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Customer Review

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Taut Tale of a Serial Killer on a Rampage, 17 Dec. 2004
This review is from: Hour Game (King & Maxwell) (Hardcover)
My favorite style of crime thriller is one where the criminal matches wits with the detectives and the book alternates perspectives in sharing what each is thinking. Unfortunately, many current authors are unable to carry off this style with enough tension, plot interest and interesting characters to make the story compelling. Having enjoyed Last Man Standing, I wanted to see what David Baldacci could do with this style. I was mostly pleased with the results. I hope he will write more crime thrillers of this sort.
The Hour Game features a slightly over-the-top killing spree that provides many red herrings and twists in the plot. The identity of the serial killer is well hidden until about two-thirds of the way through the book.
The private detectives are appealing. Both Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are former members of the Secret Service whose service ended with less than stellar results. They are bright, determined and counterparts in style. There's also a hint of sexual chemistry between them that makes the story more interesting -- it almost reminded me of The Avengers. They are originally dragged into the case as volunteers when the first dead body appears and are eventually deputized. In that role, they are placed in predictable and unnecessary conflict with the Feds.
The book's main weakness is that the trigger for the crimes lies in a history that is too bizarre to be credible in current times. If the current events of the story had been placed back into the 1960s or 1970s, I think it would have been easier to swallow. There are also just a few too many murders for one book. I think if the solution had been developed about 100 pages sooner I would have liked the book much better.
But I cannot think of new serial killer mystery that I have enjoyed any more in the last few years. So you should give this book a try.
I also plan to go back and read Split Second which introduces this series. If you haven't already read that book, perhaps you should consider doing that as well. I didn't find that I was at sea at all in reading Hour Game because I hadn't seen the earlier book. So it's your choice.
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Donald Mitchell
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