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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 listeners say about Simple Genius

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2,374
  • 4 Stars
    1,441
  • 3 Stars
    488
  • 2 Stars
    83
  • 1 Stars
    58
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2,094
  • 4 Stars
    696
  • 3 Stars
    168
  • 2 Stars
    24
  • 1 Stars
    27
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,864
  • 4 Stars
    852
  • 3 Stars
    234
  • 2 Stars
    40
  • 1 Stars
    23

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

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!

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

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.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

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.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

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.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

So Unbelieveable

I can enjoy a wild story, but this one was so far out that it was annoying. First, a lot of time is spent with Michelle's break with reality and exploring why she is suffering from depression and has a suicide wish. This has nothing to do with the main story except to bring in a psychologist who plays another role. Second, Sean and Michelle are supposed to be experienced investigators, but are so stupid and gullible. And then there is the ending. I won't give it away, but it is completely implausible. The description of the plot of the book makes it sound much more interesting and intriguing than it really is. I did listen to the entire book, but it certainly won't be one that I listen to again.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Well worth your time and money

Baldacci has a knack for both character development and story telling. His reprise of Sean and Michelle are also most welcome. Add to the mix an excellent job by the reader and you have an audio book well worth your time and money.

24 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

5 people found this helpful