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


The House of Secrets (Audiobook) by Brad Meltzer, Tod Goldberg, Scott Brick, January LaVoy

The House of Secrets The House of Secrets

by Brad Meltzer, Tod Goldberg, Scott Brick (Narrator), January LaVoy(Narrator)

Unabridged Audiobook, 10 hrs, 14 min.
Hachette Audio, 2016
Read: September 22 – 28, 2016

I’ve appreciated the work of Meltzer (comics only, haven’t tried a novel) and Tod Goldberg in the past, so I was intrigued by the idea of them working together, but the book itself just didn’t seem like my cup of tea. Then I heard them interviewed on The Writers Panel podcast and I changed my mind (give it a listen, it’s fun).

Boy was that a mistake. Mostly.

So, the host of a Ripley’s Believe it or Not-esque show all about the crazy conspiracies, hidden stories, and unexplained throughout history is about to retire but is killed in an auto accident. His son and daughter are in the car with him — Junior survives with minor bumps and bruises, Hazel is seriously injured and suffers a traumatic brain injury. She pretty much forgets who she is.

She starts investigating her own background and starts finding questions about her father and his show — there seems to be more than just a TV show afoot. And…yeah, I just can’t care enough to do more than this, I’ve already spent more time on this than I wanted to.

It was a fun, potboiler-y book that was entertaining enough to justify the ten hours — and then the ending, the explanation for everything, and the denouement were horrible. Not just disappointing, but worse. It really made me mad.

I typically like Scott Brick’s narration — but something about the approach he used this time just didn’t work for me. I can’t put my finger on why — maybe it was a bit too aggressive sounding? Like I said, I really don’t know. I did find LaVoy’s work interesting and engaging, however. Maybe it was the contrast between the two that left Brick’s performance wanting (I don’t think so, but it’s a thought that occurs).

As frustrating as I found the story (eventually beyond frustrating), it was an entertaining, gripping book. Structurally sound, moved along at a good pace — everything you want in escapist fiction. But man . . . the ending (and really all of it, therefore, as it is a mystery) was plain ol’ bad. The first 9-ish (maybe 8-ish) hours were good enough that I can’t rate this too low (but man, the ending made me want to).


2 1/2 Stars