Hour Game (Sean King and Michelle Maxwell Series #2)

Hour Game (Sean King and Michelle Maxwell Series #2)

by David Baldacci

Hardcover(Large Print)

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A man accused of burglary seems innocent . . . but in this #1 New York Times bestseller, two ex-Secret Service agents quickly learn that nothing is more dangerous than the truth.

A woman is found murdered in the woods. It seems like a simple case but it soon escalates into a terrible nightmare. Someone is replicating the killing styles of the most infamous murderers of all time. No one knows this criminal's motives...or who will die next.

Two ex-Secret Service agents, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, have been hired to defend a man's innocence in a burglary involving an aristocratic family. Then a series of secrets leads the partners right into the frantic hunt that is confounding even the FBI. Now King and Maxwell are playing the Hour Game, uncovering one horrifying revelation after another and putting their lives in danger. For the closer they get to the truth, the closer they get to the most shocking surprise of all.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446577106
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 10/26/2004
Series: Sean King and Michelle Maxwell Series , #2
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 736
Sales rank: 364,454
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.75(d)

About the Author

David Baldacci is a global #1 bestselling author, and one of the world's favorite storytellers. His books are published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries, with over 130 million worldwide sales. His works have been adapted for both feature film and television. David Baldacci is also the cofounder, along with his wife, of the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America. Still a resident of his native Virginia, he invites you to visit him at DavidBaldacci.com and his foundation at WishYouWellFoundation.org.


Northern Virginia

Date of Birth:

August 5, 1960

Place of Birth:

Richmond, VIrginia


B.A. in Political Science, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1982; J.D., University of Virginia, 1986

Read an Excerpt

Hour Game

By David Baldacci

Warner Books

Copyright © 2004 Columbus Rose, Ltd.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-446-53108-1

Chapter One

THE MAN IN THE RAIN SLICKER WALKED slightly bent over, his breathing labored and his body sweaty. The extra weight he was bearing, though not all that substantial, was awkwardly placed, and the terrain was uneven. It was never an easy thing to tote a dead body through the woods in the middle of the night. He shifted the corpse to his left shoulder and trudged on. The soles of his shoes bore no distinguishing marks; not that it would have mattered, since the rain quickly washed away any traces of footprints. He'd checked the forecast; the rain was why he was here. The inclement weather was the best friend he could ask for.

Aside from the dead body draped over his sturdy shoulder, the man was also remarkable for the black hood he wore, on which was stitched an esoteric symbol that ran down the length of the cloth. It was a circle with a crosshairs through its middle. Probably instantly recognizable to anyone over the age of fifty, the logo once inspired a dread that had significantly eroded with time. It didn't matter that no one "alive" would see him wearing the hood; he took grim satisfaction in its lethal symbolism.

Within ten minutes he'd reached the location he'd carefully selected on an earlier visit, and laid the body down with a reverence that belied the violent manner in which the person had died. He took a deep breath and held it as he undid the telephone wire holding the bundle closed, and unwrapped the plastic. She was young with features that had been attractive two days prior; the woman was not much to look at now. The soft blond hair fell away from the greenish-tinged skin, revealing closed eyes and bloated cheeks. Had the eyes been open, they might have still held the startled gaze of the deceased as she endured her own murder, an experience replicated roughly thirty thousand times each year in America.

He slid the plastic all the way free and laid the woman on her back. Then he let out his breath, fought the urge to retch caused by the stench of the body, and sucked in another lungful of air. Using one of his gloved hands and his light, he searched for and found the small, forked branch that he'd earlier placed in the bramble nearby. He used this to support the woman's forearm, which he'd positioned such that it was pointing to the sky. The body's rigor mortis, though rapidly fading, had made the task difficult, but he was strong and had finally levered the stiffened limb to the correct angle. He took the watch out of his pocket, checked with his flashlight to make sure it was set properly, and placed it around the dead woman's wrist.

Though far from a religious man, he knelt over the body and muttered a brief prayer, cupping his hand over his mouth and nose as he did so.

"You weren't directly responsible, but you were all I had. You didn't die in vain. And I believe you're actually better off." Did he really believe what he had just said? Maybe not. Maybe it didn't matter.

He looked at the dead woman's face, studying her features scrupulously as though a scientist observing a particularly fascinating experiment. He had never killed another person before. He'd made it quick and, he hoped, painless. In the dull, misty night the woman seemed surrounded by a yellowish glow, as though she'd already become a spirit.

He drew farther back and examined the area all around, checking for any extraneous items that might lead to evidence against him. He discovered only a piece of cloth from his hood that had caught on a bush near where the body lay. Careless, you can't afford that. He placed it in his pocket. He spent several more minutes looking for other such items nearing microscopic size.

In the world of criminal investigation it was these forensic "no-see-ums" that did one in. A single drop of blood, semen or saliva, a smudge of fingerprint, a hair follicle with a bit of DNA-littered root attached, and the police could be reading you your rights while prosecutors circled hungrily nearby. Unfortunately, even full awareness of that reality offered little protection. Every criminal, no matter how careful, left potentially incriminating material at the crime scene. Thus, he'd taken great care to have no direct physical contact with the dead woman as though she were an infectious agent that could cause a fatal disease.

He rolled up the plastic and pocketed the telephone cord, checked the watch once more and then slowly made his way back to his car.

Behind him lay the dead woman, her hand upraised to the watery heavens. Her watch was slightly luminous in the dark and made a dull beacon for her new resting place. She wouldn't remain undiscovered for long. Dead bodies aboveground rarely did, even in places as isolated as this.

As he drove off, the hooded man used his finger to trace the symbol on his hood, making the sign of the cross at the same time. The crosshairs symbol also appeared on the face of the watch he'd placed on the dead woman's wrist. That should certainly get a rise out of them. He took a breath full of excitement as well as dread. For years he had imagined that this day would never come. For years his courage had faltered. Now that the first step had been taken, he felt a great sense of empowerment and liberation.

He shifted into third gear and sped up, his tires grabbing the slicked roadway and holding firm as the darkness swallowed up the lights of his blue VW. He wanted to get to where he was going as fast as possible.

He had a letter to write.


Excerpted from Hour Game by David Baldacci Copyright © 2004 by Columbus Rose, Ltd.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Hour Game (Sean King and Michelle Maxwell Series #2) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 276 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading Split Second I was wishing the story would continue so when this book popped up on my Nook screen, I downloaded it right away. It has some interesting plot twists and turns and kept me guessing until the end. The characters of King and Maxwell are more defined in this book as their association as investigators grows. Intersting play on character names in the book as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kept me guessing to firgure who the killers were.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought Baldacci was going to run out of characters to kill off!!! This is a must read! Bravo to Baldacci.
skipperCB More than 1 year ago
well worth taking the time to read
Mizzie More than 1 year ago
It started a little slow but picked up after the first chapter. I was certainly a page turner, it kept you on your toes. The ending keeps you wanting the next book which I am reading now "Simple Genius". Also a good book I am still trying to figure out what the plot is but I is intreguing nonetheless. Read this book you will become a Fan of David Baldacci like I have become.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't believe i struggled to get through this novel. I didn't think it was even possible to struggle so much. I'm sorry I like Baldacci and his previous but this Hour Game was unreadable. If i afdended anyone - I am truly contrite.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Story is totally absurd. Get to the point where you are just reading the words to get to the end.
MrsLee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The reason I only gave this a two and a half star rating, is that I use the ratings for my own personal quick guide to my reactions to what I read. This book was not a bad read, and may perfectly appeal to other readers, but my tastes do not run to the serial type of killers. I felt the mystery was sound, with several viable suspects and clues to follow. I liked the main characters, though again, my tastes run more to the light side. I had issues with the narrator, trying to do a woman's voice with a slight lisp grates on my soul. Otherwise, he was a good reader.
she_climber on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Book two of the Maxwell and King series and I'm continuing to enjoy it. The bodies in the book were piling up and had me guessing as to who the murder/murders were for the majority of the book. Lots of twists and turns. Looking forward to the third installment and curious to see if yet again attempts will be made on Maxwell and King's lives - not sure how they can survive much longer.
edwardsgt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A very long Sean King/Michelle Maxwell story (over 700 pages in paperback), which is set in fictional Wrightsburg, where the Battle family are are the centre of a story of a brutal, apparently serial killer. King and Michelle, the ex-Secret Service private investigators are invited to help solve the case and become deeply involved themselves. Plenty of twists and turns before the killer and their motive is unmasked. Kept me entertained, but perhaps overly long.
debavp on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not a great follow up to Split Second. Too many murderers running around an affluent rural town crossing each other up and pissing each other off in the process, a totally unbelievable plot. The main characters, hard to determine who's the male and who's the female at times--instead of saying they're one step away from being ...., let's say they're both a bit 'affectatious' and leave it at that.
sonyainf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pretty good book, I like anything by David Baldacci, but this was a long, complicated story. There were multiple murders by a serial killer and then a body made to look like the serial killer's victim, but was killed by someone else. It was hard to keep it all straight while I was reading and I'm still a little confused....The story was about a rich, disfunctional family with affairs, lies, and secrets and one son's revenge for his brother who died from lack of medical treatment just to save the family embarrassment.
rctc62880 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent book. Could not put down.
seldombites on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was an entertaining book to read, and not as obvious as most murder mysteries. The characters were engaging and the plot kept me guessing to the end. This wasn't an enthralling book, but it is worth reading.
BCCJillster on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sean King was momentarily distracted when a presidential candidate he\'d been guarding was assassinated a few feet from where he stood, and Michelle Maxwell left the Service under a similar cloud when she lost a \"protectee\" to an ingenious kidnapping scheme,
peggyar on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A serial killer begins killing people in this quiet Southern town and it appears as though he is copying serial killers' methods from the past. Two former Secret Service agents who now have a private agency are helping solve the case.
mramos on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Once again David Baldacci has written a book I did not want to put down. It is a page turner. I do admit that there are various sub-plots within the book. A a myriad of characters with many interrealtionships. But I loved this. And they are all well written. I am sure this book will be made into a movie. This book brings back Secret Service Agents Sean King and Michelle Maxwell. Only this time they are former agents who have founded their own Private Investigation firm. They are hired to prove the innocence of a man that has been charged with burglarizing the wealthest family in town, the Battles. But rather quickly you will see that this investigation takes a back seat. For our two detectives are brought in as deputies to help solve a quickly growing number of murders by a serial killer. I found the investigation to be run in an authentic manner. And a good level of detail. There is some misdirection in the book, that makes it hard to detrmine the killer ahead of time. But I was able to determine the who at the very end before the detectives mentioned it, but not the why. But Baldacci does a good job of tying up all the loose ends. Though the book screams for a sequel. Have a good read...I did.
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Billyt1 More than 1 year ago
A good read with flaws. Lacking in character development especially as to the protagonists. Many unnecessary secondary characters and too many murders just to cover up the crime or divert the main characters attention. Bullets hitting bullets is silly. The development of the ill-fated relationships by both main characters is not credible.
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