Split Second Paperback – Oct 8 2007
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|Paperback, Oct 8 2007||
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
Sean King can certainly relate. In his Secret Service career, he dropped the ball guarding a presidential candidate and that man was gunned down in a hotel.
Those split second decisions cost people their lives and destroyed careers.
Michelle is quite familiar with Sean's history. She knows she's in a similar situation and seeks out his help.
In their investigation together, they discover more questions and just when they think they have things figured out, they get new wrinkles to their theories. With more interviews and clues, they even start to unravel the mystery behind the even that tore apart Sean's career eight years earlier.
Sean King and Michelle Maxwell go on such an interesting journey and you're right there with them every step of the way. These are a couple of characters you'd like to catch up with in a sequel.
Most recent customer reviews
I have to say that David Baldacci has done it again for me. The King and Maxwell series book one "Split Second" was a thoroughly fun read. I can't wait to start second book.Published 2 months ago by Skylander enthusiast
Stupid book. Poorly written and dated. The language was cliché and the characters were not believable. The plot was convoluted and also stretched credulity.Published 14 months ago by Sherry Cooper
Wanted regular hardcover, not the mini version, should be better describedPublished 18 months ago by Trevor G Thirsk
It was an interesting story line, enjoyed it but not up to the usual Baldacci stories. Will read another in the series though.Published 20 months ago by Linda.g
Thoroughly enjoy this Baldacci series. Disappointed the TV series only lasted one year. Reading the books are easy when you can visualize the characters.Published 21 months ago by G. M. McCaig