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Split Second [Paperback]

David Baldacci
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)

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Paperback CDN $12.27  
Paperback, Oct. 8 2007 --  
Mass Market Paperback CDN $9.51  
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Book Description

Oct. 8 2007 King & Maxwell
SPLIT SECOND is a tale of two disgraced Secret Service agents racing against time to find the common thread that connects a series of assassinations and abductions."Played" and misled by suspects, the duo search for answers.

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Product Description

From Amazon

Split Second is David Baldacci at the top of his well-informed game, with a real sense of what the Secret Servicemen who protect the President and presidential candidates think about the job and how it feels to fail. Sean King looked away at the wrong moment and a man died; his career ended and he has spent eight years rebuilding a life. When Michelle Maxwell makes a similar mistake, she becomes convinced that there is a link between the man she lost to kidnappers and the man Sean failed to protect--and the more she learns, the more she can prove.

This is an odd couple thriller--Sean and Michelle have radically different attitudes to the job they both did well--and ingeniously put together in terms of what it tells us about the shadowy villain manipulating events and what it delays telling us about the past. It is a well-informed thriller which wears its research lightly--it has a sense of how it feels to see every large room as a potential killing ground in which you have to protect very vulnerable public men, and some charming scenes of budding romantic comedy. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

"We just solved a huge, complicated mystery," says one protagonist to another in this latest novel from the bestselling author of Last Man Standing, Absolute Power, etc. And that is the problem: this story of two disgraced Secret Service agents who come together to solve two campaign-trail crimes doesn't play to Baldacci's strengths, which are suspense and action (as well as strong characterizations; here's one thriller author who writes people that readers care about). The novel is primarily a mystery, with lots of talk and untangling of clues, and a less than gripping one at that. It begins in 1996, when Secret Service agent Sean King is distracted-by what isn't revealed until near the book's end-just when the presidential candidate he's guarding is shot dead. Eight years later, agent Michelle Maxwell lets the candidate she's watching enter a funeral parlor room alone; he's kidnapped. Then a body appears in the office of King, who's now a successful lawyer in North Carolina. Maxwell sees King on TV and decides to look into the event that caused his disgrace, so similar to hers. Meanwhile, King's old flame, Joan Dillinger, an ex-agent whose security firm has been hired to find the kidnapped presidential candidate, hires King to help in the hunt. The narrative ties binding the characters don't loosen much over the novel's course, as curious cross-currents flow between the two cases, all leading to a cinematic but off-the-wall denouement that reveals a villain who is more cartoon than human. What saves this novel are a few strong but brief action sequences and, above all, the interplay among the principal characters, particularly the romantic tensions among King, Maxwell and Dillinger.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Sadly Disappoining Offering From a Gifted Writer May 24 2004
Format:Hardcover
I like David Baldacci. I think he's an excellent writer. He has a rare gift where his writing spans subject matters and crosses genres yet he still comes off as an expert in that particular field. He writes about lawyers, single mothers, FBI agents and many other topics with authority. Now he takes on the world of the secret service agent. Unfortunately this time he strikes out.
Sean King was a secret service agent until a momentary distraction cost the life of his charge. Michele Maxwell is a current agent, but maybe not for long now that her charge was kidnapped do mostly to a single mistake. So now, of course, the two disgraced agents hook up, to the dismay of the Service, local cops, the FBI and just about everybody else. Together the try to solve the disappearance of the Presidential candidate that Michele was charge to look after while also shedding new light on the circumstances behind Sean's disgrace. Hey everyone, it's a mystery.
There are so many things that I didn't like about this story. First off, the plot was so complex it was unbelievable and bordering on ridiculous. The "bad guys" motives were very weak. The characters shallow and the tensions created by bureaucratic politics predictable and so over used in today's mystery fiction. The story moved a long at a decent place to the predictable mystery style reveal followed by the bang-bang climatic finish which was anything but climatic.
One of the gimmicks that is used in this story is the mystery bad guy following the good guys and commenting on their doings. Here we see an old man identified only by his make of car watching over the shoulder of our hero's. This is supposed to give us the master manipulator, on top of everything feel of our mastermind bad guys, but it comes off as cheesy.
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Format:Audio Cassette
This abridged adaption of the novel, expertly read, as always, by Ron McClarty, is a well written story of assassination, intrigue, suspense, and strong characters. It begins with a political assassination and ends with a betrayal; beyond that, I don't want to give the plot away. Suffice it to say, that Mr. Baldacci's characters are strong, whether good or bad, and Sidney Morse is as about an evil so and so as one might find. Sean King, Michelle Maxwell, and Joan Dillinger (which made me chuckle a little, as I thought it was a play the name "John Dillinger", but it probably wasn't) were all strong, complex, characters. With a tight story and as mentioned an excellent reading by Mr. McClarty, I found the story quite suspenseful. It might make an excellent movie, if done right; which, unfortunately, many books are not. Even so, I think readers will enjoy the story. If one is a fan, as I am, of Mr. Baldacci's work, and I have everything, short of his new book; which hasn't been published, but rest assured, when it is I'll get it, you'll like this story. While Mr. Baldacci doesn't get the "automatic" movie and television deals of a John Grisham, his work (I think) is much better. I have written him, on his site, so. I will definitely be picking up the print version (as well as the audio version, if still in print, around the holidays, of "The Christmas Train").
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Format:Hardcover
baldacci's writing is very very good and he's also transcended himself by writing better and better one after another. this is the cool and creative writing dude that i won't miss. forget about other peoples' critics or reviews that tried to bash and degrade baldacci, 'cause he's very talented and got guts to test any new territory that he and the readers are both trying to get a grip if possible. his writing technique is so good, the dialogues, the plots, the characters' 3-dimensional development never failed once not to impress me. i've prepared a whole box of the finest cigars for this cool dude and would like to give him one anytime he got a new book published. thanks, man, keep the health, the eyesight and the fantastic imagination to make my life more standable. thank you again, sir.
an afterthought, sir, don't try to create a too complicated scenario and then tried very hard to assemble them together before the end so hastily, and as a male writer, don't try to write something from the angle of a female character, that's bad trying, unless you were another sidney sheldon who turned out out of the closet to be an opposite gender.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Barnburner... April 18 2004
Format:Hardcover
David Baldacci has given his readers another barnburner with his latest book, Split Second. Secret Service agent Sean King is on the campaign trail with a presidential candidate, when this candidate is assassinated right under Sean's nose. Although King isn't the team leader, he takes the blame and ultimately leaves the service and tries to pick up the pieces of his shattered life. Fast forward eight years. Rising star Secret Service agent Michelle Maxwell has the presidential candidate she's guarding kidnapped under mysterious circumstances. Maxwell seeks out King to compare notes, and as they dig, they discover that not only are there many similarities between the two cases, but that they're actually connected.
As with most Baldacci books, this one is filled with murder and mayhem, bugs and bombs, and a few kidnappings. You also suspect that one of the bad guys is working on the inside, but I couldn't figure it out until the person revealed him/herself. The ride has enough twists and turns to make you carsick, and the plot will keep you guessing until the end.
One thing I have noticed about Baldacci as he becomes more prolific, and that is more of the good guys are still alive at the end of the book. This might make for happier endings and more satisfied readers, but it doesn't make a book more realistic. Still, this one will keep you at the edge of your seat from start to finish.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love Baldacci....great introduction to King and Maxwell.
Published 22 days ago by Gloria J Lilley
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent read
Published 1 month ago by Tom Love
4.0 out of 5 stars start of many adventures
A good story. A bit far fetched, but it introduces you to the two key people. A nice start for the series
Published 1 month ago by James Burton
3.0 out of 5 stars not bad but not his best
It become a little hard to follow in parts. The characters were not sharing with each other, let alone the readers.
Published 2 months ago by kris
5.0 out of 5 stars Great.
David never disappoints. Quick moving , wonderful characters and twisted bad guys.
I love all of his writing and can't wait to pick up the next one.
Published 3 months ago by Lenore Harrison
5.0 out of 5 stars good read
I enjoyed reading Split Second as I do all of David Baldacci books. He always has a twist in the plot to keep you guessing
Published 5 months ago by Chrys Hunter
4.0 out of 5 stars A GOOD READ
I enjoyed the book, found it had enjoy twists and curves to keep me guessing and engaged. I would recommend it to others.
Published 5 months ago by Murray Pearson
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, solid read....
Wanted to read the beginning of the series.... Enjoyed the plot twists and the strong characters. A good bet for any mystery fan.
Published 9 months ago by Nicola MacNaughton
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read
David always has gripping plots and keeps you spell,bound right to,the end.
Can't wait to read them the next one.
Published 15 months ago by Paulineisafan
4.0 out of 5 stars Steamy
I agree with another reviewer that the best aspect of this book is the love triangle--steamy! My only hesitation with this work was that a few of the twists and turns didn't need... Read more
Published on Aug. 4 2004 by "wallacefeytag999"
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