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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book with is large cast of characters, convoluted twists and false leads.
I also liked the interaction between the three secret agents, Saen, Michelle and Joan. Baldacci does his usual fine job creating believable characters and engaging them in challenging situations.
This is not a seat of the pants, page turning, read, but it is a well constructed criminal investigation novel that grips the interest and keeps you reading.
That is until the finale begins on page 364, and then we are thrown into something so bizarre, so totally unbelievable; then the novel degenerates into endless pages of explanatory dialogue that completely destroys the tension and drama.
Even so I expect all Baldacci fans will want to read this, it is only the end that disappoints.
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on 28 November 2003
I always look forward to the next David Baldacci book beacuse they are suspenseful, edge of your seat stuff that you cannot put down. Split Second thankfully did not let me down. It is a very gripping thriller that has you guessing right to the end.
There are two main characters who suffer the same fate albeit at different times (8 years apart to be precise). The characters Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are Secret Service Agents who have more in common than they think. They unite forces to solve a kidnapping. They soon realise that they are trying to solve an assasination which happened years previously.
Both of their careers are ruined because while on duty they allegedly screwed up.
Without giving too much away the characters are believable and the plot is thick. They work closely to solve these and other crimes that tend to happen whenever they are together or are getting close to the truth.
As soon as I started to read the story I could not put the book down. The plot twists and turns and Sean and Michelle are never too sure who to trust.
If you like suspenseful thrillers then this is a must. You will not be able to help yourself from trying to figure out the plot before the book finishes. I was pleased that the ending was realistic and hopeful and not the usual Hollywood ending!!!
The only downside is that there are a lot of characters in the book and sometimes it is hard to keep track especially when some of them are from the past. As ever though, Baldacci ties up all the loose ends paying excellent attention to detail.
All I can say is pick it up I know you won't be able to put it down. I am always sad at the end of a David Baldacci book because true thrillers like this are hard to find. I now have to wait until his next book to get my next adrenaline filled rush. If you haven't read it then get yours now!!
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on 23 February 2004
This book is a terrible disappointment. I'm a great Baldacci fan and all all his previous books have been outstanding entertainment. But Split Second doesn't work, through a combination of lazy plotting and cardboard characters. The plot revolves around three supposedly intelligent and well-trained ex-Secret Service agents, who bumble and stumble thriough the book like Keystone Cops. The bad guys have no difficulty in bamboozling them, running rings aroound them, beating them up, even kidnapping them.Half way through, I lost all interest in the plot's tired convolutions; three-quarters way through, I gave up on it. Baldacci is capable of much, much better. What's going wrong? All my favourite writers (Clancy, Crichton, Baldacci, Grisham) have produced duds with their latest books.
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on 11 March 2007
I really enjoyed the Camel Club, so I though I would persue Mr. Baldacci's work. I don't know if there is an order but this was next on my list.

The story follows two lead characters. The older is a retired secret service agent who has long since left his spook days behind and settled into a country town law practice. The younger is in persuit of one of her charges who was kidnapped while she was in charge of him.

Their paths cross as the young agent follows a theory that her case might be linked to one similar that occured in 1996. A presidential candidate was shot and killed whilst in the care of our older lead, a situation that lead to his being asked to leave the service, discraced.

They end up working together, as someone has started killing people our older lead knows and/or have something to do with the original case.
Skelletons start falling out of cupboards as the story progresses, seemingly to the annoyance of the killer.

I have read one or two US secret service based tales recently and so perhaps for me the genre is a bit tired. I did enjoy the book although it did initially seem to move a little slowly, caught up in a lot of prose and discriptive writing. As the story began to pick up pace, I was more than half way through, so this gives an indication of it's general speed.

The lead characters were nicley written and seemed to have all the normal "All American" education and good looks. I was a little disappointed about the way the other characters' lives were unfolded. There was not the attention to detail I would have liked. I appreciate the author was probably trying not to give his story's ending away but even so I would have liked a bit more about the other characters' lives.

As the story gathered it's final momentum, I was left reeling a little. The way clues were intercepted and discovered was explained but the reader was really given no hint as to where the tale might be going and I did rather lose interest and started to skim read near the end.

This said, I was fighting the sand man demons at about 2am on a Saturday/Sunday, courtesy of a posessed pair of geese calling to one another and a pigeon scarer/banger that was on a 20 second loop - oh the joys of the rural English countryside!!! Maybe if I had another chance to read it in the realms of normal daylight, I might have given it 4 stars.... next stop The Collectors....
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on 20 September 2011
Split Second introduces King & Maxwell and demonstrates David Baldacci's ability to create believable loveable characters. The book also showcases his ability to weave a complex interconnected plot from seemingly disparate threads.

It is definitely more in the criminal investigation rather than thriller genre and is enthralling and very readable. That said, the finale will have you wondering what on earth he was thinking, but, actually, if you accept it as a criminal investigation book rather than a thriller, then it is acceptable!
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on 27 December 2015
Reading Split Second by David Baldacci, is like having a big puzzle and trying to come up with a perfect picture. While reading we pick a few pieces and try to match them up and at first it looks as it may work. But then another bunch could fit just as well and on and on switching and changing pieces around and still the full picture is not even close. As the story evolves it appears as if someone has added to the number of pieces originally present. But the outcome is really a surprise and when the picture is completed everything makes sense...but we are almost at the end of the story. Great going! Really full of surprises! The problem is that you can't really put it down for too long!
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on 6 May 2004
When I was approximately half through the book I was riding in an elevator with the book in my hands and another guy pointed at it and said "Not one of his best". I looked at him as if he was crazy, since the book had me reading every second I could get and was looking very promising.
When I reached page 300 I completely understood that comment, the plot turns into something so farfetched that it made me want to throw the book away. I am not sure what the author and the editors were thinking. The only reason why I give this book 3 stars instead of 1 is because the first 3/4 of it are really good.
Anyway, my final recommendation is: Don't waste your time!
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on 13 May 2014
I nearly gave up half way through this book but had invested money in buying it and time in reading the first half so I battled on.

I have tried to analyse why I did not like it.

1. The characters have no great depth. They say a lot and they do a lot but there is little by way of emotional exploration. The problem with that is that the reader can not identify with the characters without some sort of insight into their feelings and motivation. And the problem with that is that you can not remember who is who. You have to have "lived" with the characters a little before you recognise them when they crop up again. For me, it was mainly a series of instantly forgettable bit players.

2. The characters were very uneven. They were alternately absolutely furious and then suddenly completely reasonable often several times on the same page. I found this unbelievable.

3. There is a difference between mystery (which a thriller must have) and downright confusion (which made me want to throw the book away). The author goes overboard with hiding what is going on and this is just irritating. Not only does he deliberately not tell the reader what is happening, but also he makes the characters hide their theories and actions from each other. Add to this the large number of misleading theories concerning the origins os the crime put forward by the protagonists, and you end up with a confusing plot.

4. As seems to be the norm with eBooks, there were a number of errors that could have been corrected with better editing and proof reading. I found 34.
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on 10 May 2014
Another Baldacci winner full of twists, turns, excitement and suspense however, just a slight glitch about three quarters through when things got a little muddled as several scenarios are explored and touted which became all too confusing which made me lose the plot a little.

But all is not lost in this Badlacci book as it all comes together in the end. I like King and Maxwell, a good mix without all the romance bit but it hovers in the background unspoken and the vibes are there, they seemingly dance around each other without even Boggie and Bacall, Mac and Harm, John Steed and Purdey, bacon and! but the humor and one liners are just great!

As a new reader to Baldacci's books I can not for the life of me understand why I have not discovered any of them before, where have I been??

Thank you David for another great thriller.

Highly recommended.
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on 3 June 2016
Sean King, apparently a flawed Secret Service operative redeems himself in this convoluted but nail biting novel. I'm now into my second King and Maxwell book and am loving it as much as Split Second.
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