the writing not particularly descriptive and the characters lacked depth. It felt a little as though it had been written in scenes with a film in mind (and it turns out that it has been released as this Christmas). That said none of us spotted the final twist coming (although a lot of the earlier tale felt predictable) and for some it lifted the book.
We had a lovely discussion about trains – long distance journeys, arrivals, stations and the romance of travel. Baldacci clearly enjoys travelling by train and he had levered in quite a lot of information about the American railways. He obviously feels they are in danger and would regret their passing.