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.
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.
I have been a Baldacci fan since reading Total Control, The Winner and Saving Faith, all good books and worth the time. But, Split Second? All I can say is, infuriating. An unbelievable plot, a cast of confusing, cliched characters, and an absolutely ridiculous ending. It all adds up to a real waste of trees used to make the paper for this thing.
I almost wonder if this wasn't something he wrote in high school and now that he is famous, he thought he could pull it out and pass it off as a "real novel." His editors and agents should have stepped in and stopped this before it got to print. After trying and trying, I did eventually plow though it all, because as I told my wife, "I can't believe how confusing and dumb this is. I just have to read to the end, to see how he is going to work himself of this morass of a plot." In a sentence? The ending was as dumb and confusing as the rest of the book.
The few people on here who have given this book four or five stars must work for the publisher, be relatives of Baldacci, or are cult followers ready to swallow the Kool Aid. I've never seen so many negative reviews for a book on Amazon. I only wish I had read them before I started it and not after.
If you must read a Baldacci book, go for Total Control or The Winner, they are both page turners. Well actually, Split Second was a page turner also. You had to keep turning them back and forth to try and figure out this confusing mess.
I'm sorry to be so negative, but I liked Baldacci, enjoyed his other books, and had high hopes for this story. After reading this I am hesitant to try any of his others, but will probably give him one more chance to make up for this clunker.
Before reading this book, my top five books were:
1) Roses Are Red by James Patterson
2) 1st to Die by James Patterson
3) The Vanished Man by Jeffery Deaver
4) Silent Justice by William Bernhardt
5) And Then There Were None by Agatha Christe
Number five on that list has been bumped and "Split Second" takes a proud stand at number 2 bumping the rest down a bit.
This book had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. All the way from the intriguing prologue to the twisted finish of the book, this book had me hooked, staying up nights to finish "just one more chapter."
Prologue: 1996--Our first agent takes his tragic downfall after having his attention diverted by......well, you'll have to wait until later in the book for that.
Then, the rest of the book starts in current time. Our second agent makes a mistake that ends with the kidnapping? death? of a presidential candidate.
Not long later, our two agents meet and begin to realize that these two events are not isolated...they are related. But how? Why?
The book throws more and more curve balls at you, leaving you wondering what the heck is going on.
Then comes the twist in the final showdown. Then, another twist in there.
I mean, wow. All I can say, is read this book.
Also, the plot ran at an okay pace, but it was nothing to alert the media about. Split Second is all about how a political assassination that happened more than a decade ago links to the kidnapping of John Bruno, a candidate for the presidency of the United States. Bruno is kidnapped as a result of Secret Service Agent Maxwell's error in judgment, and thus she sets out to exonerate herself by linking up with ex-Agent Sean King-- the man who took the heat for the first assassination. The rest of the book is basically all about how the two form a partnership and go about trying to nab the bad guys and clear their name.
Its a decent plot, but the characters don't do the plot justice. And there are parts of the story where I felt the evidence was rather weak. At certain junctures it even seemed as though Baldacci had run out of options and was just winging it.
So read it if you've got nothing better to do. But if you want a good Baldacci nail-biter, pick up Saving Faith instead.