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Split Second (King & Maxwell Series) by…

Split Second (King & Maxwell Series) (original 2003; edition 2004)

by David Baldacci (Author)

Series: King-Maxwell (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,630792,460 (3.63)60
Two Secret Service agents, one of them retired, have each had similar experiences losing presidential candidates while assigned to protect them. 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.… (more)
Title:Split Second (King & Maxwell Series)
Authors:David Baldacci (Author)
Info:Vision (2004), Edition: Reprint, 512 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Split Second by David Baldacci (2003)

Recently added byArina40, MenloPark, private library, ChaiTeaBunny, WayTLib
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Showing 1-5 of 76 (next | show all)
The beginning of the Sean King and Michelle Maxwell series, which I think is one of Baldacci's most compelling and interesting series of books (along with the Camel Club series). Get started here and then read them all. ( )
  JohnKaess | Jul 23, 2020 |
Michelle Maxwell bucked the odds to get a coveted Secret Service job - guarding a presidential candidate. She made a split second decision and her candidate was snatched. She turned to Sean King who's Secret Service job was ended when his attention was diverted for a split second and his candidate was shot to death. Baldacci can flat tell a story and this one is one of his best. ( )
  susandennis | Jun 5, 2020 |
My only other experience of David Baldacci was the rather unfunny seasonal comedy "The Christmas Train". Given how successful David Baldacci is, I figured that I probably hadn't seen him at his best and decided to give one of his mysteries a try.

"Split Second" is a tense, page-turning, puzzle-solving book that delivers a plot that is original, if a little far-fetched (but hey, I read books about vampires, werewolves and aliens - how much of a stretch can the plot of a thriller be?).

The plot revolves around two Secret Service agents who, more than a decade apart are each guarding different Presidential candidates when they make career-ending mistakes.

Of course, it turns out that the two sets of events are related in complicated and fun to unravel ways that bring the older male ex-agent together with the younger female ex-agent to save the day.

The book is at its best in creating tension before the action, especially when it's inside the head of one of the ex-agents. There's lots of misdirection and unexpected plot twists, gunfights, a couple of explosions and relatively high and mostly female body-count.It's actually pretty good at hiding the bad guys and then revealing them in a way that makes you slap your forehead for not having seen it already.

It was all very entertaining as long as it was taken at breakneck speed.

I found the two ex-agents hard to like.

The man, Sean King (how do Americans end up with Irish first names and Jewish family names?) is, of course, tall, handsome, moderately athletic. He knows how to build a house, cook a meal and choose the right wines. He also seems to have been married to his job, cheating on his wife and taking no real joy in anything prior to the sudden death of his career. Then, with an unconscious sense of entitlement that only those with generations of middle-class background have, he becomes a lawyer, builds a fabulous house, makes a lot of money, buys a lot of toys and doesn't really get involved with anyone or anything except keeping his house excessively neat. Why should I care about this guy?

The woman, Michelle (call me Mick) Maxwell, is, of course, small, blonde and beautiful. She's also an over-achieving ex-Olympian (rowing), from generations of police officers (senior police officers of course) with a good degree, a natural ability with guns and a martial arts black belt. She's on the fast track in the Secret Service but seems to have no idea why she wants to be there. She's too glossy and too shallow for my tastes but she has skills that allow the plot to move along quite nicely.

The two of them blunder through the book, trying to fix the mess they're in and getting a lot of other people killed in the process.

But, if I let go of my distaste for all-American heroes with an inbuilt sense of entitlement and an unexamined patriotism, I have to admit that this book kept me entertained all the way through.

Scott Brick did a good job of the narration, keeping the pace moving and making the dialogue live. He wasn't helped in this by the curious production standards Hatchette Audio, who played background music at apparently random moments and seemed to toss a coin on how to deal with transitions, sometimes leaving a pause so long that I checked my player was working and sometimes moving from one scene to another so fast that I became confused about who was talking or where I was. The cover art is so bland, a brown-paper wrapper would have been more interesting. These guys seem to be asleep at the wheel. ( )
  MikeFinnFiction | May 16, 2020 |
This is the first of the King and Maxwell series which tells the tale of the political situation that brought them together. It is classic Baldacci - well written, great plot, likable characters and lots of action. I fully plan on reading all of the books in the series with these characters. Loved it. ( )
  Susan.Macura | Apr 14, 2020 |
Good story but not his best. ( )
  lynngood2 | Nov 20, 2019 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Baldacciprimary authorall editionscalculated
Baldacci, Davidmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lamberti, NicolettaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lewis, DamianNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pigulla, FranziskaSprechersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prouteau, HélèneTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my father, the greatest inspriration a son could have.
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It took only a split second, although to Secret Service agent Sean King it seemed like the longest second ever.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Audio Book - unknown if abridged or unabridged.

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Two Secret Service agents, one of them retired, have each had similar experiences losing presidential candidates while assigned to protect them. 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.

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