Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Review of King & Maxwell

Book #9. King & Maxwell, by David Baldacci. Unabridged audio.

I passed over this book the first few times I saw it at a library, because I was certain that I had already read it. After all, I’ve read all of the prior books in the “King and Maxwell” series, so certainly I’ve read the one actually titled King & Maxwell. Except that this is in fact one of the later books in the series, and I assume it is titled to coincide with the TV show “King & Maxwell,” which hit the airwaves in the summer of 2013.

Teenager Tyler Wingo learns that his solder father has been killed in action. And then a few days later, he gets an email from his dead father. Tyler stumbles across former secret services agents Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, and he hires them as private investigators. Tyler, Sean, and Michelle find themselves in the middle of a military cover-up that has political consequences of the highest order. And with the stakes this high, the risks become very high, as well.

In addition to an exciting plot, the characterizations continue to be strong. By this point, Baldacci knows the characters of Sean and Michelle very well. The banter between the partners was flirty and friendly, and each of them has developed their own personality quirks and relationship roles. This pair of co-lead characters helps this series stand out among other thrillers.

There is a great scene in which a very heavy vehicle sinks in the Potomac River. Working together, the pair of former Secret Service agents do their old employers proud in rescuing a very high-value asset. It is a tense and exciting scene, and Baldacci draws out the drama to just the right amount. I like a lot of Baldacci’s series, but I’m starting to think that this may be the strongest one.

This series of novels continue to offer one of the best audio experiences available. Narrators Ron McLarty and Orlagh Cassidy have great takes on the characters, and the occasional sound effects and musical stings add nicely to the experiences.

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