‘Noir But Not Quite’
Baldacci can write some real page-turners, and this just isn’t one of them. It’s still good, and I still enjoyed reading it, but it’s not his best. I guess he felt like trying his hand at 40’s/50’s detective noir, and it mostly works but... doesn’t quite? Maybe it’s fallen into some ‘uncanny valley’ of noir. I wasn’t around in 1949 America so I can’t really point at anything wrong, but it just doesn’t feel like the detective noirs that were written at the time.