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Simple Genius (King & Maxwell Series) Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 2008


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Simple Genius (King & Maxwell Series) + First Family (King & Maxwell Series) + Split Second (King & Maxwell Series)
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Product Details

  • Series: King & Maxwell Series
  • Mass Market Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 044661873X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446618731
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1.1 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (595 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Last seen in Split Second (2003), former Secret Service agents Sean King and Michelle Maxwell have reached a crisis in their relationship in this less than compelling Washington political thriller from bestseller Baldacci. When Maxwell instigates a fight with the most intimidating bruiser she could find at a local bar and lets herself be beaten unconscious, despite her superior fighting skills, her partner suggests she voluntarily commit herself to a psychiatric facility. While Maxwell reluctantly undergoes treatment to find the childhood roots of her death wish, King probes the suicide of a scientist found on the grounds of Virginia's Camp Peary, a mysterious CIA facility. Both mysteries are fairly run of the mill, lacking the sharp twists and expert pacing that characterize Baldacci's fiction at its best. (Apr. 24)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

This follow-up to 2004's Hour Game begins with Michelle Maxwell, the former Secret Service agent turned private investigator, scraping the bottom of the emotional barrel. When she wanders into a seedy bar and picks a fight with the biggest guy she can find, she knows someone is about to die . . and she hopes it's not him. Soon Michelle is sidelined at a mental hospital, and Sean King, her partner, is trying to find a case to keep their business afloat. He finds one--a murder at a high-tech think tank--and it's not long before Michelle checks herself out of the hospital and joins Sean. But can they piece together this intricate puzzle in time to save a girl's life and blow the lid off a top-level government conspiracy? The most intriguing element of this compulsively readable novel is its setting: Babbage Town, the think tank, is modeled after World War II's Bletchley Park, where some of the world's top thinkers joined forces to break the top-secret German communications code. Baldacci's twenty-first-century version of Bletchley brings together a community of scientists working on a new kind of computer, but readers familiar with the Bletchley story will note how carefully Baldacci draws the parallels. As always, the two leads work well together, their strengths and weaknesses complementing each other. Baldacci, always strong on suspense but occasionally clunky stylistically, finds his voice here. The best entry in the series. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

David Baldacci made a big splash on the literary scene with the publication of his first novel, ABSOLUTE POWER. A major motion picture adaptation followed, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. In total, David has published 27 novels, all of which have been national and international bestsellers; several have been adapted for film and television. His novels have been translated into more than 45 languages and sold in more than 80 countries; over 110 million copies are in print worldwide. David has also published four novels for children.

David received his Bachelor's degree in political science from Virginia Commonwealth University and his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, after which he practiced law in Washington, D.C.

While David is involved with several philanthropic organizations, his greatest efforts are dedicated to his family's Wish You Well Foundation®. Established by David and his wife, Michelle, the Wish You Well Foundation supports family and adult literacy in the United States by fostering and promoting the development and expansion of literacy and educational programs. In 2008 the Foundation partnered with Feeding America to launch Feeding Body & Mind, a program to address the connection between literacy, poverty and hunger. Through Feeding Body & Mind, more than 1 million new and used books have been collected and distributed via area food banks.

David and his family live in Virginia.

Customer Reviews

I just became a fan of David Baldacci and loved the King and Maxwell series.
Donna
It is fast reading and it keeps you interested in what is going on with the story.
Diane S. Kayle
Too much talk for the action Plot too complicated and way to many characters.
Gordon S. McHenry

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

111 of 118 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia K. Robertson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been a big fan of David Baldacci from the very beginning and have been impressed with the consistent quality of his work. Unfortunately, with his last three books, he now seems to be sacrificing quality for quantity and Simple Genius is a disappointment.

Baldacci brings back two former Secret Service agents, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell. These two appeared previously in Split Second and Hour Game and are now private investigators. Simple Genius opens with Michelle Maxwell having a meltdown--the result of some long-repressed childhood memory. Meanwhile, King is hired by a super-secret company to investigate the death of one of their top mathematicians (which happens on CIA property). King stays at the company headquarters called Babbage Town, where he meets a whole host of scientists who are on the verge of some earth-changing discoveries. But he's not at Babbage Town very long before someone else ends of dead. This case will pit King against the FBI, the CIA and unknown spies and will involve drug dealing, secret codes, illegal detainments, illegal torture, buried treasure and an 11 year old autistic genius. Yup--it's that's hokey. While King is battling all these things, it is uncertain whether Maxwell will be able to pull through for him.

I really liked King and Maxwell in Baldacci's previous books. But in Simple Genius, they're just too one dimensional. It also seems as if Baldacci's plots become more and more far-fetched. I wonder if he's now writing books because he has to meet a deadline and not because he has a riveting story to tell. Baldacci is still much better than many mystery writers today. Unfortunately, I've come to expect much more from him.
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61 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Paul Weiss on May 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The seeds of Baldacci's latest novel "Simple Genius" are sowed a book earlier.

Mentally stressed beyond her ability to continue a normal life, Michelle Maxwell simply breaks down. Her horrifying experience in "Hour Game" with a boyfriend who turned out to be a serial killer and the continuing anguish of a deeply buried secret we will later learn she has carried with her since she was only six years old drives her into a potentially suicidal bar brawl with a complete stranger. Her long-time friend and investigative partner, Sean King, convinces her to check herself into a psychiatric hospital for rest, recuperation and serious examination of the demons she is encountering. Assuming full responsibility for the financial costs of this care, he desperately searches for work and accepts a contract to investigate the suicide (murder?) of Monk Turing, a quantum physicist and computer scientist working for Babbage Town, a high powered corporate think tank located across the York River from Camp Peary, a top secret CIA training facility. (That name, by the way - Turing, that is - is no coincidence!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By G. Ware Cornell Jr. VINE VOICE on May 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
One of the problems with the present national malaise about the War on Terror, is that the stream of revelations about certain practices in which our government engages contributes to the plot lines of new thrillers.

Here is a partial list-drug smuggling, extraordinary renditions, collateral damage, kidnapping, torture, waterboarding, and black ops. All of these find there way into David Baldacci's Simple Genius along with repressed memory, codebreaking, martial arts, autism, secret tunnels, suicide, martial infidelity and psychiatry.

This books reminds me of one of those silent films of the 1920's where the heroine would escape a burning building, only to be tied to the railroad track. She always escapes but only to find herself ensnared in another escape-proof situation.

Baldacci is too good a writer to fall into the kind of formulaic claptrap this book presents. Less time with the "thrill a minute" stuff and more with character would have better served Baldacci and his loyal readers.
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57 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Bill Pullman on April 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I started reading Baldacci with his very good "The Camel Club" and have slowly been working through his back list. Besides being one of the sexiest thriller writers alive, he also knows how to write compelling stories that keep me turning the pages. I was thrilled to get an advance copy of "Simple Genius" a few weeks ago. I hate to have to report though that this book felt a bit flat to me. The story brings back Sean King and Michelle Maxwell from "Split Second" which I have not read and could possibly had an effect on my view of the book but I don't think so. Michelle seems to have some sort of suicidal wish, which comes to a head when she lets a big oaf at a local tavern beat her into a stupor. With King's pushing she enters a treatment center to try and discover what terrible secrete is eating at her soul--but she is not a willing subject. At the same time Sean is also investigating the death of a scientist at a mysterious top secrete CIA installation. In the end I found the pacing very flat and the awaited trademark Baldacci plot twists were never quite delivered. Not a bad book, but not his best. If your new to Baldacci I recommend you read the "The Camel Club" or "Absolute Power" first.
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