David Baldacci is an American author whose best-selling novels have been translated into over 45 languages in more than 80 countries. In total, Baldacci has published 40 novels for adults, with 150 million copies sold worldwide. Many of those 40 books are a part of one of his series, but some are standalone novels. For an author who has written so many popular books across so many series, it can be overwhelming figuring out what to read first. Thankfully, I’m here to help! Here are the David Baldacci books you should read first to get you started.
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Want to read something brand-new? Start here. In Daylight, FBI Agent Atlee Pine’s search for her sister Mercy clashes with military investigator John Puller’s high-stakes case, leading them both deep into a global conspiracy—from which neither of them will escape unscathed.
One Good Deed might be a fun one to read first because it's one of Baldacci's most recent novels, having just been released in 2019, and it's the start of a brand new series. So get on board now before you have to play a game of catch-up. This page-turner of a historical thriller introduces readers to Baldacci's latest protagonist, Aloysius Archer. Archer is a WWII veteran who, in this first novel, is forced to investigate a small-town murder case to find the real killer before the crime sends him back to prison.
Memory Man is the first novel in Baldacci's Amos Decker series. Amos Decker is a former football player who sustained serious brain injuries that have affected him longterm. Most notably, Decker is unable to forget anything. After his family is murdered and the case remains unsolved, Decker leaves his job as a police officer and works as a private investigator. Then there's a mass shooting at a local high school, and Decker is called back in to help solve the case.
This is Baldacci's latest novel in the Amos Decker series. You might choose to read all of the Decker novels in order, but it would also be completely acceptable to read the first book and then go ahead and skip to this one next. After the first book, the novels work in any order. This book sees Decker working to solve a gruesome murder case in London, North Dakota, a town that's teeming with oil money and secrets.
No Time Left is a standalone short story that's great for a fun, quick David Baldacci fix. This is the story of Frank Becker, an expert assassin. When Becker takes on a job that might completely alter his future, he discovers that it will also draw him back into his mysterious past.
Here's a standalone novel that's worth bumping up to the top of your David Baldacci reading list. This is the story of LuAnn Tyler, a mother living in a trailer park, and Jackson, a man at the center of a massive National Lottery scam. When Jackson offers LuAnn a chance to win the lottery, she refuses at first. But then everything changes when LuAnn is charged for a murder she didn't commit. Jackson rigs the lottery for LuAnn, and she wins 100 million dollars. There's only one catch: she must leave the country and never return.
This novel is also a standalone, and while the main characters have the last name Archer, there's no relation to the Aloysius Archer mentioned previously on this list. Sidney Archer's husband mysteriously goes missing in a plane crash, and suddenly she feels like there's no one she can trust. Alone without anyone to help her, Sidney must sort out the truth from the lies if she wants to find out what happened to her husband.
One last standalone for your TBR list: Saving Faith. This novel follows Faith Lockhart, a lobbyist who accidentally discovers corruption at the highest levels of the government. Suddenly, she's a dangerous witness to the crimes of some of the most powerful men in the world. And these men will stop at nothing to keep her silent.
Getting back into some of Baldacci's best series, Long Road to Mercy is the first book in a newer series that's definitely worth checking out. This 2018 novel introduces readers to Atlee Pine, the only FBI agent assigned to the Shattered Rock, Arizona resident agency, which is responsible for protecting the Grand Canyon. Pine is called in to investigate when of the Grand Canyon's mules is found stabbed to death. And the rider is missing. Pine is so close to solving the case when she is told to stop the investigation. Will she disobey orders in order to find the missing rider? You know she will.
While you're on a roll, go ahead and read the next book in the Atlee Pine series. In this second book, Atlee Pine and her assistant Carol Blum head to Atlee's hometown in Georgia to investigate Atlee's twin sister's abduction that happened thirty years earlier. Soon after Atlee and Carol arrive, a local woman is found murdered, and it seems as if the small town might have a serial killer on its hands. While Atlee is still determined to find answers to what happened to her sister, she must now also find this killer before someone else dies. Read this one now to prepare for the third Atlee Pine thriller, which should be out later this year.
What to Read Next
Emily Martin earned her PhD at the University of Southern Mississippi. She works as a contributor for Book Riot and as a blogger/podcaster at Book Squad Goals.
In this gripping mystery, an FBI Agent’s search for her sister clashes with a military investigator's high-stakes case, leading them both deep into a global conspiracy—from which neither of them will escape unscathed.For many long years, Atlee Pine was tormented by uncertainty after her twin sister, Mercy, was abducted at the age of six and never seen again. Now, just as Atlee is pressured to end her investigation into Mercy's disappearance, she finally gets her most promising breakthrough yet: the identity of her sister's kidnapper, Ito Vincenzo.
With time running out, Atlee and her assistant Carol Blum race to Vincenzo's last known location in Trenton, New Jersey—and unknowingly stumble straight into John Puller's case, blowing his arrest during a drug ring investigation involving a military installation.
Stunningly, Pine and Puller's joint investigation uncovers a connection between Vincenzo's family and a breathtaking scheme that strikes at the very heart of global democracy. Peeling back the layers of deceit, lies and cover-ups, Atlee finally discovers the truth about what happened to Mercy. And that truth will shock Pine to her very core.