Split Second by David Baldacci

Split Second (Sean King & Michelle Maxwell, #1)Split Second

by David Baldacci
Series: King & Maxwell, #1

Hardcover, 416 pages
Published August 31st 2003 by Warner Books
Read: Jan. 21-22, 2014

This is the pilot novel for the King and Maxwell series. It reads so much like a TV pilot that I almost have to think of it that way — introducing our characters, learning their back-stories, how they get together as a team, and set off on a new set of adventures. It might as well have an image of Stephen J. Cannell tearing a page out of his typewriter at the end.

Sean King is a former Secret Service Agent, turned lawyer when the presidential candidate he was guarding was assassinated right next to him. Eight years later, Michelle Maxwell is guarding another candidate, who’s kidnapped from under her nose. With the clock on her career winding down, Maxwell throws herself into the search — as well as looking for help and guidance from the one former agent who’d understand what she’s going through.

There’s an okay chemistry between the characters — it looks briefly like romance would be in the air, but they turn from that pretty quickly. Maxwell and King settle into an burgeoning friendship as they search for the candidate, sift through lies, rumors, half-truths, and conspiracies that have been building for decades leading up to the kidnapping.

I won’t say I was grabbed by the plot at any point — and actually, I found most of the crimes in question to be pretty far-fetched. But it was good enough (just) to keep me turning the pages. Sometimes, that’s enough.

Like with many TV pilots, it’s hard to tell what the rest of the series is going to be like, but I liked this enough to try the next one. I just hope it’s a little more grounded.

—–

3 Stars

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