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Hour Game (King & Maxwell)
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About the Author

DAVID BALDACCI is a global #1 bestselling author, and one of the world's favorite storytellers. His books are published in over forty-five languages and in more than eighty countries, with 150 million copies sold worldwide. His works have been adapted for both feature film and television. David Baldacci is also the cofounder, along with his wife, of the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America. Still a resident of his native Virginia, he invites you to visit him at DavidBaldacci.com and his foundation at WishYouWellFoundation.org.

Reviews

One of the residents of a small lakeside town in central Virginia has an IQ of 165, belongs to Mensa, and completes the New York Times crossword puzzle with ease every Sunday. He also happens to be a serial killer. In his tenth novel (after Split Second), Baldacci reaffirms his position at the top of the psychological thriller genre with this intriguing examination of a murderer's psyche. Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, who first appeared in Split Second, return as former Secret Service agents trying to track down a meticulous killer who doesn't make mistakes. The killer taunts the authorities by leaving on his victims a watch set to the hour corresponding with their position on his hit list. The investigation weaves throughout the aptly named Battle family, a traditional Southern clan full of dark secrets and steamy lies. To end this killer's game, King and Maxwell must solve the riddle of intertwining motives and alibis. Strongly recommended for most popular fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/04.]-Ken Bolton, Cornell Univ. Lib., Ithaca, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

"HOUR GAME has the elements of a classic Baldacci thriller. His characters keep getting better and richer and the plots-while always tight and well executed-are becoming more intricate and realistic...There is no question: David Baldacci will stay on the bestseller list for a long time to come."--Richmond Times-Dispatch
"King and Maxwell are fictional treats, a fabulously entertaining team, and the action is hot and hard."--New York Daily News
"The action is suspenseful and relentless."--Newark Star-Ledger
"The book's pace is near-gallop."
--Buffalo News
"Utterly absorbing...spins in unexpected directions...There are terrific action sequences throughout and plenty of suspense...texture and depth...A snappy surprise ending will have Baldacci's many fans remembering why they love this author so much."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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