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Split second
David Baldacci

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From Publishers' Weekly:

"We just solved a huge, complicated mystery," says one protagonist to another in this latest novel from the bestselling author of Last Man Standing, Absolute Power, etc. And that is the problem: this story of two disgraced Secret Service agents who come together to solve two campaign-trail crimes doesn't play to Baldacci's strengths, which are suspense and action (as well as strong characterizations; here's one thriller author who writes people that readers care about). The novel is primarily a mystery, with lots of talk and untangling of clues, and a less than gripping one at that. It begins in 1996, when Secret Service agent Sean King is distracted-by what isn't revealed until near the book's end-just when the presidential candidate he's guarding is shot dead. Eight years later, agent Michelle Maxwell lets the candidate she's watching enter a funeral parlor room alone; he's kidnapped. Then a body appears in the office of King, who's now a successful lawyer in North Carolina. Maxwell sees King on TV and decides to look into the event that caused his disgrace, so similar to hers. Meanwhile, King's old flame, Joan Dillinger, an ex-agent whose security firm has been hired to find the kidnapped presidential candidate, hires King to help in the hunt. The narrative ties binding the characters don't loosen much over the novel's course, as curious cross-currents flow between the two cases, all leading to a cinematic but off-the-wall denouement that reveals a villain who is more cartoon than human. What saves this novel are a few strong but brief action sequences and, above all, the interplay among the principal characters, particularly the romantic tensions among King, Maxwell and Dillinger.(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

In 1996, a third-party presidential candidate is assassinated when Secret Service agent Sean King is distracted; eight years later, another third-party candidate is kidnapped under the nose of agent Michelle Maxwell. Now, the two disgraced agents discover unexpected connections between their cases. Baldacci usually creates strong, believable characters, but here he neglects his protagonists in favor of page-turning suspense. The overlapping mysteries are engrossing, but the author offers too many vague motivations and suspects. Scott Brick continues to establish himself as a dependable reader, offering some credibility to often outlandish events. Recommended, nevertheless, for collections where Baldacci is popular.-Michael Adams, CUNY Graduate Ctr. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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more titles about

main characters Sean King
Ex-Secret Service agent; part-time deputy sheriff; retired from the Secret Service eight years earlier when a presidential candidate under his protection was assassinated; helping Michelle find a presidential candidate who has mysteriously vanished.

Michelle Maxwell
Marathon runner; a presidential candidate under her protection has been kidnapped.
Secret Service agent

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