Customer Reviews: The Sixth Man (King & Maxwell Series)
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on April 19, 2011
Okay, not to be overly simplistic, but David Baldacci's latest thriller featuring former Secret Service agents Sean King and Michelle Maxwell does have a plot highly reminiscent of the television show "Chuck," though certainly not a similar tone. No, there's no "Intersect" computer imbedded in anyone's brain, but there is a defense contractor running what's called the E-Program. As the novel opens, the contractor, Peter Bunting, is seeking the individual who can become the next "Analyst."

The Analyst is the person tasked with watching the "Wall," a six- by eight-foot screen on which flows "information on suspicious activities being carried out by either Americans or foreigners operating domestically." It's a "compilation of top secret communications, all of colossal importance. And on it poured, from all corners of the globe, delivered en masse in high definition. If it were an Xbox or a PS3 game it would be the most exciting difficult one ever created. But there was nothing made up about it. Here real people lived and real people died, every second of every day."

The idea is that our intelligence network is too spread out and diversified, and that in order to truly get the Big Picture, one individual needs to be able to process every scrap of data we collect. It's a staggering job that literally brings brilliant men to their knees. Obviously it's not a job for the average Joe, but a few extraordinary individuals can utilize 90-some percent of their brain, rather than the paltry ten percent most of us access. And all of this is exposited in a brief prologue.

Next, we're with series protagonists King and Maxwell as they touch down in Maine. They've been called up for an investigative job. Ted Bergin, an old friend and law professor of Sean's is defending the serial killer Edgar Roy, and he seems to believe there's more to this open-and-shut case than meets the eye. So, he's brought in reinforcements. Alas, they arrive too late. En route to their first meeting with Bergin, they come across a stalled vehicle. Inside they find Bergin's body with a bullet to the skull. The question is: What do these two storylines have to do with each other?

So begins a novel more packed with action than with plot. There is plot, but it's not terribly complex or sophisticated. Some stuff happens, more stuff happens, and there's a lot of traveling up and down the eastern seaboard. Many people are not what they seem. Baldacci gets some stuff right. He's good at gracefully expositing what's come before, and he can write a tight, tense scene. However, after four previous novels with these protagonists, I was really shocked at how one-dimensional the characters felt. King and Maxwell are at a pivotal point in their personal and professional lives. I was astounded by just how uninvested I was.

It's not that this is a terrible novel, but there isn't a whole lot of substance to it. If you've been following the series you're going to want to read this one. Otherwise, I simply wouldn't bother.
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on July 23, 2011
All the elements of a good Baldacci novel are present in THE SIXTH MAN but somehow they just don't come together quite as well as in some of his previous books. There is the usual secret service goings on and their questionable actions which leave you wondering who is in the right and who's on who's side. The two main characters Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are both ex-secret service who share a common link that draws them together and sparks romance. Working as PIs they are hired to help in the defence case of a serial killer. When his attorney is murdered they uncover some alarming facts and find themselves against mysterious and far superior forces. The writing is sharp, the action gritty and the story interesting as we follow the couple on their journey which makes this an enjoyable read. It just lacked a little bit of suspense in the way that it was revealed. Still one I would recommend as un-complicated and fun read.
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on June 1, 2011
It's hard to believe that this is the same author that wrote the first couple of "Baldacci" wonderfully intriging titles produced this drival. It is poorly thoughtout and cheesy. Now that he seems to be in the mass production mode, quantity has taken presidence over quality. Since his first books were completely brillant ... it's a big dissapointment that he gone has the way of Patterson... only without the quality.
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on July 17, 2011
I've read all of Baldacci's book and this is my least favorite. The book is overrun with campy dialogue and almost completely lacks the quality writing that set David apart from other writers in his earliest efforts. I've never created an online review before but I felt so strongly about the lack of quality in this book that I was compelled to do so.
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on April 25, 2011
The plot had possibilities, but as the story moved forward, the twists were telegraphed. You are left with a lot of driving or flying from one point to another, and not much to show for it. When the author confused "flaut" with "flaunt,"I sort of gave up on it. Not worth the $15. I guess I have been spoiled by earlier works.
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on May 15, 2011
...because I only got halfway through before I got bored and stopped reading it. A good premise gets bogged down with tedium and nonsense, and I have no idea how it got such glowing reviews. Not to mention that $13 price tag, which is just ridiculous for a Kindle book.
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on May 19, 2011
This book stunk . Bunch of hokey pokey nonsense dealing with men that can be created to use 99 % of their brain to filter a zillion computer screens going at once giving info on military intelligence . Men that cant make it get sent to the nut ward because their brain is overloaded . Won't read another one by this idiot . Camel Club was good , this is about as dumb as review says .
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on April 20, 2011
David Baldacci's The Sixth Man with Sean King and Michelle Maxwell in the lead is a relatively good book. It is not at par with their last outing FIRST FAMILY, which i thought was their best adventure till date. I wont go into the synopsys of the book, you can read that in other reviews. Something about the Kindle price will follow but thats noet the most important. As i siad earlier, the book is good, quite good, if you dont compare it to the previous one. But a David baldacci book is always better then some other books that come out. Even better than Dan Brown and his overhyped Lost symbol. The story does move forward. And ofcourse this is not Baldacci's best as he is comming out with 3 books this year (wont hear me complain!! along with Stebe Berry i think hes the best).
Now if you have a Kindle, like me, and you want to buy the book to read on the Kindle but you think the price is too high (which it is), you can get it elsewhere to and just use the leagal programme CALIBRE to put it in Kindle format and read. But buying it on Amazon is still the best way to have it as soon as released (i want to have it the day of release).
All in all a good read. Recommended!
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on May 13, 2011
I was disappointed in this book. It wasn't nearly as good as his others. I think his latest 2 were written quickly to fulfill a contract. Not worth your time when there are too many other good books out there.
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on May 29, 2011
I love Ron McLarty as a reader, but for some reason, this was produced as a sort of low-rent radio show with some chirpy, stagey woman named Orlagh Cassidy reading the female parts. I tried to take this up with Hachette Audio but there is no CONTACT US there--and I hate to say negative things about a woman--but this reader was totally horrible. Also--sound efx, like gunshots--OMG, please don't. I am legally blind from bad eye surgeries and am now in audio world for my beloved fiction, and audios like this one actually make me sick at heart for what I might face.
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