King and Maxwell

December 9, 2013 Book Reviews 1 ★★★★

King and Maxwell four-stars
on 11/19/2013
Pages: 432
Format: eARC

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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.

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review by Travis Starnes

King and Maxwell continue the story of two ex-Secret Service agents.  This time they are helping out a teenager with the mystery surrounding his fathers reported death in Afghanistan.  As they begin looking into what happened it quickly becomes apparent there is a lot more to the mans reported death.

This is book six in a series that, until reading this book, I had not heard of.  Thankfully Baldacci makes this book accessible for people who have not read the other titles in the series.  While there are often mentions of previous events, these are either explained or done with enough contexts so they are not confusing.  I did not feel my understanding or enjoyment of this book suffered at all from not having read the series.

I have read a few books from Baldacci in the past but this might be the best book of his I have read so far.  Baldacci is acknowledge as one of the masters of the thriller genre with dozens of top selling books under his belt, and after reading this I can’t disagree with this accolade.  The plot of King and Maxwell is gripping and kept me turning the page.  There are tons of twists and turns as the two privet investigators work out what is really going on, and none of them feel ridiculous or out of left field.  The dialogue is not only very believable and helps the story but is also pretty witty most of the time.

Both King and Maxwell, while pretty typical as far as protagonists in a thriller novel go, are both pretty interesting.  It helps that there are the two of them and they spend the whole book together.  At no point does one feel like the lead and the other the side kick.  Baldacci does a good job balancing the two protagonists.  The side characters, especially the small cast of reoccurring characters, feel pretty well conceived and rounded out.  I did not feel at any point when reading this book that these characters were just stereotypes, they all seemed to have more going on.

Not that the book was completely perfect, it does have a handful of flaws to it.  The reveal of one of the bad guys felt a little ridiculous and not 100% planned out ahead of time.  If you think too much about this character and the actions earlier in the book, they don’t make complete sense when examined under the light of the twist near the end.  Also the motivation of the lead antagonist seems a bit weak.

But those are really small complaints.  This was an excellent thriller that once I got a few chapters in I could not put down.  An excellent read for fans of the genre.

Rating Report
Overall: 4.2

One Response to “King and Maxwell”

  1. Eugenia

    Fascination!that all i can say, different characters that keeps you in suspense all the way through the book, non stop action story from the beggining till the end… highly recommend this book.

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