Hour Game (Audiobook) by David Baldacci, Scott Brick

Hour GameHour Game

by David Baldacci, Scott Brick (Narrator)
Series: King & Maxwell, #2
Unabridged Audiobook, 14 hrs., 25 mins.
Hachette Audio, 2004
Read: May 1 – 5, 2017

Whoops — it’s been two and a half years since I read the first volume in the series — I really meant to get back to it sooner. Oh well, better late than etc., etc. I don’t have much to say about this, but I have a few thoughts.

This picks up a few months after Split Second, the partnership between King and Maxwell has solidified, they’ve had some success and have settled into their lives. They’re doing some work for a local attorney assisting him defend an accused burglar, when they’re asked to help the local police investigate a murder that resembles a famous serial killer. Soon afterwards, other bodies show up — each following a different serial killer’s M. O. to keep the authorities guessing.

Soon, King and Maxwell are officially involved — as are the national media and the FBI. Naturally, the two cases intertwine — as does another mystery.

The mysteries were pretty easy to guess, but how Baldacci resolved them wasn’t — which was nice. The character moments were okay, actually — the characters were the best part of this book, not just our leads, but pretty much everyone who wasn’t killed within a page or two of being introduced.

Will you hold it against me if I admit it wasn’t until as I was writing this that I figured out what the title referred to? I really hadn’t thought about it, but I really shouldn’t have had to.

I liked this more than the last Scott Brick audiobook I listened to — which wasn’t bad. His accent work was good (have heard him do better), and he made the characters come to life — even giving a couple of characters I could live without enough of a hook that I probably liked them more in audio than I would’ve if I read it.

Hour Game was well constructed, well paced, and kept me engaged and entertained — an improvement over the first one, too. Can’t ask for much more than that.


3 Stars


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