Saturday, September 22, 2012

Books: The Sixth Man

The Sixth Man
By David Baldacci
Copyright 2011
Read by Ron McLarty and Orlagh Cassidy
7 hours

This is the latest in the King and Maxwell series of Baldacci's books.

His website notes that TNT is creating a King and Maxwell pilot TV show.

The series is about two former secret service agents, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, who are now private investigators.

Baldacci appears to have taken the characters as far as he wants; this book was a let-down as far as characterizations go. There was a lot of action in this book but it was more about plot than character.

Edgar Roy is a super genius who has been used by the US government to help with intelligence-gathering efforts. All of the information from all intelligence sources is sent to a visual "wall" and displayed. Roy then uses his super brain to figure out patterns and make educated guesses about terror plots, etc.

But Roy is in jail, apparently a man gone insane, for the police found six bodies buried in his barn. His lawyer, Ted Bergane, asks Sean King and Michelle Maxwell to join him in Maine, where Roy is being held in a maximum security facility. King and Maxwell head up there and en route to the prison, discover a car on the side of the road with Bergane in it. He is dead.

After that, it's a long romp through government agencies along a trail littered with dead bodies to find out what is going on.

I missed the character-building this series has shown in the past. Maxwell and King could have been any hired gun helping out the FBI as this book moved forward.

Several reviewers on Amazon wondered if the author even wrote this book. I wondered the same thing - it certainly didn't have the zip of previous ones.

I have read all in this series and a few of Baldacci's other books as well. I would rate this one as the worst of all that I have listened to or read. If you're a fan of the series you'll want to read it to keep up, I suppose, but honestly there is so little character building that, except for the ending which *should* be referenced in any next book, there isn't much of a need to read this one.

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