David Baldacci brings back Sean King and Michelle Maxwell - former Secret Service agents turned private investigators, featured in the hit TNT TV series King & Maxwell - in their most surprising, personal, and dangerous case ever....
It seems at first like a simple, tragic story. Tyler Wingo, a teenage boy, learns the awful news that his father, a soldier, was killed in action in Afghanistan. Then the extraordinary happens: Tyler receives a communication from his father...after his supposed death.
Tyler hires Sean and Michelle to solve the mystery surrounding his father. But their investigation quickly leads to deeper, more troubling questions. Could Tyler's father really still be alive? What was his true mission? Could Tyler be the next target?
Sean and Michelle soon realize that they've stumbled on to something bigger and more treacherous than anyone could have imagined. And as their hunt for the truth leads them relentlessly to the highest levels of power and to uncovering the most clandestine of secrets, Sean and Michelle are determined to help and protect Tyler - though they may pay for it with their lives.
(Book 6 of the series)
©2013 David Baldacci (P)2013 Hachette
I read some of the reviews of this book and almost didn't get it because of them. However, after completing it a little while ago I felt a need to get in here and post something on behalf of other Baldacci fans that might be on the edge. If you are waffling like I was and are uncertain, trust your gut and trust David Baldacci's talent. This is indeed a good book. Okay, I will admit that its not my all time favorite work of his, but come on, it certainly was not as bad as some of the reviews I read. I would put it on my A- list.
There were several moments that made me hit the pause button and literally ask "Why do people not like this book? This is a great book!" There's action, drama, humor, emotion, an almost tearful reunion and a suspense filled ending that I absolutely loved. I am not going to spoil it for you, but toward the end there is an impossible but cleverly crafted incident in the Potomac that I thoroughly enjoyed.
The suspenseful first contact between King and Wingo with Maxwell providing "long-eye" cover with a sniper rifle was one of my favorite moments. I found the relationship between King and Maxwell and Wingo Sr., a bit awkward at times given the circumstances. It finally worked itself out smoothly enough to be appreciated.
To my peer Baldacci fans that did not like this book, I think I understand where you are coming from in that the story line seemed a little, as I said, impossible but it is a work of fiction. I find it hard to beat up too much on Baldacci given the overall fun I had with this book. The performance of the cast was excellent in my opinion. Don't give up on our incredible author, he's worth the following.
My husband and I listened to this book together and we kept turning to it every chance we got so see what happened next. The only problem I had was that because we watched the King and Maxwell TV show, I kept picturing the actors from the show (whom I really like) and the voices I was hearing seemed wrong as a result. I've never been keen on Orlagh Cassidy as Maxwell and that made it worse.
Authors now have to offer two books in a sense. The audience that purchases an audio book is purchasing one that is different from the written version due to the added dimension of the readers/performers. For this reason, I'm glad that audible gives us the opportunity to rate the story apart from the performance.
I would like to see the audio recording companies omit the sound effects that are being added to so many action books. I don't think they enhance the authors' works.
Avid reader for 45 years
Good story; I had no idea what would happen next. I enjoy the complex relationship between King and Maxwell, although I don't find it plausible that they work so hard to keep it platonic. Also, it was so good to have the suspense and mystery without endless graphic violence.
One of the best books of the K and M series.
No favorite character...they were all well-acted.
Their voices and tempo matched very well, unlike previous K and M audiobooks. Each character was voiced with enough nuance to be distinguishable and believable. The dialog flowed without noticeable bumps. VERY well acted.
I cringed every time I heard one of the sound effects in the background. They were fake-sounding, cheesy, and totally unnecessary. One of the beauties of listening to an audiobook is creating the scenes and accompanying sounds in your mind. If you add sounds, you might as well add visuals like explosions and bullet tracers.
Other than the cheesy sound effects, this was a very enjoyable book.
King and Maxwell are back and in classic style with great new twists. I don't know if there are better book characters out there. King & Maxwell are such a great pair. They are SO well developed as characters, I feel like I really know them as people. Baldacci has developed the perfect balance of making you feel like you know them, while throwing in surprises and twists and hooks that keep you off your guard. The other balancing act that Baldacci performs perfectly is the strengths and weaknesses of both King and Maxwell. He makes them fit in a perfect and yet not-contrived way. Their banter, their complimentary characteristics, their flaws, and their partnership are all totally believable.
This story is super fast driving and dense with action. You can't space off and miss a few minutes of this story or you will certainly miss an explosion, or a great save, or a new twist leading to who-done-it. It's awesome. The ending is complex, and fun, and action-packed, and worthy of the story you have invested in as a listener.
I gave only four stars for the performance because of McLarty's voice for the boy, Tyler. It was whiny and annoying and distracting. The rest of the pieces of the performances are great.
Baldacci had a string of below par efforts but he seems to have come back with King and Maxwell. They are good characters and, while not a good as the Camel Club crew, not many are. Baldacci has improved the dialog at least for King. It is hard to tell if the Maxwell dialog is as bad as it seems or whether Cassidy is making weak dialog look worse than it is. The sound effects are irritating but there aren't that many of them. The premise is far out but you have to expect that in the thriller genre. Baldacci has proved again that he can tell a story and keep the reader's interest up to the final page. This book is worth your time.
Like action, adventures, war stories, militay happenings, historical readings-fiction, & mysteries. Unabridged only! Reader IMPORT!
It seemed like the same old refrain --- corruption in the government/military/CIA/FBI. However, "our heroes" will come through no matter what happens or what comes in their way!?!
It was nice to have a male/female voices. The male voice did not seem to make very much of a distinction between male characters when no first/last names were involved.
I usually rate Mr Baldacci's book much higher but other might enjoy this one! However, I did not!!
I've seen this request many times for Baldacci's books, but apparently he is not interested in what his fans have to say. The narrator is a much needed improvement over Brick, but the sound effects are still distracting to most book enthusiasts. A book is not a movie, so loose the extremely distracting sound effects. No one listening to audiobooks needs the sound effects of gunfire, car crashes, or exploding bombs; we know what these sound like. We have an imagination or we would be at a movie instead of listening to an audiobook! I would not go to a silent movie, and I don't want a dramatized audiobook!
A few must reads: Mr. Mercedes, Narrows Gate, Cop Town, Bomb Proof, Wayfaring Stranger, The Son (Nesbo), Dept Q series...
Please don't misunderstand my ratings. This is indeed a fast and fun read. I really think I am just tired of grand conspiracies that seem too far fetched for my liking.
The narration rating may be misleading as well. I liked both narrators, but I prefer to listen to only one for any book. The only exception I can think of is The Help. But what really drew my ire in this production were the sound effects. They are simply unnecessary and take away from the story.
The plot is perfectly paced and filled with great characters. What irritates me is the way King and Maxwell become involved in the mystery. They are driving in a rain storm and see a stranger, a 16 year old kid running down the road with a gun. Suddenly they are involved in an international conspiracy. It is unrealistic and even trite. Another misgiving is the motivations of the villain is impossible for me to believe. There are real conspiracies that are stranger than fiction, the UN sex traffic scandal comes to mind. I just cannot think of a powerful person misusing that power because of a personal vendetta. An example of a fictional, personal motivation setting off an international event I find believable is the death of Ramius's wife in Clancy's Red October. It forced Ramius to face the truth about what Russian politics had become.
What makes this fun for me is Baldacci's characters. Far from super heroes, they are simply talented, driven professionals with the same every day problems all of us face. They are smart, resourceful, athletic and attractive, but not without flaws. And there's a romantic more than sexual tension between them I find refreshing.
So I guess I'm critical because I liked much of what I read. Does that make sense?
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