King and Maxwell
Author: David Baldacci
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Date of Publication: November 19, 2013
It seems at first like a simple, tragic story. Tyler Wingo, a teenage boy, learns the awful news that his father, a soldier, was killed in action in Afghanistan. Then the extraordinary happens: Tyler receives a communication from his father . . . after his supposed death.
Tyler hires Sean and Michelle to solve the mystery surrounding his father. But their investigation quickly leads to deeper, more troubling questions. Could Tyler’s father really still be alive? What was his true mission? Could Tyler be the next target?
Sean and Michelle soon realize that they’ve stumbled on to something bigger and more treacherous than anyone could have imagined. And as their hunt for the truth leads them relentlessly to the highest levels of power and to uncovering the most clandestine of secrets, Sean and Michelle are determined to help and protect Tyler–though they may pay for it with their lives.
It’s been a while since I read a Baldacci book and having read this book, I regret the long absence. Mr. Baldacci has a great way of ramping up the tension, teasing you with information (chapter breaks are things of horror with him – he’s FABULOUS at the cliffhangers), and throwing in humor when you least expect it.
As memory serves, I read the first book in this particular series a while back. I certainly remember the Secret Service issue with Michelle. But other than that, I haven’t read anything in this series. That didn’t cause a problem because while there are occasional references (and in Edgar’s case, a LOT of references) to past cases, they aren’t really necessary to follow the plot (though I want to go back and read the book where they helped Edgar – read the book to learn more about Edgar).
Sean and Michelle are definitely trying to work through the early stages of a relationship. There’s passion there (but not on the screen – yay!), but they’re also two very distinctive individuals with very different ways of handling things. I love Michelle’s messiness and Sean’s exasperation with her (and frequent comments about the state of her truck’s interior).
The mystery as to what cargo was being moved by Sam Wingo kept me reading, and then when it was revealed what he’d been transporting and why, wow. Definitely had to see how it played out. I was also really curious as to why the villain was doing what he was doing (along with WTH was he plotting).
Kudos to Mr. Baldacci for the Jaws reference and having Sean be a bit embarrassed that he used Jaws to get an idea on how to save Michelle (nope, not giving any more details than that).
The conclusion of this book was very suspenseful. I loved how Michelle and Sean, despite frequently getting into danger, kept level heads about themselves and worked through the problem. Even when their own client wanted to fire them, they didn’t just take it at face value and walk away. Instead, they continued investigating (trying to be subtle about it, but when the NSA is involved, there isn’t a lot of subtlety, considering how much the NSA and other governmental agencies can spy on the average people, especially when trying to cover up an incident).
So, unreserved 5-star rating from me for this book! I am soooo going to find more of the series to read now.
Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.