Book Talk: Baldacci, 'The 6:20 Man'
David Baldacci is at the very top of my “Favorite Author Pyramid.” He’s such a good writer that millions of people have bought the book with the unenticing title, “The 6:30 Man” (2022, 432 pages). But, if you’re David Baldacci, you could probably title your next novel “Book,” and people would still buy it.
This mystery/thriller centers on Travis Devine who lives in Mount Kisco, a suburb of New York City. He commutes into Manhattan each morning on the 6:20 a.m. train. As the train reaches a certain point in its itinerary, it stops for a few minutes. We never learn why, but the stop affords the passengers a view of the “Palace,” the home of Bradley Cowl, owner of Cowl and Comely, where Travis toils away with the other lowly paid “Burners,” each of whom is hoping to distinguish herself or himself and move up to the next level within the corporation.
In the seemingly dreary lives of the passengers, at least the men get a peek at the beautiful, bikini-clad woman, who lounges next to Cowl’s pool. Travis suffers in the boring and tedious job of making Cowl richer and richer to appease his father who was outraged by Travis’ defiant act of joining the army. The elder Devine roared, “Playing soldier instead of going out into the world and earning a living? Well, boy, you are off the family payroll starting now….”