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Simple Genius by David Baldacci
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Simple Genius (edition 2007)

by David Baldacci

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2,724622,166 (3.49)50
Member:Kathy89
Title:Simple Genius
Authors:David Baldacci
Info:Warner Books (2007), Edition: 1ST, Hardcover, 420 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:(fiction) mystery, audiobook

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Simple Genius by David Baldacci

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Simple Genius brings back two former Secret Service agents, now private investigators, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell. The story opens with Michelle Maxwell picking a fight in a bar and then going through a breakdown. It looks like she might have some long-repressed childhood memories that are affecting her behavior. Sean is deeply concerned about his partner and convinces her to check in to a psychiatric hospital to be evaluated by his friend, Dr. Horatio Barnes.

Meanwhile Sean accepts a contract to investigate the possible suicide of a quantum physicist and computer scientist, Monk Turing, who is working for Babbage Town, Virginia, a high powered corporate think tank located across the York River from Camp Peary, a top secret CIA training facility. Monk's eleven year old daughter, Viggie Turing is emotionally disabled, but she is a mathematical genius who knows a lot about codes. Sean suspects she holds vital information that could help him solve the case.

There is a lot going on throughout this novel, which has several subplots. Eventually Michelle and Horatio join Sean and the whole story starts to come together. This is probably my least favorite of the three books in this series, but the the partnership between Sean and Michelle make this book interesting. There's lots of action and fans of David Baldacci will still find this a worthwhile read. ( )
  Olivermagnus | Oct 14, 2016 |
After book 2 in this series which I really enjoyed and gave us plenty of scope to work out who the killer was I was very disappointed by this book. It started off very well with a look into Michelle Maxwell's back story and how this was affecting her current 'out of character' actions. This part of the book I enjoyed, however I never really bought into the main murder mystery, partly because we weren't given enough details and the author kept too many key elements to himself. To be a real murder mystery we should have more of a chance working out who did it, and more importantly why. It was all but impossible to work out why in this book because of surprises in the reveal that came out of left field. Hopefully the next book in the series will get back on track. ( )
  Andrew-theQM | Oct 13, 2016 |
Simple Genius is the third book in the King and Maxwell series by David Baldacci. This book picks up where we left off with the main characters, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell in Book 2, Hour Game. Michelle is struggling with her confidence and self-control after the events in the last book. Sean is trying to help her overcome her issues.

While dealing with Michelle, Sean takes a job with his ex-lover, Joan, to investigate a questionable suicide at a Washington DC Area research laboratory (Babbage Town) …which just happens to be across the river from an ultra-secret CIA training camp. In following the clues, King and Maxwell find themselves immersed in the world of mathematicians, spies and codes.

I found myself somewhat disappointed in this book. I like the main characters, King and Maxwell, and their relationship as well as a few of the other characters in this book. However, the main story line involving Babbage Town did not hold my interest nor did it always hold up as well and I thought it should. Additionally, the main story line did not have anywhere near enough action or suspense for me. Other story lines were intriguing and interesting – especially those dealing with Michelle’s backstory. I feel that I am rating this slightly higher than the overall story deserves because of the couple of side story lines as well as the promise of more to come.

Rating: 3.75 Stars ( )
  bhabeck | Oct 12, 2016 |
[Simple Genius] by David Baldacci
Maxwell & King series Book #3
4★’s

From The Book:
In a world of secrets, human genius is power.
And sometimes it is simply deadly . . .

Near Washington, D.C., there are two clandestine institutions: the world's most unusual laboratory and a secret CIA training camp. Drawn to these sites by a murder, ex-Secret Service agent Sean King encounters a dark world of mathematicians, codes, and spies. His search for answers soon leads him to more shocking violence-and an autistic girl with an extraordinary genius.

Now, only by working with his embattled partner, Michelle Maxwell, can he catch a killer...and solve a stunning mystery that threatens the entire nation.

My Thoughts:
I am probably one of David’s Baldacci’s top fans…especially of his John Puller, Will Robie and the newest…Amos Decker series… but Maxwell and King will always hold a favorite place in my heart. I was so sorry to see this series end. I was overjoyed when the Mystery & Suspense group voted to read this series as a book discussion. That being said…I had an issue with this book…not too serious but it did lose it half a star…at least for me.

In this… the 3rd book… we find Michelle Maxwell hitting an all time mental low as she nearly kills a total stranger for no other reason that he was dressed in military gear and he was simple there. The events after that incident offered some very good storyline and some very exciting moments. However…nothing is as it seems, in this tortuous tale.

As Michelle struggles with her emotional problems, Sean nearly bankrupts himself and their company paying for Michelle’s much needed help which brings us to his taking a job from his former lover, Joan, to investigate a compound of geniuses that have super computers and complicated codes at their finger tips. Here is where the majority of the remainder of the book takes place. Be warned…unless you have a degree in physics and computer sciences…you will want to skip over some parts of this or your head will implode. From here on it reminded me of the old adage "absolute power corrupts absolutely ". It is hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys and involves every spook agency in the government. I did find the look into code breaking and Alan Turing's work cracking the Enigma Code during WWII fascinating and very much enlightening..

The ending of the book…while diffidently being a wild ride of twists and turns was what lost it the extra half star that I had originally awarded it. David Baldacci is a superb writer…one of my favorites… who keeps the reader turning pages, and there is plenty of suspense, mystery and action….character development galore. You really get to know much more about King and Maxwell. It was exciting, fun, with an excellent plot. Those were the good points that got it the 4 stars to start with. What I had the main issue with was that Baldacci turned all the good people into bad people, the bad people into good people, and in one case back into a good person saying he was “just following orders”. Now where and how many times have we heard that excuse for bad manners, behavior and judgments? That defense failed at Nuremberg and it fails here. ( )
  Carol420 | Oct 12, 2016 |
Book Description
In a world of secrets, human genius is power.
And sometimes it is simply deadly . . .

Near Washington, D.C., there are two clandestine institutions: the world's most unusual laboratory and a secret CIA training camp. Drawn to these sites by a murder, ex-Secret Service agent Sean King encounters a dark world of mathematicians, codes, and spies. His search for answers soon leads him to more shocking violence-and an autistic girl with an extraordinary genius.

Now, only by working with his embattled partner, Michelle Maxwell, can he catch a killer...and solve a stunning mystery that threatens the entire nation.

My Review
I enjoy reading about Michelle Maxwell and Sean King's relationship and adventures. This book was very good but a little slow in some parts but picked up towards the end. It was a fun read trying to figure out exactly what was going on behind the gates at Camp Peary. Figuring out who was good and who was bad also added to the plot and kept me guessing until the very end. I will definitely continue reading the series and I do look forward to the next installment and what will be happening with Michelle and Sean. I would highly recommend this series to those who love mystery and adventure mixed in with a little romance. ( )
  EadieB | Oct 12, 2016 |
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To my dear friend Maureen Egen,
May the days be long and the seas calm.
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There are four acknowledged ways of meeting your maker: You can die by natural causes including illness; you can die by accident; you can die by another's hand; and you can die by your own hand.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 044661873X, Mass Market Paperback)

In a world of secrets, human genius is power.

And sometimes it is simply deadly...

A three-hour drive from Washington, D.C., two clandestine institutions face each other across a heavily guarded river. One is the world's most unusual laboratory, whose goals and funding are a mystery. The other is an elite CIA training camp shrouded in secrecy. Now a man and a woman are about to run a gauntlet between these two puzzle factories, straight into a furious struggle to exploit a potentially world-shattering discovery--and keep some other secrets underwraps forever...

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

Soon he is uncovering layer after layer of disinformation that shields a stunning world filled with elite mathematics, physicists, war heroes, spies, and deadly field agents. Amid more murder, a seemingly autistic girl's extraordinary genius, and a powerful breakthrough in the realm of classified codes, Sean soon learns enough to put his life at risk. Now more than ever, 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 action, SIMPLE GENIUS pulses with stunning, high-intensity suspense. The heroes of Split Second and Hour Game, David Baldacci's #1 New York Times bestsellers, are back--as you've never seen them before.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:46 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

After checking into a psychiatric institution, former Secret Service agent Michelle Maxwell is worriedly monitored by partner Sean King, who distracts himself with a murder investigation at a genius enclave where a sophisticated microprocessor is being developed.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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