Customer Reviews for

Simple Genius (Sean King and Michelle Maxwell Series #3)

Average Rating 4
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(89)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Not Baldacci's best, but still pretty darn good

I've read almost all of the Baldacci works, including each of the Camel Club and Sean King/Michelle Maxwell series books. This was one was very very good, but of all the books in the two series? Probably at the bottom - and that is NOT a knock on the story. If you enjoy...
I've read almost all of the Baldacci works, including each of the Camel Club and Sean King/Michelle Maxwell series books. This was one was very very good, but of all the books in the two series? Probably at the bottom - and that is NOT a knock on the story. If you enjoy Baldacci and the other King/Maxwell adventures, grab this one too. Plenty of action, twists and turns and surprises throughout. My only complaint was that it bogged down SLIGHTLY where it was not necessary. Having said all that, this is a solid, if not spectacular story line, replete with disturbing realities, hard fought action, edge of your seat bumps in the ride.....well worth the money and the enjoyment of reading it!

posted by SlapShot62 on February 10, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Baldacci has definitely written better.

The language is too elementary and the conversation seems unrealistic. Baldacci seemed to be struggling with trying to get the story to make sense; an odd ending made it seem like he just needed to get the book to end. The characters seemed contrived and uncreative. If ...
The language is too elementary and the conversation seems unrealistic. Baldacci seemed to be struggling with trying to get the story to make sense; an odd ending made it seem like he just needed to get the book to end. The characters seemed contrived and uncreative. If you pay for this book, you've spent too much.

posted by Thank_God_I_Have_Books on July 2, 2009

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  • Posted February 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Not Baldacci's best, but still pretty darn good

    I've read almost all of the Baldacci works, including each of the Camel Club and Sean King/Michelle Maxwell series books. This was one was very very good, but of all the books in the two series? Probably at the bottom - and that is NOT a knock on the story. If you enjoy Baldacci and the other King/Maxwell adventures, grab this one too. Plenty of action, twists and turns and surprises throughout. My only complaint was that it bogged down SLIGHTLY where it was not necessary. Having said all that, this is a solid, if not spectacular story line, replete with disturbing realities, hard fought action, edge of your seat bumps in the ride.....well worth the money and the enjoyment of reading it!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 31, 2010

    Simple Genius: Hard to Crack Cipher!!!

    Baldacci's Simple Genius is a hard to crack thriller!!!
    There may be a lot of reasons why people may like or dislike this book, However; you have to take into account the following facts: Simple Genius has a great plot. Featuring Sean King and Michelle Maxwell investigating a mysterious death at a scientific think tank called Babbage Town, located suspiciously close to the CIA's most infamous yet covert training camp--"The Farm". In Babbage Town, the security is tight as the world's great geniuses race to invent technologies powerful enough to conquer the most sophisticated microprocessor.
    Baldacci is great developing the main characters throughout the book, I like the opening chapter that gives a background storyline for M Maxwell, he clearly states both characters reprising their roles and giving them enough credibility. The concept story in the book is amazing and original. I see a few writers these days write a book that is more than four hundred pages, and still have enough material to make it interesting. Baldaccis accomplishes that and more. Simple Genius is not a fast page turner; however; it keeps readers engaged as every chapter ends.
    Uncovering the war against terror, the conspiracies among federal agencies, and the race of powerful nations to stop the world in its tracks, Baldacci combines the strength of its characters, and exploits cracking code scientists, along with a beautiful scenario where everything takes place.
    Simple Genius is great read.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 9, 2015

    Wow!  Just wow!  This novel engaged me on multiple levels.  I lo

    Wow!  Just wow!  This novel engaged me on multiple levels.  I loved the variety of components that made up this novel.  Suspense, action, intrigue, and science all make their way into it.  Baldacci’s intricate writing really enticed me.  Not only was I caught up in the action of the tale, I was also trying to unravel the mystery and was completely smitten with the science.

    The characters were fantastic.  Even though this isn’t the first novel of the series, Baldacci develops his man characters in such a manner that readers can get to know them from here, without rehashing past events.  They were remarkably well developed individuals, so real and human and complex.  I found myself drawn to them.  I also enjoyed the variety of secondary characters that we get to know. The diversity of cast really allows you to see all off the sides of the story.

    I’ll admit that this was my first foray into the world of Baldacci’s writing but it definitely won’t be my last.  I was completely enamoured with this tale.  He had me hooked every step of the way.

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  • Posted December 11, 2013

    Good Book

    I'm enjoying the series. Started @ #1 and will read them all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2013

    very highly recommended

    Great action, moves along at high speed. If you like Baldacci, you will love this one!!

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  • Posted May 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    After reading The Camel Club I was excited to read another Balda

    After reading The Camel Club I was excited to read another Baldacci book and I wasn't disappointed with this fun, fast-paced story with plenty of action and interesting plot. Baldacci includes an odd tangent toward the beginning but makes it at least entertaining even if placing it within this story was odd. It certainly helps in the development and understanding of Michelle Maxwell. If you know anything about the history of code breaking there is some fun references in this book but don't worry, you don't have to be a genius to understand some of the complex topics Baldacci tackles. Overall, a pretty good story and fun to read.

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  • Posted October 31, 2010

    Highly recommend

    As always he does a great job of excitement and interest.

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  • Posted December 14, 2009

    Interesting concept

    Good research to come up with this subject matter. Nice staging.

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  • Posted August 8, 2009

    Simple Genius

    Wife says ahe liked the story line.

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  • Posted July 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Good book

    Good book, kept my interest right to the end.

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  • Posted May 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Political Thriller with Topical Theme

    Simple Genius is a fast-reading thriller. Ironically, the major plot theme is more topical and believable in 2009 than when the book was released in 2008.
    Some aspects of the characters are perhaps too predictable.

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  • Posted March 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    One of my least favorites

    Although I am a Baldacci fan, this one was not the page-turner that his others have been. It was okay, but just not as great a story line as the other books I have read. I picked this one up on a bargain table for $6.95, so it was not a bad investment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2008

    Good - but disapoiting ending

    Good book, but bad ending. Read it in four days. Had me entertained until the end. Damn. Could have been better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2008

    Enjoyed it

    I stayed up late to finish the suspensful ending but I started rolling my eyes when it came to pushing the agenda on American 'bad guys' who torture at will c'mon now. Sure there are rogues here and there but do you have to make it so obvious?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2008

    Excellent read!!!

    Have you ever fought with your eyelids at 3 a.m. because you wanted to read just one more chapter? It's that kind of book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2007

    Another good one

    I've read the first two Sean and Michelle series and really enjoy the characters - I can't wait for the next one. One of the reviewers mentioned the plot was just not realistic - of course not - its fiction folks, that's what makes it so enjoyable, fun and not to mention intense. I'm impatiently waiting for Stone Cold - the next of the Camel Club series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2007

    Above average thriller

    This novel, as sequel to Hour Game, in the sense it has the two characters King and Maxwell, is an above average thriller. [For a description use the one under the title.] It demonstrates the complex relationship of the two main characters in their differences (Maxwell is a bit of a mess King a little bit more together.) They are like Law and Order SVU's 'Benson and Stabler', except the worked for the FBI. It has a wide range of characters and the reading [refers to the audio version] by Mr. Scott Brink brings that out. One wonders how Mr. Baldacci (whose books I've bought since the first, Absolute Power, have all been good, and different, even when he repeats characters, like Maxwell and King. Any of his books would be worth reading (or listening to - if you prefer audio)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2007

    A reviewer

    5-CD abridged set¿also available in hard cover' David Baldacci is synonymous with mystery, intrigue and suspense. With a distinct flair for weaving a bit of truth into his fictional creations, Baldacci captures the reader¿s imagination, while presenting a believable story. Add the talented actor/author Ron McClarty narrating, and Simple Genius is a knock-out, one-two punch. He uses all the narrative tools¿and the result is an audio experience second to none! After her latest outburst of self-destructive behavior and threatened with jail time, investigator Michelle agrees to enter a private clinic. While she is under treatment, her partner, Sean contacts his ex-lover for an assignment. With funds drying up, he did not have the luxury of holding grudges. Suicide or Murder? Officially Monk Turing¿s death was ruled a suicide, but Sean was interested in the unofficial version. Monk¿s body was found just inside the perimeter of the CIA¿s top secret training facility, Camp Peary¿known as the ¿secret place¿ by the locals. It didn¿t take long for Sean to understand that the research conducted there was highly sensitive. Monk¿s autistic daughter, Viggie, was frightened and had great difficulty expressing her feelings. When anyone got too close she would withdraw into her own world. At times Viggie would play a specific selection on the piano, shout ¿codes and blood,¿ then disappear up to her room. When Michelle arrives, Viggie takes to her instantly. Numbers and codes, secrets and stories¿Monk had programmed his daughter¿and now the only way they could protect her was if she trusted them enough to tell them what she knew. And that was a very big if. Baldacci takes the reader on a fast-paced, breathtaking journey into a town¿s buried secrets, where lives depend on the codes hidden in the mind of a grieving child. The character interaction, combined with a multi-layered plot line, creates an engrossing story that builds upon itself with the turn of each page. Baldacci successfully ties up all the threads in a shocking, but satisfying conclusion. If you enjoy an entertaining story, with depth and intrigue, Simple Genius delivers. Extra: While Babbage Town is a fictitious setting, it was inspired by Bletchley Park, just outside London. Within this facility, many German codes were broken by the Allies, during WW II. Also, there¿s a wealth of information regarding the Beale Cipher on the bonus CD. Including the three page cipher, the parts that have been decoded, maps and much more.interesting sites: Beale Cipher bletchley park Babbage Town

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2007

    Not nearly what I expected!

    Much better than what the jacket suggested! As for plot twists and turns...they are everywhere. Some of the background information about Sean and Michelle from other books is necessary to 'get' the relationship.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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