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King and Maxwell    by David Baldacci order for
King and Maxwell
by David Baldacci
Order:  USA  Can
Grand Central, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Sean King and Michelle Maxwell (the crime-fighting duo of Secret Service agents turned PIs) have long been my favorites of David Baldacci's always engaging - and always larger than life - leads. I enjoy their Odd Couple partnership, though I do get impatient with their tenuous romantic relationship. Now they're back for another exciting adventure in King and Maxwell.

It opens on a soldier on a mission in Afghanistan, delivering a high value cargo that weighs forty-eight hundred pounds. When he arrives at his destination, he's met by men who identify themselves as CIA agents. They end up with the cargo and he manages to escape. But when the soldier finally manages to contact his boss, he learns that he's suspected of having stolen the cargo. He makes his way back home under the radar.

Back in the USA, Sean worries about Michelle, still recovering from both physical and mental injuries incurred in their last adventure. Driving in the rain, they almost hit a running teenager. Michelle goes after him, and soon Tyler Wingo is their new client. He ran because he was distraught after being informed that his dad had died in Afghanistan.

But, as Michelle and Sean soon learn, there's something very fishy about the situation. When they make enquiries, they draw the wrong kind of attention to themselves, from the FBI and Homeland Security straight up the ladder to the White House. They're shot at, almost blown up, and suspected of murder. As all this evolves, readers watch the villain of the piece buy short term control of a satellite - what for?

Naturally we know that King and Maxwell will foil the plot, but the premise and execution are cleverly developed, thoroughly engrossing - and bring Michelle up close and personal with the Secret Service once more. Oh yes, and the PIs end up with a new employee. If you enjoy a high-octane, highly entertaining, over the top thriller, you don't want to miss King and Maxwell.

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