Monday, March 5, 2012

The Sixth Man

The Sixth Man by David Baldacci

Edgar Roy-an alleged serial killer held in a secure, fortress-like Federal Supermax facility-is awaiting trial. He faces almost certain conviction. Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are called in by Roy's attorney, Sean's old friend and mentor Ted Bergin, to help work the case. But their investigation is derailed before it begins-en route to their first meeting with Bergin, Sean and Michelle find him murdered.

It is now up to them to ask the questions no one seems to want answered: Is Roy a killer? Who murdered Bergin? With help from some surprising allies, they continue to pursue the case. But the more they dig into Roy's past, the more they encounter obstacles, half-truths, dead-ends, false friends, and escalating threats from every direction. Their persistence puts them on a collision course with the highest levels of the government and the darkest corners of power. In a terrifying confrontation that will push Sean and Michelle to their limits, the duo may be permanently parted.

--The Sixth Man
by David Baldacci
Copyright © 2011 by David Baldacci

My Review
Imagine, if you will, a wall. Not just any wall, but a wall of data. Data that informs the viewer of everything—yes, everything—that is going on in the world in regards to the country’s security. Now imagine absorbing all that data, analyzing it, and coming up with strategies to ensure the country’s safety. All without losing your mind.

That was Edgar Roy’s job before he was arrested for murder. Housed in a federal Supermax facility in Maine, he awaits trial. His lawyer, Ted Bergin, calls on his friend Sean King and his partner, Michelle Maxwell, to come and assist him in the case. But on their way to meet him, Sean and Michelle find Ted murdered on the side of the road.

Anxious to work the case, plus find out who murdered Ted, they sign on with Ted’s associate to work on Edgar’s case. Only, as is the usual for them, things are not as cut-and-dried as they may seem. They never are when the power players of D.C. get involved.

The main characters, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, seemed a little flat in this story. They have the same drive and energy as usual, but because they’ve ostensibly put their romantic feelings aside for the duration of the story, they’ve lost some of their depth, only to gain it back at the very end. It leaves the story a little lacking, but despite that, it’s still a great story.

The plot contains the usual deep twists and turns you’d expect from a David Baldacci novel, including one I never saw coming until the end. I figured out the twist pretty much at the same time Sean did, which is great because as a reader, you never really want to figure out whodunit half-way through the story. You want there to be a surprise waiting for you and in this novel, it definitely is waiting for you, lurking, gun in hand, ready and willing to move in for the killshot.

I love the character of James Harkes, though. Someone who could pull off what he did in this story without getting his feathers ruffled catches my interest and makes me want more. I would definitely like to see him again, perhaps in his own series? And perhaps even with Kelly Paul (Edgar’s half sister)? Just a thought…

I give this story FOUR STARS.

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