The Winner, by David Baldacci

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LuAnn Tyler is 20 years old, a single parent, living in a beat-up trailer, striving to escape a life of poverty. She is lead to the local mall to meet with a Mr. Jackson who she assumes will offer her a job. Instead he offers her a guarantee that she can be the winner of the coming $100 million lottery.  The offer has conditions attached, one of which would require her to leave the country. LuAnn doesn’t want to do it and takes a few days to think about.  Jackson plans to kill her if she backs out.

While she considers the offer, she finds herself running from a false murder charge Less than twenty-four hours later, she is fighting for her life and Jackson’s offer seems her only hope.

Ten years later LuAnn has lived all over the world and learned a great deal. She is one of the wealthiest women in the world and she secretly returns with her daughter Lisa to the United States. She meets Matthew Riggs and falls in love with him. Rigg’s past is also full of mystery.  

A reporter who has been investigating the lottery system for years becomes aware of LuAnn’s return as have both the FBI and Jackson. Matt Riggs seems to be the only person who can help her.

The twisting plot holds our attention right to the last page.

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Quotes

“America was full of opportunity, everybody said. You just had to unlock it. Only they forgot to give out keys for LuAnn’s kind. Or maybe they didn’t forget at all. Maybe it was intentional”

“Nothing, absolutely nothing, was above corruption so long as human beings were involved.”

“Half truths were a wonderful way to inspire credibility.”

“Assumptions are dangerous things. I like facts a lot better.”

“Human beings are infinitely fallible, completely unreliable. Science is not. Science is absolute. Under strict principles, if you do A and B, then C will occur. This rarely happens if you inject the inefficiences of humanity into the process.”

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The Winner
By David Baldacci