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Simple Genius | [David Baldacci]

Simple Genius

Former Secret Service agents turned private investigators Sean King and Michelle Maxwell have seen their lives splinter around them. Michelle lies unconscious in a hospital bed after a night of suicidal violence. And Sean is forced to take on a thankless investigation into the murder of a scientist just inside the CIA's razor-wire fence near Williamsburg, Virginia. But they will need to team up again to stop a conspiracy of traitors operating in the shadow of the White House itself.
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Publisher's Summary

Former Secret Service agents turned private investigators Sean King and Michelle Maxwell have seen their lives splinter around them. Michelle lies unconscious in a hospital bed after a night of suicidal violence. And Sean is forced to take on a thankless investigation into the murder of a scientist just inside the CIA's razor-wire fence near Williamsburg, Virginia.

Soon he is uncovering layers of disinformation that shields a stunning world of elite mathematicians, physicists, war heroes, spies, and deadly field agents. Amid murder, a seemingly autistic girl's extraordinary genius, and a powerful breakthrough in the realm of classified codes, Sean learns enough to put his life at risk. Now, he needs Michelle, at her best, to help stop a conspiracy of traitors operating in the shadow of the White House itself.

From Michelle's courageous struggle to defeat her long-buried personal demons to a centuries-old secret that surfaces in the heat of the action, Simple Genius pulses with stunning, high-intensity suspense. The heroes of Split Second and Hour Game are back as you've never seen them before.

Download the accompanying reference guide. And don't miss the previous exploits of this dynamic duo in Split Second and Hour Game.

©2007 Columbus Rose, Ltd; (P)2007 Hachette Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1937 )
5 star
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4.3 (742 )
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Story
4.4 (736 )
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Performance
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  •  
    R.E. Vazquez Glen Allen, VA USA 05-25-07
    R.E. Vazquez Glen Allen, VA USA 05-25-07 Listener Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    177
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    33
    15
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    3
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    Overall
    "not Baldacci's best"

    I was somewhat dissssapointed with this book. I expected a book about the CIA's Camp Peary operation. Other than paint the CIA as evil, there is very little of interest about the training facility. The plot was somewhat disjointed and difficult to buy into. Most of it was a reach that didn't convince me it could happen. The sub-plot at the mental hospital seemed to be there to add length and had very little to do with anything else in the book. Likewise, the revolutionary war connection was just filler and very hard to accept. He has done better in the past and hopefully will do better in the future, but not this time.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joanna SCOTTSDALE, AZ, United States 06-09-09
    Joanna SCOTTSDALE, AZ, United States 06-09-09 Member Since 2007

    Used to read classic lit for pleasure of well-written prose. Now, with MS, it's thrillers, courtroom/police dramas, and adventure to escape!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    458
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    485
    53
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    35
    2
    Overall
    "Better than average"

    The first third of this book was slow, and somewhat boring. However, I will say that it really picked up and had an exciting second half. I enjoyed the last two hours so much that I listened to it straight through. However, unless you want to read every Baldacci book with Sean and Michelle I would stick with only the First Family, and Split Second. The middle two books were so-so. As a suggestion, Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch books are better, in my opinion. Little different genre (police detective) but at least I didn't find myself falling asleep while I was listening to them!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth Wildwood, MO, USA 12-05-07
    Ruth Wildwood, MO, USA 12-05-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    260
    5
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    1
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    Overall
    "Simply Silly"

    What a disappointment. I generally like Baldacci, but this book wasn't well written and the story line was so far out there that it was totally unbelievable. I honestly didn't care what happened to the characters in the end.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Santa Fe, NM, United States 05-25-07
    Mark Santa Fe, NM, United States 05-25-07 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    143
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    234
    53
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    1
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    Overall
    "Good Read"

    Good read. Baldacci does a good job at character and plot development. VERY well read. There were some redundant and extraneous parts, but overall, a good story with plenty of twist and turns. Recommended.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gene Austin, TX, United States 01-12-09
    Gene Austin, TX, United States 01-12-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Kept me awake listening"

    Simple Genius is a work of art. There were characters that kept me awake nights. Just when I thought I had it figured out--bam-the story twisted me around and I was off again into a maze of suspence and intrigue.
    Well written and I am now a fan of Michelle and Sean. Give me more of this great team--and never let them part.
    Scott Brick's narration of this or any other book cast a spell over me. The man is pure talent.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Raleigh, NC, USA 08-22-08
    Stephen Raleigh, NC, USA 08-22-08 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    48
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Weak character development"

    This was my first book by this author and I was disappointed. The main problem I had was that the character development was weak. The main characters were willing to die for others and the book barely developed the relationship or the other characters. Sean and Mic go on a suicide mission for Vigi when they hardly know the girl!
    The main characters are private investigators, for hire, and they are basically going on a suicide mission and breaking into a CIA camp??? Silly assumptions and difficult to believe.

    I thought this book had some good action at a few points but it was poorly stitched together.
    I have to agree with some of the other reviews and say this book was hard to believe at points and not worth listening to or reading.

    I wouldn't recommend it given the much better choices out there. For example, read Michael Connelly's book Echo Park and you'll see the clear difference between a well written book and one which was thrown together.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    charles o. peed winston salem, NC United States 11-14-07
    charles o. peed winston salem, NC United States 11-14-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    31
    15
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    3
    Overall
    "melodrama"

    This should have been titled stupid people having interminable conversations manage to solve crimes and conspiracies anyway. Just by way of an example, one of the first issues is whether somebody shot himself or was murdered. Our heroes debate this ad nauseam. Nobody ever asks about gunshot residue tests on the guy's hands? I mean come on, don't our cop, secret service agent and FBI agent even watch CSI??

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary S. Murray Ruffin, NC USA 09-02-07
    Mary S. Murray Ruffin, NC USA 09-02-07 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    107
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    480
    31
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    2
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    Overall
    "Sadly Disappointing"

    This book is sadly lacking for Baldacci...and mainly for his characters Sean & Michelle. To me the plot wasn't 'that' believable and more in left field than normal. Sometimes you can take good characters and just go overboard; I felt that a storyline with these 2 would be a lot more interesting and intelligently written. This book wasn't so bad that I stopped listening, but I wasn't hanging on to the next time that I picked it up and I didn't carry it everywhere with me when I was listening.

    If this was the only Baldacci that I had ever read I'd probably never buy another. But the other Baldacci books that I've read have been great so I'll purchase another of his books. I consider this a very weak representation of what Baldacci can deliver so if you like this one, you will LOVE his others. Just don't expect this one to be as good as his others.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chehalis, WA USA 05-24-07
    Chehalis, WA USA 05-24-07 Member Since 2004

    wayne1916

    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    28
    3
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    0
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    Overall
    "Don't waste your time"

    Sorry but this Baldacci wasn't worth the time. I got through the third disc and had to quit. The reading was mediocre, the plot and characters seemed contrived and uninteresting. I haven't quit a book in the middle in years and I listen an hour+ every day while driving. I actually began to fall asleep. I hope he improves, I've enjoyed others from Baldacci thay's why I purchased this one.

    12 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Walhs Alexandria, VA United States 06-23-07
    J. Walhs Alexandria, VA United States 06-23-07 Member Since 2003

    jw

    HELPFUL VOTES
    46
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    53
    13
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    FOLLOWING
    2
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    Overall
    "Well done and entertaining"

    A well written story that has hints of historical and truthiness built in but the author knows when to leave reality to create entertainment. Well narrated as well.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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