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Hour Gameby David Baldacci
Synopses & Reviews
A woman is found murdered in the woods with a very special watch on her wrist — and what seemed a simple case soon escalates into a nightmare. The criminal methods of some of the most infamous killers of all time are being replicated by a new predator who stalks and strikes victims with a cunning brilliance. No one can understand the murderer's motives or who the next victim will be.
Drawn into this violent affair are two Secret Service agents turned private investigators, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell. Both have been hired to prove a man's innocence in a domestic burglary involving an aristocratic, if dysfunctional, family. Soon stunning secrets will lead the partners into the middle of a frantic search for a killer unlike any they've confronted before.
As the Hour Game barrels forward, Sean and Michelle face a macabre puzzle and uncover one horrifying revelation after another. Nearing the truth, they will find that their own lives are in danger. And then they're hit with the biggest surprise of all. When you play the Hour Game, you have to play to win. But time is running out...for all of them.
In Hour Game, bestselling master storyteller David Baldacci has created his most mind-blowing and satisfying thriller yet.
"Baldacci's last book, Split Second, was a relatively weak offering from this bestselling author, sunk by a cartoonish villain and absurd plot. But it did introduce two of Baldacci's (Absolute Power, etc.) most memorable characters, former Secret Service agents Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, in business together as private investigators in smalltown Wrightsburg, Va. Baldacci is back in form, and King and Maxwell reappear in this utterly absorbing, complex mystery-thriller that spins in unexpected directions. The novel starts as a serial-killer thriller, for there's a murderer at work in Wrightsburg whose selection of victims appears random but whose modus operandi, differing from kill to kill, mimics the work of a notorious serial killer — the Zodiac killer, John Wayne Gacy, etc. The fifth victim is local resident and international tycoon Robert E. Lee Battle. King and Maxwell have already been tangling with the gothic horror show of a dysfunctional Southern family that is the Battles, as they've been hired to help prove the innocence of a Battle handyman accused of stealing from the family. Then that handyman is murdered, and the duo (along with a clueless local sheriff and an obnoxious FBI agent) must race to figure out if the same killer is behind all the murders and, if so, why. There are terrific action sequences sprinkled throughout, and plenty of suspense, and the King/Maxwell relationship, while not romantic, emits sparks. It's Baldacci's portrayal of smalltown Southern life, however, and his sharp characterizations of the Battles, from the bombastic Bobby and his regal widow to his weird extended family, that give the novel texture and depth: this is Baldacci's most accomplished tale since his nonthriller Wish You Well, and it rivals that novel in its social commentary. Despite fair clues, few if any readers will ID the villain (villains?) before they're revealed, and a snappy surprise ending will have Baldacci's many fans remembering why they love this author so much. Agent, Aaron Priest. (Oct. 26)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The plot doesn't hold together perfectly, even starting out a bit slow, but it recovers to build to an exciting finish." Booklist
"A serial killer with a sense of history is the baddie in this latest from Baldacci, one of the reigning kings of potboilers....Lame but, like its predecessors, bound for bestsellerdom." Kirkus Reviews
"Beating odds of probably a billion to one, I survived this novel with my sanity intact....Hour Game is rough sledding. With this book [Baldacci] has entered the James Patterson Really Bad Thriller Sweepstakes....Readers who prefer thrillers that offer logic, style, plausibility or depth should look elsewhere." The Washington Post Book World
"Hour Game has an intriguing plot and interesting characters, but it's also full of ridiculous twists and a couple of crashing bores. In total, the novel is not bad, but one expects more from a thriller." Detroit Free Press
Baldacci's #1 New York Times bestseller brings back Sean King and Michelle Maxwell — the unstoppable duo from Split Second — on the trails of two diabolical killers, one of whom is copying the other — and stealing the "credit."
He's copying famous serial killers and the game has just begun.
A woman is found murdered in the woods. It seems like a simple case but it soon escalates into a terrible nightmare. Someone is replicating the killing styles of the most infamous murderers of all time. No one knows this criminal's motives...or who will die next.
Two ex-Secret Service agents, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, have been hired to defend a man's innocence in a burglary involving an aristocratic, dysfunctional family. Then a series of secrets leads the partners right into the frantic hunt that is confounding even the FBI. Now King and Maxwell are playing the Hour Game, uncovering one horrifying revelation after another and putting their lives in danger. For the closer they get to the truth, the closer they get to the most shocking surprise of all.
About the Author
David Baldacci is the author of ten consecutive New York Times bestsellers and #1 international bestsellers Absolute Power, Total Control, The Winner, The Simple Truth, Saving Faith, Wish You Well, Last Man Standing, The Christmas Train, Split Second, and Hour Game. With his books published in over 35 languages in more than 80 countries, and with nearly 40 million copies in print worldwide, Baldacci is one of the world's favorite storytellers. He is also the cofounder, with his wife, of the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America.
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