Split Second by David Baldacci

Split Second by David Baldacci
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (512 pgs)
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

Michelle Maxwell has just blown her future with the Secret Service. Against her instincts, she led a presidential candidate out of her sight to comfort a grieving widow. Then, behind closed doors, the politician whose safety was her responsibility vanished into thin air.

Living a new life on a quiet lake in central Virginia, Sean King knows how the younger agent feels. He’s been there before. In an out-of-the-way hotel eight years earlier, the hard-charging Secret Service man allowed his attention to be diverted for a split second. And the presidential candidate Sean was protecting was gunned down before his eyes.

Now Michelle and Sean are about to see their destinies converge. She has become obsessed with Sean’s case. And he needs a friend—especially since a series of macabre killings has brought him under suspicion and prompted the reappearance of a seductive woman he’s tried hard to forget.

As the two discredited agents enter a maze of lies, secrets, and deadly coincidences, they uncover a violence that shattered their lives were really a long time in the making – and are a long way from over.

Michelle Maxwell has just made a decision that will change her life forever, ending her stint with the Secret Service. It’s set her on a new path she never expected. Sean King has been there and done that once already. As a former Secret Service agent himself, he’s screwed up and recovered, making a happy new life for himself. However, when King and Maxwell’s worlds collide, more than sparks are going to fly.

Sean King is a fascinating and aggravating man. He’s been where Michelle is now and is both sympathetic to her plight as well as slightly obnoxious at the same time. Despite his ability to completely rile her, I loved him from the moment I met him. He carries the arrogance gained while working for the Secret Service, a trait you no doubt need to keep important people safe, but tempers it with humor and seductiveness that not even calm, cool, and collected Michelle Maxwell can resist. Sean is also intelligent, resourceful, and loyal, three things Michelle needs now more than anything.

On the other hand, Michelle Maxwell is young and upcoming in the Service, right until the moment she makes a fatal mistake. By letting a presidential candidate out of her sight for mere moments, he’s kidnapped and her life comes to a standstill. To her credit, she doesn’t curl up in a ball and cry. Quite the opposite. With the help of Sean King and his years of experience, they come together and discover more than what happened to Michelle’s charge.

Split Second was an intense ride taking us through both Michelle’s current situation and running headlong into the incident many years past that caused Sean’s stint with the Service to come to an abrupt end. The way that the two stories come together in the end is both satisfying and exciting. If this first novel in the King & Maxwell series is any indication, the ones that follow are going to be one heck of a roller coaster of action and suspense. I am eagerly anticipating getting to know these two better in the future.

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