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Split Second (King & Maxwell Series, 1) Hardcover – Large Print, September 30, 2003
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Michelle Maxwell has just wrecked her promising career at the Secret Service. Against her instincts, she let a presidential candidate out of her sight for the briefest moment and the man whose safety was her responsibility vanished into thin air.
Sean King knows how the younger agent feels. Eight years earlier, the hard-charging Secret Service agent allowed his attention to be diverted for a split second. And the candidate he was protecting was gunned down before his eyes. Now Michelle and Sean are about to see their destinies converge.
Drawn into a maze of lies, secrets, and deadly coincidences, the two discredited agents uncover a shocking truth: that the separate acts of violence that shattered their lives were really a long time in the making—and are a long way from over.
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About the Author
- Publisher : Grand Central Publishing; Large Print edition (September 30, 2003)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 544 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0446533122
- ISBN-13 : 978-0446533126
- Item Weight : 1.5 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.88 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #393,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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I suppose that for his fans, myself included, the true value of this outing is as a measure of how his talent has developed since writing it. It still puzzles me how this could have happened, though, because he penned several titles prior to this one that were quite good. Mid career slump maybe? Flashback from a bad college acid trip? I dunno, but something weird had to cause this.
The pair of them carefully reexamine both crime scenes and track down witnesses, only to discover that previous assumptions were totally inadequate. As they get closer to a solution, their lives are put in serious jeopardy. If they bring the same determination and perceptiveness to future cases, they will be a team that will be hard to reckon with. By far, it is the interaction of the two that makes this book entertaining.
Each of DBs books is a roller coaster of events interlaced with moments of plot-refining reflection. While from a distance, his novels might seem formulaic and ultimately predictable, they are nearly always saved by the genius of particulars.
I suppose that’s why I keep reading his work. Ineluctably drawn into his next adventure.....
But in the case of the King and Maxwell series, I recommend that you skip to Book #2. I won't provide any spoilers, but the way Baldacci set up this story, the identity of the main perpetrator was obvious around a third of the way through. He was dropping neon arrows, not bread crumbs.
One minor complaint. Like unfortunately too many writers, Baldacci is guilty of (possibly subconscious) sexism by referring to his two main characters repeatedly as "King" and "Michelle." Not once does he say "Sean" and "Maxwell." Just saying.
Top reviews from other countries
Some authors make their name by writing books which develop into a series featuring the same character. David Baldacci has taken that on further. He currently writes a number of books featuring different characters. Will Robie, John Puller and Amos Decker are just some of his characters who have had several different books featuring their adventures. Split Second is the first book in his Sean King and Michelle Maxwell series.
Two American Secret Service agents who in different situations have broken the main rules of the service. One is forced out and the others career hangs by a thread. They have never met but events bring them together in a way that neither could have predicted.
In a fast moving thriller both characters find there are similarities in both instances that undermined their careers. The two matters appear on the surface not to be linked but closer examination shows that appearances are deceptive and there are clear links between both issues. However as keen as they are to find out the reasons others are just as committed to keep things secret and will go to any lengths to ensure this happens.
Baldacci keeps the reader guessing throughout with a gradual accumulation of evidence by both main characters. The red herrings are present throughout also and it culminates in an exciting and perhaps unexpected conclusion. It is an excellent read as most Baldacci books are and I would have no hesitation in reading more in this particular series.
Without spoiling the plot, what irritated me was the number of times one of the characters discovers a clue but does not share it with us until later in the story. In addition, King (one of the main characters in the story) has an annoying (for me at least) habit of going off on his own to ponder something he has thought of (or needs to think about) but again without sharing it with us readers at that point. Finally, as I reached the dramatic conclusion of the story, where the action happens really thick and fast, I had to cycle back a few pages to remind myself who was who, as there are a lot of characters in this story to keep track of (as well as two events which occur 8 years apart!) and most of the characters feature in the climax of the novel.
Now I should say that I have really enjoyed some of the other books written by David Baldacci (e.g. Absolute Power is a really dramatic and engaging thriller that kept me reading into the early hours of the morning to finish) but this one did not live up to my expectations based on some of his other books I have read ... perhaps my expectations were set a little too high? However, as I usually enjoy David Baldacci books, I plan to read another of the novels featuring King & Maxwell partly because the epilogue in this one sets you up for the next book in the series (but without it being a cliff hanger). Hopefully it will have a little more character development and a slightly more credible plot.
So, if you enjoy thrillers with complex plots, lots of action, a large cast of characters and some red herrings to mislead you, then I think you will probably not be disappointed with this novel.
I have just managed to grind out the last few pages.
Cringefest. Cheesy heroes who are annoyingly perfect 24/7.
This book stunk. I dont care if he is famous, this author is outrageously predictable.
Why are readers falling for this? Why the gushing reviews? I knew everything before it happened.
David Baldacci is one of my favourite authors. His stories grip me right from the outset each time.
I had forgotten I had this book on my Kindle, when I borrowed my Dad's paperback copy. The first sentence of the prologue had me hooked. Once I started reading, I couldn't stop. The twists and turns just kept coming. Questions mounted up, but answers were hard to come by.
The story was fast paced and the suspense was intense throughout. As the story came to it's conclusion, the suspense was ramped up even further. David Baldacci's talent for this is second to none.
After double checking my Baldacci catalogue, I was glad to see I have all the books in this series. So I think I will now be on a King and Maxwell series binge.