Aloysius Archer

Created by David Baldacci

It’s 1949, and rough-and-tumble WWII vet ALOYSIUS ARCHER is a hard-luck drifter and a total shit magnet, freshly sprung from Carderock Prison, when he hits the road in  One Good Deed (2019), a sly, noirish change of pace from  the #1 New York Times bestselling author Baldacci.

His parole conditions are pretty clear: report regularly to your parole officer, find “gainful employment,” and don’t do anything else. No booze, no woman, no shady acquaintances, no trouble. No fun.

Only things is… Archer is, as I said, a shit magnet. Even in fictitious Poca City, the small Midwestern town going through some growing pains that’s he’s been sent to by the parole board, he somehow finds himself up to his ears in crap when he agrees to repo a dark green 1947 Caddy debt for Hank Pittleman, a local banker. Simple enough, right?

But he soon finds himself tangled up in everything he was told to avoid.

Plus murder.

And guess who the local cops like for it?

It’s a nifty little read; a complete change of direction that scans more like a pumped-up James M. Cain novel than anything Baldacci’s ever written before, and naturally, Archer has to make like a detective to clear his name.

Even better, though, is that by the sequel, 2021’s A Gambling Man, Archer’s on the road again, motorvating his way to Bay Town, California in a blood-red 1939 Delahaye convertible he picked up in Reno (along with Liberty Callahan, a wannabe actress). Archer’s big plan is to hook up with Willie Dash, a former FBI Agent now running a detective agency. Sure enough, he gets the gig, and before long Archer (and Willoe) have left Cainland for something decidedly more like Hammettville.


  • “David Baldacci is no stranger to hitting literary home runs, but his second book to feature World War II veteran turned avenging angel Aloysius Archer, A Gambling Man, is a flat-out grand slam . . . Few authors are able to frame period pieces for a contemporary sensibility, but Baldacci proves more than up to the task in fashioning a tale that’s as close to perfect as a thriller can get.”
    — Providence Sunday Journal
  • A Gambling Man moves at a steady clip, as Baldacci’s plot pays homage to private eye novels by Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald. Archer is a well-drawn character, a man of his times who tries to overcome his past and embrace new attitudes. Liberty is no damsel in distress but is a strong woman who knows how to protect herself and isn’t fooled by any man, rising above clichés that may surround showgirls . . . A return to Archer and Liberty will be welcomed.”
    — South Florida Sun-Sentinel


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

Leave a Reply