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Publisher's Summary

Michelle Maxwell has just blown her future with the Secret Service. Against her instincts, she let a presidential candidate out of her sight to comfort a grieving widow. Then, behind closed doors, the politician whose safety was her responsibility vanished into thin air.

Living a new life on a quiet lake in central Virginia, Sean King knows how the younger agent feels. He's been there before. In an out-of-the-way hotel eight years earlier, the hard-charging Secret Service man allowed his attention to be diverted for a split second. And the presidential candidate Sean was protecting was gunned down before his eyes.

Now Michelle and Sean are about to see their destinies converge. She has become obsessed with Sean's case. And he needs a friend - especially since a series of macabre killings has brought him under suspicion and prompted the reappearance of a seductive woman he's tried hard to forget.

As the two discredited agents enter a maze of lies, secrets, and deadly coincidences, they 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....

©2003 Columbus Rose, Ltd. (P)2003 Time Warner AudioBooks

Critic Reviews

"Baldacci's new thriller is sustained by the pulse-pounding suspense his fans have come to expect." ( Booklist)

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • Walnut Creek, CA, USA
  • 11-14-03

not a bad read

If you want a good "page turner" this book will deliver. I have read other Baldacci before and as such, I was able to discern who the bad guys were going to be. Of course that is where the fun is in reading a whodunit; making your own deductions and being validated in the end. The final motives of the bad guy(s) were a bit thin but it still had plausability. Like me, if you had enjoyed other Baldacci you will like this too.

31 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • Erie, CO, USA
  • 10-30-03

Listen again

I can usally tell who the bad guy is about three-quarters of the way through the story, but not this time. With good pace and great narration by Scott Brick this is one that I will listen to again.

118 of 124 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Full of twists and turns

This is my second David Baldacci novel and I enjoyed it as much if not more than the first. He is a first rate mystery writer who has so many twists and turns in his story he continually surprises you. Every time you think you have the plot figured out, he takes you in a new and surprising direction. Hightly recommended reading.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Paul
  • Edison, NJ, USA
  • 08-25-05

Good listen

As others said, the reason for the crimes was a little out there. It got to the point where I had to go back a few times because there were no many characters and suspects involved in the plot, that I kept losing track.

Enjoyable fast paced listen though.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • J. Walsh
  • Alexandria, VA United States
  • 05-15-04

Great book!

I rarely give five stars to any book. My criteria is that the book must keep my attention to the point that I look forward to my morning commute and dread getting out of my car when I get to my destination. This book wins on both counts!

50 of 53 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mitchell
  • Bond UniversityAustralia
  • 11-14-03

A Great Read

This was deffinatly one of the best books I've read this year. Unlike most mystery titles, the story line wasn't overly predictable. This author has a way of grabbing my attention and holding it, and the narration by Scott Brick was just ausom. I highly recommend this one, and also Last Man Standing by the same author.

37 of 40 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jay
  • Lehi, UT, USA
  • 01-07-04

Outstanding, unexpected ending

This is the first book I have heard written by David Baldacci, I really enjoyed this book and will look for other books from him. The people came to life for me and the ending was a real surprise. Thanks David, I spend two hours a day driving back and forth to work each day. This was one week that I didn't notice that it took that long.
Jay T. SLC

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Keep turning pages and corners

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. All the plot twists and turns kept me making extra trips around the block (I listen while driving) to hear just a little more. The narrator's voice and intonation made listening a real pleasure. Like another reviewer, I thought the ending a bit abrupt, but at least there are no loose ends.

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

I was disappointed...

I just read the first few reviews and they were positive, so thought I would give it a try. It was just okay. I found myself listening to it, just to get it done - not because I really enjoyed it. It did help me fall asleep at night. Way too many characters to keep straight and just way "too out there" to be able to believe this could ever happen. I thought the characters were two dimensional, almost comic book like. I was disappointed.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Oh, David. This contrivance just doesn't fly!

I have enjoyed David Baldacci's books in the past, even though he had several times used our family name in a villainous way (I found that amusing, actually). I am very glad that he left us out of "Split Second".

Not a bad start to the book. Even the middle was moving along nicely until one seemingly unnecessary scene screamed at me, "I just told you who the bad guy is!" But I remained ready to accept that as a nice little misdirection -- it wasn't.

But as the story drew to a close and the explanation of all of the murders and various evil happenings was revealed, I couldn't help but shout at my dashboard, "Oh, David, what a contrivance! How ludicrously involved! How ridiculous!" I figured pretty soon the villain was going to tell us how he had cleverly manipulated Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, but that somehow escaped inclusion in this book.

Buck up, Mr. Baldacci. There will surely be life after "Split Second"!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful