Warner, 2003 (2003)
Hardcover, Audio, CD
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
eep your eyes glued to the pages of
and whatever you do, don't blink - as usual, Baldacci spins a subtle, sinister plot in which you dare not trust anyone. When Secret Service agent Sean King is distracted for a split second, it's just long enough for his
, a minor Presidential candidate, to be shot, and King's career derailed. But who was responsible for the new sound and sight that took Sean's attention for that critical period of time?
ight years later, he's built a new life as a Virginia lawyer, is a respected community member, and helps out as part-time deputy sheriff. Little does he know that this new lifestyle is about to implode. He hears on the news that another minor candidate, John Bruno (under Secret Agent Michelle Maxwell's protection), has been abducted from under her nose at a funeral parlor. Could the two events possibly be related? Michelle begins to wonder and to investigate the cause of King's split second distraction in the derelict North Carolina Fairmont hotel.
here's Joan Dillinger, a femme fatale agent from King's past, now in the private sector, investigating the Bruno kidnapping. There's a series of corpses that accumulate in Sean's office and home, and bring him under suspicion of murder. The Secret Service, the FBI, and the U.S. Marshals (one of the corpses was in the Witness Protection Program) are all involved. As the bodies pile up, the author shows us a creepy watcher in an old Buick, who is responsible for at least some of them, and is keeping a close eye on the investigation.
ichelle, Sean and Joan work together, with help from Federal Marshall Parks, to dig out what really happened in the attacks on the two candidates, and what motivated them. It quickly becomes clear that no-one is as they seem, there are few innocents, and knowledge can be deadly. The action heats up to a dramatic, explosive ending, in which a Dumpster saves the day. I enjoyed
and sure hope David Baldacci will give us more of King and Maxwell.
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