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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.
Secret Service Agent Michelle Maxwell let a presidential candidate out of her sight against her better judgment. He disappears with a trace. Eight years ago, Sean King's career as a secret service agent was derailed when the presidential candidate he was protecting was killed in front of him when his attention was diverted for a split second. Michelle and Sean's lives entwine when the circumstances of their respective screw-ups appear to be related. David Baldacci has written another winner. This was book had me hooked from the first page. The plot was skillfully written interweaving past and present facts. We have two very compelling protagonists that look like they were set up for a sequel, at least I hope so. This is the kind of thriller that keeps you on your toes from the first page to the last. It would have been a 5 star book, except the climax was a bit too unbelievable. It was almost like a light bulb went off and suddenly the case is solved. It all unraveled a little too fast. I don't want to give too much away, but the first 4/5 of the book was so good that the ending really did not detract from my overall enjoyment.
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I was disappointed with David Baldacci's "Split Second." Unlike his previous works it is definitely not a strong, tightly written novel, although it could have been a real winner. Throughout much of the book, the thrills, adventure and mystery are certainly present and do keep the reader turning the pages. The three main characters are interesting, unusual and well developed. So, what's wrong? The second half of the novel falls apart. The pace slows; the tension diminishes; the characters begin to act out of character, and turn into cardboard figures without much rationale for their actions. The villain, who has such potential to be a really bad guy, is totally one-dimensional - pure evil incarnate with no complexity, more like a cartoon than a human being. There's a fascinating love triangle which should have taken-off - but falls flat. And after the terrific opening and much of the first half, the conclusion is weak. The book ends with a peep, not a bang!
Sean King, Secret Service agent extraordinaire, with great career potential, is guarding a presidential candidate on a campaign stop in Smalltown USA. King's attention is diverted for one instant, and good cause, when the candidate, Clyde Ritter, is shot dead. Agent King recovers his composure immediately and shoots the assassin. The killer dies. So does King's career.
Eight years later Secret Service agent and girl wonder Michelle Maxwell is on a career fast track in a profession where only men succeed. Agent Maxwell, a former Olympic rower, is the exception to the rule. She has her sights set on White House duty guarding the president and she just might get the gig. She is presently guarding a presidential candidate, John Bruno, who is making an unscheduled stop at a funeral home to pay his respects to the deceased.Read more ›
A Total Disappointment I have been a Baldacci fan since reading Total Control, The Winner and Saving Faith, all good books and worth the time. But, Split Second? All I can say is, infuriating. An unbelievable plot, a cast of confusing, cliched characters, and an absolutely ridiculous ending. It all adds up to a real waste of trees used to make the paper for this thing. I almost wonder if this wasn't something he wrote in high school and now that he is famous, he thought he could pull it out and pass it off as a "real novel." His editors and agents should have stepped in and stopped this before it got to print. After trying and trying, I did eventually plow though it all, because as I told my wife, "I can't believe how confusing and dumb this is. I just have to read to the end, to see how he is going to work himself of this morass of a plot." In a sentence? The ending was as dumb and confusing as the rest of the book. The few people on here who have given this book four or five stars must work for the publisher, be relatives of Baldacci, or are cult followers ready to swallow the Kool Aid. I've never seen so many negative reviews for a book on Amazon. I only wish I had read them before I started it and not after. If you must read a Baldacci book, go for Total Control or The Winner, they are both page turners. Well actually, Split Second was a page turner also. You had to keep turning them back and forth to try and figure out this confusing mess. I'm sorry to be so negative, but I liked Baldacci, enjoyed his other books, and had high hopes for this story. After reading this I am hesitant to try any of his others, but will probably give him one more chance to make up for this clunker.
Most of the reviews I've read here by other customers seem like they only read the first half of the book. I'm a big Baldacci fan, a big mystery/suspense fan and I really enjoyed the first half of this book...maybe even the first three quarters of it. But the ending and plot unveiling is just so ludicrous, so insipid and so filled with "who gives a damn" moments that this book went from a 5 to a 2 in about 20 pages. Very disappointing.
what a shame - I really enjoyed Baldacci's previous books, and found them to be well written and engrossing, and most of all, believable. This one is too over the top - the characters are too stiff and wornout, and it has the most ridiculous and over-the-top unbelievable plot I've ever read - it reminded me of a Scooby-Doo plot line, it was that ridiculous. David, next time don't just punch the clock and mail it in - your fans don't appreciate it.
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