Picks and Pans Review: The Winner
by David Baldacci
Be incredibly careful what you wish for: You may get it. That's the message of this latest thriller—a neat variation on the old Faust story—from the megaselling author of Absolute Power and Total Control.
LuAnn Tyler, a 20-year-old truck-stop waitress with movie-star looks and an undeveloped mind, is living in a trailer in rural Georgia with her loser boyfriend Duane and their baby Lisa, dreaming of a better life. Enter one Mr. Jackson, the devil of this tale, with a suitably diabolical offer. A brilliant, sexually ambiguous, murderous character, Jackson has found a way to fix the National Lottery. And if LuAnn follows his instructions without question, he will guarantee her a minimum of $50 million, just as he did the last 11 winners (while pocketing several times that figure himself). LuAnn, a good soul at bottom, at first resists but later, in desperation, makes her pact with the satanic Jackson. Years pass before her better nature reasserts itself and her real struggles begin.
The novel takes a while to get going as Baldacci assembles his cast and lays out the lottery device. But the momentum picks up in the second half, when a wiser and more polished LuAnn acquires a strapping love interest and goes after the man, or monster, who made her. Baldacci fans will find The Winner aptly named. (Warner, $25)
On Newsstands Now
- The Little Couple: A New Mom's Fight to Live
- Remembering Nelson Mandela
- Princess Kate's Style Secret!
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine