When something distracts Secret Agent Sean King for a split second, it costs him his career and presidential candidate Clyde Ritter, his life. But what stole his attention? And why was Ritter shot? Eight years later Michelle Maxwell is on the fast track through the ranks of the Secret Service when her career is stopped short: Presidential candidate John Bruno is abducted from a funeral home while under her protection. The similarity between the two cases drives Michelle to re-open investigations into the Ritter fiasco and join forces with attractive ex-agent King. The pair is determined to get to the bottom of what happened in those critical moments. Meanwhile, high-ranking members of the legal system and key witnesses from both cases are going missing. King is losing friends, colleagues and clients fast and his ex-lover, Joan Dillinger, is playing curious games - she wants Sean back, but she also owes him for something...
--Split Second by David Baldacci, Copyright ©2003 by David Baldacci
Sean King’s career in the Secret Service came to an end eight years ago when the presidential candidate he was guarding was shot. Now living in Wrightsburg, Virginia with a law practice and lake-side home, he’s comfortable with his new life.
Michelle Maxwell is moving up in the Service when her protectee is kidnapped from a funeral home. Placed on leave, she begins to investigate the case that cost Sean King his career. Their cases were similar, and perhaps by working on his case, she could keep her mind off the disaster that had befallen her.
She gets in touch with King and, despite his unwillingness to participate, they begin to see similarities between their two cases. The more clues they uncover, the deeper they get into the conspiracy surrounding these two events. Could the same person or persons be responsible for both events? And if so, what could their motive be? Who is the ultimate target?
And most important, can King and Maxwell stop them before they fall victim to the mastermind’s plan?
Having already read Hour Game, I was familiar with Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, but it was good to go back and learn how the two former Secret Service agents became former Secret Service Agents and how they became partners in King and Maxwell Investigations.
I read a few other reviewer’s comments about this novel and most of them were disappointed with how the story ended. I admit, I had a hard time buying into the mastermind’s motivation, primarily because I don’t really “get” the need some people have to get revenge for a perceived slight. The mastermind wanted something to go his way—Plan A—and when that didn’t work, he instituted Plan B. When that didn’t work, Plan C. But Plan C wasn’t the end. His need for revenge for the failure of Plans A & B caused him to put together Plan D. At some point, don’t you just say, “Enough is enough, I only have this one life and I’m going to go enjoy it?” But that’s the only reason I didn’t enjoy the ending, a little too unbelievable for my understanding.
I enjoy reading series novels because—if I enjoy the series, then that means I enjoy the characters and if I enjoy the characters, I want to read more about them and watch as they develop over the years. I think I’m going to enjoy these two for a long time to come.
I give this story THREE and a HALF STARS.