Monday, May 18, 2009

Split Second

Well, isn't that a fine kettle of fish! There I was at my lunch break today hoping I would have enough time to finish the last 70 pages or so of David Baldacci's Split Second. I rarely have enough time to read more than 50 pages of a standard novel at lunch so I was expecting that I might have to "forget" to get back from lunch on time, thereby allowing me to wrap it up. However, the pages in this book fly by and I actually finished it with a good 15 minutes to go! There I was stuck with no book to read and 15 minutes before I needed to return to the office.

Life goes on. I was very much looking forward to reading this book. After all, Absolute Power won my "best of the year" award for 2007. (I know it was published years earlier but I read it in 2007 and that's all that counts). That was my first and only Baldacci novel to date and I was anxious to see if the quality would continue to all of his other novels. Since it was also the first novel he had written, I was a bit wary because it seems often a new author spends years getting it just right only to be very successful and then be under the gun (or contract) to get another one out every year or so.

This particular book was a good read. It started out very well indeed and I know why Mr Baldacci has been on the best seller list all this time. His first book was no fluke afterall. This book starts a series involving the same two protagonists: Sean King, ex-secret service agent and Michelle Maxwell, current secret service agent, but just having screwed up an assignment. It is an intriguing situation because both characters are very competent people and very likable. There is a fair share of thriller action in this book which keeps the pages turning however, it tends to be more mystery than Mr Baldacci's novels usually contain...or so I've heard. That mystery part of the plot is fairly complex and involves quite a number of smaller characters. The wrap up at the end seems a bit hokey to me but I might just be holding this book to such high expectations that I couldn't help but be let down just a little. Don't get me wrong, it did nothing to disuade me from reading future novels from this author, in fact I very much look forward to them. But when I checked on Amazon to see what other people thought it seems this book is among the least favorites of all of his work. If that is the case then future Baldacci reading will be great!

So it's short story time now and the first up in Skeleton Crew is actually the novella, "The Mist" which is long enough, and reportedly fantastic enough to deserve its own blog entry. See you then.

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Top 10 Books in no particular order (Well Known Authors)

  • "The Stand" by Stephen King
  • "Kane and Able" by Jeffrey Archer
  • "The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara
  • "The Dark Elf Trilogy" by RA Salvatore
  • "Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss
  • "River God" by Wilbur Smith
  • "Mortalis" by RA Salvatore
  • "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
  • "Centennial" by James A Michener
  • "The Repairman Jack" series by F. Paul Wilson

Top Books/ Series in no particular order (Lesser Known Authors)

  • "The Sculpter" by Gregory Funaro
  • "Power Down" by Ben Coes
  • "Revolution at Sea Saga" by James L. Nelson
  • "Black Rain" by Graham Brown
  • "Top Producer" by Norb Vonnegut
  • "Prairie" by Anna Lee Waldo
  • "The Wild Blue" by W. Boyne & S Thompson
  • "Unsolicited" series by Julie Kaewert
  • "Freedom" by William Safire