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Split Second [Paperback]

David Baldacci
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)

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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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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
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Total Disapointment July 16 2004
By A Customer
A Total Disappointment
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great. June 6 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars good read April 15 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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
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4.0 out of 5 stars A GOOD READ April 13 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the book, found it had enjoy twists and curves to keep me guessing and engaged. I would recommend it to others.
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3.0 out of 5 stars not bad but not his best July 29 2014
By kris
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It become a little hard to follow in parts. The characters were not sharing with each other, let alone the readers.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Baldacci's Best... Not by a long shot July 7 2004
By wing_a
While I generally enjoy David Baldacci's books, this one was somewhat of a disappointment. It was a relatively entertaining read, but not much else. I thought the characters were a little too typecast and cliched. For example Michelle Maxwell was the perfect ex-jock golden girl. She was practically flawless.
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.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well structured thriller June 16 2004
The book puts the reader in the middle of the action within the first 20 pages. Two similar events, 8 years apart, involving both a Secret Service agent, apparently unconnected, quickly come together into a single story with many characters, events, surprises, in this past paced thriller. Overall a well structured story, keeps you reading, and you better do or you'll forget some of the pieces of the puzzle. I enjoyed it. Only minor point: the author includes sometimes too many "thoughts" of possible theories/plots that tend to confuse.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my top five books of all time July 13 2004
By Emgee
Where to begin with this book.
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.
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