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Hour Game (King & Maxwell Series) Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook

4.1 out of 5 stars 1,214 customer reviews
Book 2 of 6 in the King and Maxwell Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Two disgraced former Secret Service officers team up to solve a series of copy-cat crimes in this exciting new thriller by a master of the game. Sean King was momentarily distracted when a presidential candidate he'd been guarding was assassinated a few feet from where he stood, and Michelle Maxwell left the Service under a similar cloud when she lost a "protectee" to an ingenious kidnapping scheme, events told in Baldacci's typical terse, fast-paced style in Split Second. Now partners in a private investigation firm in a small Virginia town, they're hired to investigate a burglary at the home of a wealthy local family. But even before the chief suspect in the break-in meets his death in a gruesome slaying reminiscent of a serial killer long since caught and punished, King and Maxwell get caught up in a string of other murders, each of which copies the techniques of another madman, from San Francisco's Zodiac Killer to Chicago's infamous John Wayne Gacy. While the two protagonists aren't especially complex or well-developed, the action never stops, and Baldacci's trademark pacing keeps the reader turning pages until the denouement, which unfortunately isn't quite as satisfying as the rest of the novel. --Jane Adams

Amazon.com Exclusive Content

Why Hour Game: An Exclusive Essay by David Baldacci

It's hard not to notice that the majority of fictional serial killers are cut from the same mold. When David Baldacci wrote Hour Game, he went out of his way to create a murderous original. Read this Amazon.com exclusive essay to learn how and why he did it. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Baldacci's last book, Split Second, was a relatively weak offering from this bestselling author, sunk by a cartoonish villain and absurd plot. But it did introduce two of Baldacci's (Absolute Power, etc.) most memorable characters, former Secret Service agents Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, in business together as private investigators in smalltown Wrightsburg, Va. Baldacci is back in form, and King and Maxwell reappear in this utterly absorbing, complex mystery-thriller that spins in unexpected directions. The novel starts as a serial-killer thriller, for there's a murderer at work in Wrightsburg whose selection of victims appears random but whose modus operandi, differing from kill to kill, mimics the work of a notorious serial killer—the Zodiac killer, John Wayne Gacy, etc. The fifth victim is local resident and international tycoon Robert E. Lee Battle. King and Maxwell have already been tangling with the gothic horror show of a dysfunctional Southern family that is the Battles, as they've been hired to help prove the innocence of a Battle handyman accused of stealing from the family. Then that handyman is murdered, and the duo (along with a clueless local sheriff and an obnoxious FBI agent) must race to figure out if the same killer is behind all the murders and, if so, why. There are terrific action sequences sprinkled throughout, and plenty of suspense, and the King/Maxwell relationship, while not romantic, emits sparks. It's Baldacci's portrayal of smalltown Southern life, however, and his sharp characterizations of the Battles, from the bombastic Bobby and his regal widow to his weird extended family, that give the novel texture and depth: this is Baldacci's most accomplished tale since his nonthriller Wish You Well, and it rivals that novel in its social commentary. Despite fair clues, few if any readers will ID the villain (villains?) before they're revealed, and a snappy surprise ending will have Baldacci's many fans remembering why they love this author so much.
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.
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Product Details

  • Series: King & Maxwell Series
  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Abridged edition (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781600242182
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600242182
  • ASIN: 1600242189
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1 x 5.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,214 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #456,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jana L.Perskie HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I asked myself, a third of the way through "The Hour Game," what more could a reader want in a mystery, suspense thriller than what author David Baldacci has offered up in his latest novel? There are two fascinating protagonists with great mutual chemistry, interesting secondary characters, an intriguing plot and a bevy of subplots. Needless to say, I looked forward, with delight, to reading the rest of the book - only to be let down, cruelly. I just hate to be disappointed by a novel. I am an avid reader and pride myself on my ability to concentrate. However, Baldacci introduces so many characters of great import, and more of lesser standing, along with so many plots, subplots, potential plots and all sorts of motives, that I found it difficult to keep them all straight. And this book is far too long! I began to study the novel, actually taking notes, as if it were homework for a class in thermodynamics. Not fun! I just finished reading many positive reviews for "The Hour Game" and am beginning to wonder if I am the only one who was effected negatively. Although I am tempted to fudge a bit on the rating and go with the crowd, I have to call it as I see it. Reviewer's integrity and all that.

Mr. Baldacci introduced us to two disgraced secret service agents in "Split Second," Sean King and Michelle Maxwell. Since we last saw them, these two have changed careers and joined forces by becoming partners in a private investigation firm, King and Maxwell, located in small-town Wrightsburg, Virginia. This odd couple, of sorts, is what makes the novel work. Their combined energy, skills, intelligence and humor cannot be beat. King is a "neatnick," everything-in-its-place type. He is a connoisseur of rich food and fine wine, and a steady rock when it comes to dependability. Michelle is a slob!
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Format: Hardcover
I dunno, maybe I was spoiled by his earlier books, but this one jams in a lot of murders, a lot of unlikable characters and a couple of action scenes.

THE GOOD NEWS: The action sequences second to none, but they are too few and too late.

THE BAD NEWS: I just gave up keeping all the relationships and motivations straight, not because it gets too complicated (it does) but because you just don't care.

COMPARED TO HIS OTHER WORK: Earlier work had individual plot threads build slowly, gradually coming together until the whole structure becomes clear and then topped off by an race-to-the-finish ending.

THIS TIME: In his attempt to cover TOO much, all the plot threads are short-changed I just didn't care who did what.

Attempts at witty banter between the two heroes falls pretty flat.

His last book (Split Second) was not bad, but this isn't even close to THAT one!
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Format: Hardcover
I've read all of David Baldacci's books, although in my opinion each new book is a little less good than the one preceding it. And, having read Hour Game, I may be ready to give up on Baldacci -- or, at leat no longer consider him to be one of my 'must read' authors. The Hour Game starts off with a lot of promise, interesting plot and lots of mystery and excitement. However, the book never lived up to its potential. The plot became too muddled and confusing, too many characters were involved and the interval between anything exciting happening was much too drawn out. While Baldacci's latest is just good enough to finish, it's not a book I'd recommend highly to you.
2 Comments 52 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I really can't imagine anyone rating this book with five stars. I am (was) a Baldacci fan but this book just made me angry that I wasted so much time reading it.

There is not nearly enough character development, even for the two main characters, Michelle and Sean. What makes these people tick - who are they? Sean, as a character, was very boring, although apparently he is clarvoyant and can figure out complex mysteries with no real police work or clues.

The reasons why the main killer killed are extremely muddled and really don't make any sense. And the ending plot twist was just infuriating since no background for it had been included in the story. It seemed like Baldacci just wanted to finish the book and dashed off any old ending just to be done with it.

Many popular authors turn into hacks - Harris and Patterson come to mind - and it seems that Baldacci is headed down the same road.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've read most of this author's stuff. This book was not very well done. Confusion predominate and once you figure it out, you no longer care.
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Format: Hardcover
David Baldacci proves one again that authors care more about fulfilling their contracts than they do about putting out a quality book.

We've all seen it before from Grisham, Patterson,Follet, S. King, and Baldacci. Some of their books are the best we've ever read, and then they trick us into buying another one that is weak at best, and downright (...) at worst.

This book is the perfect example of a writer who is beholden to his publisher's contract and feels they need to put something out. It's a (...), and you and I are the victims. I'm using my copy as kindling, I won't even sell it on amazon!
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By SDRTX on January 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Former Secret Service Agents, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell previously introduced in SPLIT SECOND, now run a detective agency. They have been hired to investigate a domestic burglary at the estate of an old Wrightsburg, Virginia family. What seems to be a simple burglary turns into any but simple. The prime suspect is murdered, then another killing takes place. Soon it is evident that a serial killer is on the loose. The overworked sheriff deputizes Sean and Michelle to help him solve the killings that are piling up by the day.

I have waited a week to write a review of this book. It a strange book to review because I enjoyed reading it, but can't quite figure out why. I love the chemistry of the two protagonists even though there is no romantic involvement. There were a lot of characters in this story and that was a good thing because one was getting murdered almost every chapter. The plot was totally ridiculous. At the end to tie up the many loose ends, the author goes through a laundry list of items in scene that served no other purpose than to answer question that should have been answered as part of the story. It seemed so out of place that I wondered if an editor made him add that scene. I can't recommend the book, but I would love to see these characters back in a book worthy of them.
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