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Hour Game (King & Maxwell Series Book 2) by [David Baldacci]
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Hour Game (King & Maxwell Series Book 2) Kindle Edition

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Editorial Reviews

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Hour Game

By David Baldacci

Warner Adult

Copyright © 2004 David Baldacci
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781586217075

Chapter One

THE MAN IN THE RAIN SLICKER WALKED slightly bent over, his breathinglabored and his body sweaty. The extra weight he was bearing, thoughnot all that substantial, was awkwardly placed, and the terrain wasuneven. It was never an easy thing to tote a dead body through thewoods in the middle of the night. He shifted the corpse to his leftshoulder and trudged on. The soles of his shoes bore nodistinguishing marks; not that it would have mattered, since therain quickly washed away any traces of footprints. He'd checked theforecast; the rain was why he was here. The inclement weather wasthe best friend he could ask for.

Aside from the dead body draped over his sturdy shoulder, the manwas also remarkable for the black hood he wore, on which wasstitched an esoteric symbol that ran down the length of the cloth.It was a circle with a crosshairs through its middle. Probablyinstantly recognizable to anyone over the age of fifty, the logoonce inspired a dread that had significantly eroded with time. Itdidn't matter that no one "alive" would see him wearing the hood; hetook grim satisfaction in its lethal symbolism.

Within ten minutes he'd reached the location he'd carefully selectedon an earlier visit, and laid the body down with a reverence thatbelied the violent manner in which the person had died. He took adeep breath and held it as he undid the telephone wire holding thebundle closed, and unwrapped the plastic. She was young withfeatures that had been attractive two days prior; the woman was notmuch to look at now. The soft blond hair fell away from thegreenish-tinged skin, revealing closed eyes and bloated cheeks. Hadthe eyes been open, they might have still held the startled gaze ofthe deceased as she endured her own murder, an experience replicatedroughly thirty thousand times each year in America.

He slid the plastic all the way free and laid the woman on her back.Then he let out his breath, fought the urge to retch caused by thestench of the body, and sucked in another lungful of air. Using oneof his gloved hands and his light, he searched for and found thesmall, forked branch that he'd earlier placed in the bramble nearby.He used this to support the woman's forearm, which he'd positionedsuch that it was pointing to the sky. The body's rigor mortis,though rapidly fading, had made the task difficult, but he wasstrong and had finally levered the stiffened limb to the correctangle. He took the watch out of his pocket, checked with hisflashlight to make sure it was set properly, and placed it aroundthe dead woman's wrist.

Though far from a religious man, he knelt over the body and muttereda brief prayer, cupping his hand over his mouth and nose as he didso.

"You weren't directly responsible, but you were all I had. Youdidn't die in vain. And I believe you're actually better off." Didhe really believe what he had just said? Maybe not. Maybe it didn'tmatter.

He looked at the dead woman's face, studying her featuresscrupulously as though a scientist observing a particularlyfascinating experiment. He had never killed another person before.He'd made it quick and, he hoped, painless. In the dull, misty nightthe woman seemed surrounded by a yellowish glow, as though she'dalready become a spirit.

He drew farther back and examined the area all around, checking forany extraneous items that might lead to evidence against him. Hediscovered only a piece of cloth from his hood that had caught on abush near where the body lay. Careless, you can't afford that. Heplaced it in his pocket. He spent several more minutes looking forother such items nearing microscopic size.

In the world of criminal investigation it was these forensic"no-see-ums" that did one in. A single drop of blood, semen orsaliva, a smudge of fingerprint, a hair follicle with a bit ofDNA-littered root attached, and the police could be reading you yourrights while prosecutors circled hungrily nearby. Unfortunately,even full awareness of that reality offered little protection. Everycriminal, no matter how careful, left potentially incriminatingmaterial at the crime scene. Thus, he'd taken great care to have nodirect physical contact with the dead woman as though she were aninfectious agent that could cause a fatal disease.

He rolled up the plastic and pocketed the telephone cord, checkedthe watch once more and then slowly made his way back to his car.

Behind him lay the dead woman, her hand upraised to the wateryheavens. Her watch was slightly luminous in the dark and made a dullbeacon for her new resting place. She wouldn't remain undiscoveredfor long. Dead bodies aboveground rarely did, even in places asisolated as this.

As he drove off, the hooded man used his finger to trace the symbolon his hood, making the sign of the cross at the same time. Thecrosshairs symbol also appeared on the face of the watch he'd placedon the dead woman's wrist. That should certainly get a rise out ofthem. He took a breath full of excitement as well as dread. Foryears he had imagined that this day would never come. For years hiscourage had faltered. Now that the first step had been taken, hefelt a great sense of empowerment and liberation.

He shifted into third gear and sped up, his tires grabbing theslicked roadway and holding firm as the darkness swallowed up thelights of his blue VW. He wanted to get to where he was going asfast as possible.

He had a letter to write.


Excerpted from Hour Gameby David Baldacci Copyright © 2004 by David Baldacci. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. Review

Two disgraced former Secret Service officers team up to solve a series of copy-cat crimes in this exciting new thriller by a master of the game. Sean King was momentarily distracted when a presidential candidate he'd been guarding was assassinated a few feet from where he stood, and Michelle Maxwell left the Service under a similar cloud when she lost a "protectee" to an ingenious kidnapping scheme, events told in Baldacci's typical terse, fast-paced style in Split Second. Now partners in a private investigation firm in a small Virginia town, they're hired to investigate a burglary at the home of a wealthy local family. But even before the chief suspect in the break-in meets his death in a gruesome slaying reminiscent of a serial killer long since caught and punished, King and Maxwell get caught up in a string of other murders, each of which copies the techniques of another madman, from San Francisco's Zodiac Killer to Chicago's infamous John Wayne Gacy. While the two protagonists aren't especially complex or well-developed, the action never stops, and Baldacci's trademark pacing keeps the reader turning pages until the denouement, which unfortunately isn't quite as satisfying as the rest of the novel. --Jane Adams Exclusive Content

Why Hour Game: An Exclusive Essay by David Baldacci

It's hard not to notice that the majority of fictional serial killers are cut from the same mold. When David Baldacci wrote Hour Game, he went out of his way to create a murderous original. Read this exclusive essay to learn how and why he did it. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B000FC2J2A
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Grand Central Publishing (October 1, 2004)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ October 1, 2004
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1661 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 624 pages
  • Page numbers source ISBN ‏ : ‎ 0330517791
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,936 ratings

About the author

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David Baldacci has been writing since childhood, when his mother gave him a lined notebook in which to write down his stories. (Much later, when David thanked her for being the spark that ignited his writing career, she revealed that she'd given him the notebook to keep him quiet, &quot;because every mom needs a break now and then.&quot;)

David published his first novel, ABSOLUTE POWER, in 1996. A feature film followed, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. In total, David has published 41 novels for adults; all have been national and international bestsellers and several have been adapted for film and television. His novels have been translated into over 45 languages and sold in more than 80 countries, with 150 million copies sold worldwide. David has also published seven novels for younger readers.

David received his Bachelor's degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, after which he practiced law in Washington, D.C.

David is also the cofounder, along with his wife, of the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across the United States.

David and his family live in Virginia.

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Fiona Food Fan
1.0 out of 5 stars I am a Baldacci fan and this is RUBBISH
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 10, 2018
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Lynne S
5.0 out of 5 stars Another riveting read
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good read.
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Mr. S. N. Cooper
1.0 out of 5 stars Seriously poor "crime by numbers" effort
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hour Game a Gripping Story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 1, 2018
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