David Baldacci is one of the most effortlessly accomplished novelists in the crime and thriller field at work today, and his new book,The Sixth Man
, is one of his most engaging outings, representing some of his best work. His long-term protagonists, private investigators Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, are confronted with a considerable challenge when serial killer Edgar Roy is apprehended and incarcerated in a psychiatric unit. The King/Maxwell duo are called in by the supposed murderer’s lawyer (who has known Sean King for years) to check the details of the case. But things take a nasty turn very early on – even as Sean and Michelle are en route to meet the lawyer, the latter is killed – and it the duo who discover his corpse. Multiple problems begin to present themselves: is Edgar Roy really the psychopathic monster he is supposed to be? But their investigation, far from unveiling the truth, begins to throw up ever more insurmountable obstacles, with every new lead turning into a dead end. And as things become ever more tricky, even the unshakable loyalty between Sean and Michelle is to be tested to the limit.
The Sixth Man represents Baldacci on cracking form, with all the customary elements firmly in place. He author has long produced some of the most assured and accomplished thrillers being written in the USA, and recent books have gleaned him a great many new readers. This latest book is perhaps less innovative in terms of plotting and character development than we are used to, but it is none the worse for that. --Barry Forshaw
"A complex puzzle . . . Baldacci is a master craftsman."-- Associated Press on The Sixth Man