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Split Second

Posted - Dec. 8, 2003 at 4:31 a.m.



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SPLIT SECOND By David Baldacci

I was reading Split Second in a coffee shop last week and a man walked by and said, “So disappointing.” At the time I was only on page 120, and I thought, “What is he talking about?” The story had my complete attention for the first half of the book. Plus I was learning all kinds of cool secret service lingo like POTUS, which means “President of the United States.”

Split Second is the story of how a secret service agent’s life and career can end in a split second. Agent Sean King is distracted for only a moment while watching his presidential candidate, and the candidate is shot down. Fast forward eight years when another agent, this time Olympian Michelle Maxwell, allows her candidate to be alone with a widow for a split second, and he’s kidnapped. When these two ruined agents get together to unravel the mystery, the book is Baldacci at his best. This is the Baldacci of Absolute Power and Last Man Standing.

But then the book gets so lost. It’s as if Baldacci couldn’t think of a good conclusion. He had a wonderful premise – what happens if two secret service agents look away for a split second and everything falls apart – but then he couldn’t think of a good idea on how to resolve it. The plot becomes unbelievable and the ultimate bad guy is such a disappointment that I found myself almost skimming for the last hundred pages.

There are lots of worse books out there, but Baldacci fans will likely be disappointed with his latest bestseller, Split Second. On the Book Beat for KSL Newsradio 1160, I’m Amanda Dickson.

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