The Sixth Man (Sean King and Michelle Maxwell Series #5)

( 754 )

Overview

Watch King & Maxwell, TNT's new series based on David Baldacci's blockbuster novels, on Mondays at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)

After the #1 New York Times bestsellers Split Second, Hour Game, Simple Genius, and First Family, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell return in their most shocking case: a high stakes struggle where the relentless needs of national security run up against the absolute limits of the human mind.

THE ...

See more details below
Available in stores.

Pick Up In Store Near You

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

The Sixth Man (Sean King and Michelle Maxwell Series #5)

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$8.99
BN.com price
This digital version does not exactly match the physical book displayed here.
Marketplace
BN.com

All Available Formats & Editions

Note: This is a bargain book and quantities are limited. Bargain books are new but may have slight markings from the publisher and/or stickers showing their discounted price. More about bargain books

Overview

Watch King & Maxwell, TNT's new series based on David Baldacci's blockbuster novels, on Mondays at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)

After the #1 New York Times bestsellers Split Second, Hour Game, Simple Genius, and First Family, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell return in their most shocking case: a high stakes struggle where the relentless needs of national security run up against the absolute limits of the human mind.

THE SIXTH MAN

Edgar Roy—an alleged serial killer held in a secure, fortress-like Federal Supermax facility-is awaiting trial. He faces almost certain conviction. Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are called in by Roy's attorney, Sean's old friend and mentor Ted Bergin, to help work the case. But their investigation is derailed before it begins—en route to their first meeting with Bergin, Sean and Michelle find him murdered.
It is now up to them to ask the questions no one seems to want answered: Is Roy a killer? Who murdered Bergin? With help from some surprising allies, they continue to pursue the case. But the more they dig into Roy's past, the more they encounter obstacles, half-truths, dead-ends, false friends, and escalating threats from every direction. Their persistence puts them on a collision course with the highest levels of the government and the darkest corners of power. In a terrifying confrontation that will push Sean and Michelle to their limits, the duo may be permanently parted.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are the fictitious protagonists who suspended our disbelief in First Family, Simple Genius, and other David Baldacci novels. Now these former Secret Service agents are tracking down the hidden story behind an accused serial killer. When they first agreed to meet with the defendant's lawyer, they had no way of knowing that they were signing up for an investigation that would confront a threat to national security. Another surefire triumphant by the author of the Barnes & Noble Bestseller Deliver Us From Evil.

Publishers Weekly
At the outset of Baldacci's routine fifth thriller featuring ex–Secret Service agents Sean King and Michelle Maxwell (after First Family), the pair, who now work together as private investigators, fly to Maine to meet Ted Bergin, King's old law professor. Bergin has hired King and Maxwell to assist in his defense of Edgar Roy, a U.S. government employee who's been indicted for murdering six people found buried on Roy's Virginia farm. Because for some reason it's a federal case, Roy is incarcerated at a Maine prison. Near their destination, the PIs stop to investigate a broken-down car on the side of the road. Inside is Bergin, who's been shot between the eyes. King and Maxwell probe deeper into the charges against Roy to find the professor's killer, with no help from Roy, who hasn't been talking since his arrest. A fast pace compensates only in part for a cartoonish villain—a venal politician—and a familiar Washington conspiracy plot. (Apr.)
Associated Press Staff
"A complex puzzle . . . Baldacci is a master craftsman."
Richmond Times-Dispatch
"Equal parts Hitchcock and James Bond, it's the perfect literary cocktail...One of Baldacci's best."
Newsweek
"It's his eager, expansive imagination that drives his books . . . Like other thriller writers, Baldacci depends on a mixture of inventive plotting, appealing characters, luck, and consistency. Unlike others, his books rely more on characters' relationships than whiz-bang technology or procedural twists . . . What he offers is in some ways more unusual."
Booklist (starred review)
"A rousing success . . . Baldacci shows once again that he is a sort of thriller Renaissance man: a master of plot, dialogue, and character."
Washington Post
"High-stakes action, shadowy government agencies, and [a] neo-Cold War backdrop . . . Baldacci pushes his plot ahead at such a blistering pace."
Associated Press on The Sixth Man
"A complex puzzle . . . Baldacci is a master craftsman."
Richmond Times-Dispatch on Deliver Us from Evil
"Equal parts Hitchcock and James Bond, it's the perfect literary cocktail...One of Baldacci's best."
Newsweek on First Family
"It's his eager, expansive imagination that drives his books . . . Like other thriller writers, Baldacci depends on a mixture of inventive plotting, appealing characters, luck, and consistency. Unlike others, his books rely more on characters' relationships than whiz-bang technology or procedural twists . . . What he offers is in some ways more unusual."
Booklist (starred review) for Divine Justice
"A rousing success . . . Baldacci shows once again that he is a sort of thriller Renaissance man: a master of plot, dialogue, and character."
Washington Post on The Whole Truth
"High-stakes action, shadowy government agencies, and [a] neo-Cold War backdrop . . . Baldacci pushes his plot ahead at such a blistering pace."
From the Publisher
"Equal parts Hitchcock and James Bond, it's the perfect literary cocktail...One of Baldacci's best."—Richmond Times-Dispatch on Deliver Us from Evil

"It's his eager, expansive imagination that drives his books . . . Like other thriller writers, Baldacci depends on a mixture of inventive plotting, appealing characters, luck, and consistency. Unlike others, his books rely more on characters' relationships than whiz-bang technology or procedural twists . . . What he offers is in some ways more unusual."—Newsweek on First Family

"A rousing success . . . Baldacci shows once again that he is a sort of thriller Renaissance man: a master of plot, dialogue, and character."—Booklist (starred review) for Divine Justice

"High-stakes action, shadowy government agencies, and [a] neo-Cold War backdrop . . . Baldacci pushes his plot ahead at such a blistering pace."—Washington Post on The Whole Truth

"Gripping, chilling, and full of surprises."—Publishers Weekly on Stone Cold

Kirkus Reviews

To keep al-Qaeda zealots, megalomaniac North Koreans with nukes and other bad guys at bay, gigabytes of real-time intelligence stream to the Wall, there to be collated and conceptualized by one man, the Analyst.

The Analyst, once an anonymous IRS bureaucrat with an eidetic memory and a strangely powerful intellect, now sits mute in a federal supermax prison, an accused serial killer. Baldacci (First Family, 2009, etc.) drops Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, Secret Service agents turned private investigators, into the mess. King has agreed to investigate the murders at the behest of defense attorney Ted Bergin, his beloved mentor. On their way to meet Bergin at the prison in Maine, King and Maxwell happen upon Bergin sitting in his vehicle on an isolated road, emergency lights flashing, murdered. Baldacci's realistic plot blends patriotism and naked ambition, greed and paranoia and bureaucratic infighting. With the Wall providing a singular source of accurate information, the government's alphabet departments are losing funding, especially Homeland Security, the fiefdom of manipulatively ambitious Ellen Foster. Peter Bunting, chief of a private-security company, is the genius behind the Wall and the Analyst. Mason Quantrell, owner of a rival company, is more interested in fat contracts than useful intelligence. Then there are the Analyst's sister, Kelly Paul, a woman with her own secrets; James Harkes, an agent without a badge but with a propensity for unleashing violence; and finally, Edgar Roy, the Analyst, brilliant, shy, lonely and deeply troubled about his part in the death and destruction generated by the Wall. This novel is action-adventure, the plot ricocheting between isolated Maine woods and Washington power corridors, with stops in Virginia and New York. It's Baldacci's fifth book in a series featuring King and Maxwell, and one that further explores their complex and sometimes thorny relationship.

Authentic scenario, mystery piled on misdirection and more double-crosses than a tic-tac-toe tournament.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780594548546
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/19/2011
  • Series: Sean King and Michelle Maxwell Series , #5
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

David Baldacci lives with his family in Virginia. He and his wife have founded the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America. He invites you to visit him at www.davidbaldacci.com and his foundation at www.wishyouwellfoundation.org.

Biography

David Baldacci's authoritative legal thrillers operate on the irresistible notion that a sinister undercurrent threads through the country's most powerful institutions.

While his stories hinge on the complex machinations behind the presidency, the FBI, the Supreme Court and other spheres of influence, Baldacci (a former Washington, D.C.-based attorney) finds his way into a mystery through the eyes of the innocents. Semi-innocents, at least: small players who often don't realize they're players at all end up hunting down answers, and their hunt becomes the reader's.

According to Baldacci, reading John Irving's The World According to Garp convinced him that he wanted to be a novelist. Absolute Power -- in which a thief finds himself accidentally connected to a murder involving the president and the ensuing coverup -- was hardly Irvingesque; but it did begin Baldacci's friendly relationship with the bestseller lists, which has continued over his writing career.

Baldacci's style is brief and plot-driven, but he's not afraid to linger on macabre and vivid details, such as a rosary clenched in a plane crash victim's hand, or hard-learned lessons from a sniper's life (pack your food so you can find it at night, by touch). These small but memorable -- indeed, almost cinematic -- details give his books another layer that distinguishes them from the average potboiler.

Although the author has occasionally departed from his usual fare (examples include the tenderhearted coming-of-age tale Wish You Well and the holiday-themed adventure The Christmas Train), it is high-octane thrillers that are his true stock in trade. Whether it's a taut stand-alone or a new installment in his Camel Club series, readers know when they crack the spine of a new Baldacci book, they're in for an action-packed page-turner.

.

Good To Know

Baldacci was a trial lawyer and a corporate lawyer for nine years in Washington, D.C.

He worked his way through college as a Pinkerton security guard and by washing and detailing 18-wheel trucks.

Baldacci writes under his own name except when published in Italy, where he uses a pseudonym because it is the homeland of his ancestors.

Bill Clinton selected The Simple Truth as his favorite novel of 1998, according to Baldacci's web site.

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      Northern Virginia
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 5, 1960
    2. Place of Birth:
      Richmond, VIrginia
    1. Education:
      B.A. in Political Science, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1982; J.D., University of Virginia, 1986
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

The Sixth Man


By Baldacci, David

Grand Central Publishing

Copyright © 2011 Baldacci, David All right reserved.
ISBN: 9780446573108

PROLOGUE

“MAKE IT STOP!”

The man hunched over the cold metal table, his body curled tight, eyes screwed shut, his voice cracking. He sucked in each breath and let it out like it would be his last. Through headphones a fast blast of words filled his ear canals and then flooded his brain. An array of sensors was strapped into a heavy cloth harness that was buckled over his torso. He also wore a cap with electrodes attached that measured his brain waves. The room was brightly lit.

With each bite of audio and broadside of video his body clenched as though staggered by a shot delivered by the heavyweight champ.

He started weeping.

In an adjacent and darkened room a small group of stunned men watched this scene through a one-way mirror.

On the wall inside the room with the sobbing man the screen was eight feet wide and six feet tall. It seemed perfectly designed for watching NFL football. However, the digital images racing across its face were not huge men in uniform knocking brain cells out of each other. This was top-top-secret data to which very few people in the government would be privy.

Collectively, and to the experienced eye, they were remarkable in revealing the clandestine activities going on around the globe.

There were crystal clear pictures of suspicious troop movements in Korea along the Thirty-Eighth Parallel.

Satellite images of construction projects in Iran showing underground missile silos that looked like huge pencil holders carved in the dirt, along with boiling thermal silhouettes of a working nuclear reactor.

In Pakistan, high-altitude surveillance photos of the aftermath of a terrorist explosion at a market where vegetables and body parts held equal sections of the ground.

In Russia, there was real-time video of a caravan of military trucks on a mission that might push the world into another global war.

From India flowed data on a terrorist cell planning simultaneous hits on sensitive targets in an effort to promote regional unrest.

In New York City, incriminating photos of a major political leader with someone who was not his wife.

From Paris, reams of numbers and names representing financial intelligence on criminal enterprises. They moved so fast they seemed like a million columns of Sudoku delivered at hyperspeed.

From China, there was clandestine intelligence on a possible coup against the country’s leadership.

From thousands of federally funded intelligence fusion centers spread across the United States flowed information on suspicious activities being carried out either by Americans or by foreigners operating domestically.

From the Five Eye allies—United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand—a compilation of top secret communications, all of colossal importance.

And on it poured, from all corners of the globe, delivered en masse in high definition.

If it were an Xbox or a PS3 game it would be the most exciting and difficult one ever created. But there was nothing made up about it. Here real people lived and real people died, every second of every day.

This exercise was known, in the topmost echelon of the intelligence community, as the “Wall.”

The man hunched over the metal table was small and lean. His skin was light brown, his hair short and black and plastered to his small skull. His eyes were large, and red from the tears. He was thirty-one years old but looked like he had aged ten years in the last four hours.

“Please, make it stop. I can’t take this. I can’t do this.”

At this comment the tallest man behind the mirror stirred. His name was Peter Bunting. He was forty-seven years old and this was, plain and simple, his operation, his ambition, his life. He lived and breathed it. At no time did at least part of his brain think of anything else. His hair had grayed considerably over the last six months for reasons tied directly to the Wall, or more specifically, problems with the Wall.

He wore a custom-fitted jacket, shirt, and slacks. Though he had an athlete’s body he had never played competitive sports and wasn’t particularly coordinated. What he did have was an abundance of brains and an inexhaustible desire to succeed. He’d graduated from college at age nineteen, held a postgraduate degree from Stanford, and had been a Rhodes scholar. He had the perfect blend of strategic vision and street smarts. He was wealthy and well connected, though he was unknown to the public. He had many reasons to be happy, and merely one to be frustrated, angry even. And he was staring at it right now.

Or rather at him.

Bunting looked down at the electronic tablet he was holding. He had asked the man numerous questions, the answers for which could be found in the data flow. He hadn’t gotten a single response. “Please tell me this is someone’s screwed-up idea of a joke,” he finally said. Only he knew it wasn’t. People here did not kid about anything.

An older, shorter man in a wrinkled dress shirt spread his hands in a gesture of helplessness. “The problem is he’s classified as an E-Five, Mr. Bunting.”

“Well, this Five ain’t cutting it, obviously,” shot back Bunting.

They turned to look through the glass once more as the man in the room ripped off the headphones and screamed, “I want out. Now. No one said it would be like this.”

Bunting dropped his tablet on a table and slumped against the wall. The man in the room was Sohan Sharma. He had been their last, best hope to fill the position of the Analyst. Analyst with a capital A. There was only one.

“Sir?” said the youngest man in the group. He was barely thirty, but his long and unruly hair and his boyish features made him appear far younger. His Adam’s apple skittered nervously up and down like an elevator stuck shuttling between floors.

Bunting rubbed his temples. “I’m listening, Avery.” He paused to crunch some Tums. “Just make it important. I’m a little stressed, as I’m sure you can tell.”

“Sharma is a true Five by every acceptable measure. It was only when he got to the Wall that he fell apart.” He glanced at the bank of computer screens that was monitoring Sharma’s vitals and brain functions. “His theta activity has spiked through the roof. Classic extreme information overload. It began one minute after we cranked the Wall’s throughput to max.”

“Yeah, that part I figured out for myself.” Bunting motioned to Sharma, who was now on the floor weeping. “But a legit Five and this is the result we get? How is that possible?”

Avery said, “The chief problem is there’s exponentially more data being thrown at the Analyst. Ten thousand hours of video. A hundred thousand reports. Four million incident registers. The daily satellite imagery collection is in the multiple terabytes, and that’s after it’s been filtered. Captured signals intelligence requiring attention are in the thousands of hours. Combat field chatter alone could fill a thousand phone books. It pours in every second of every day in ever-increasing amounts from a million different sources. Compared to the data available only twenty years ago it’s like taking a thimble of water and transforming it into a million Pacific Oceans. With the last Analyst we’d been ratcheting down the data flow considerably simply out of necessity.”

“So what exactly are you telling me, Avery?” Bunting asked.

The young man drew a rapid breath. The expression on his face was like a man in the water who’d just realized he might be drowning.

“We may have bumped up against the limits of the human mind.”

Bunting looked around at the others. None of them would meet his eye. Electrical currents seemed to pop in the damp air thrown off from the sweat on their faces.

“There is nothing more powerful than a fully utilized, fully deployable human brain,” said Bunting in a deliberately calm tone. “I wouldn’t last ten seconds against the Wall because I’m using maybe eleven percent of my gray cells—that’s all I can manage. But an E-Five makes Einstein’s brain look like a fetus’s. Not even a Cray Supercomputer comes close. It’s quantum computing with flesh and bone. It can operate linearly, spatially, geometrically, in every dimension we need it to. It is the perfect analytical mechanism.”

“I understand that, sir, but—”

Bunting’s voice grew more strident. “That’s been proven in every study we’ve ever done. That is the gospel upon which rests everything we do here. And more importantly, that is what our two-point-five-billion-dollar contract says we have to provide and that every last son of a bitch in the intelligence community depends on. I’ve told this to the president of the United States and every person down the power chain from him. And now you’re telling me it’s not true?”

Avery stood his ground. “The universe may be constantly expanding, but there are limits to everything else.” He gestured to the room beyond the glass where Sharma was still weeping. “And that may be what we’re looking at right now. The absolute limit.”

Bunting said grimly, “If what you’re saying is true, then we are screwed beyond belief. The whole civilized world is screwed. We’re toast. History. Done. The bad guys win. Let’s all go home and wait for Armageddon. Hail to the Taliban and al Qaeda, the bastards. Game-set-match. They win.”

“I understand your frustration, sir. But ignoring the obvious is never a good plan.”

“Then get me a Six.”

The young man looked stunned. “There’s no such thing as a Six.”

“Bullshit! That’s what we thought about Two through Five.”

“But still—”

“Find me a damn Six. No arguments, no excuses. Just do it, Avery.”

The Adam’s apple cratered. “Yes, sir.”

The older man said, “What about Sharma?”

Bunting turned to look at the sobbing, failed Analyst. “Do the exit process, have him sign all the usual documents, and make clear to him that if he says one word about this to anyone he will be charged with treason and he’ll spend the rest of his life in a federal prison.”

Bunting left. The cascade of images finally stopped and the room grew dark.

Sohan Sharma was walked out to a waiting van. Inside were three men. After Sharma climbed in, one of the men slid an arm around Sharma’s neck and another around his head. He jerked his thick arms in different directions and Sharma slumped over with a broken neck.

The van drove off with the body of the pure E-Five whose brain simply wasn’t good enough anymore.

NINE MONTHS LATER

CHAPTER 1

THE SMALL JET BUMPED down hard on the runway in Portland, Maine. It rose up in the air and banged down again harder. Even the pilot was probably wondering if he could keep the twenty-five-ton jet on the tarmac. Because he was trying to beat a storm in, the young aviator had made his approach at a steeper trajectory and a faster speed than the airline’s manual recommended. The wind shear culled off the leading edge of the cold front had caused the jet’s wings to pendulum back and forth. The copilot had warned the passengers that the landing would be bumpy and a bit more than uncomfortable.

He’d been right.

The rear carriage wheels caught and held the second time around, and the lead aircraft-grade rubber bit down a few moments later. The rapid and steep flight path in had caused more than a few of the four dozen passengers on the single-aisle jet to white-knuckle their armrests, mouth a few prayers, and even reach for the barf bags in the seatbacks. When the wheel brakes and reverse thrusters engaged and the aircraft slowed perceptibly, most of the riders exhaled in relief.

One man, however, merely woke when the plane transitioned off the runway and onto the taxiway to the small terminal. The tall, dark-haired woman sitting next to him idly stared out the window, completely unfazed by the turbulent approach and bouncy touchdown.

After they’d arrived at the gate and the pilot shut down the twin GE turbofans, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell rose and grabbed their bags from the overhead. As they threaded out through the narrow aisle along with the other deplaning passengers, a queasy-looking woman behind them said, “Boy, that sure was a rough landing.”

Sean looked at her, yawned, and massaged his neck. “Was it?”

The woman looked surprised and eyed Michelle. “Is he kidding?”

She said, “When you’ve ridden on jump seats in the belly of a C-17 at low altitudes in the middle of a thunderstorm and doing thousand-foot vertical drops every ten seconds with four max-armored vehicles chained next to you and wondering if one was going to break loose and crash through the side of the fuselage and carry you with it, this landing was pretty uneventful.”

“Why in the world did you do that?” said the wide-eyed woman.

“I ask myself that every day,” replied Sean sardonically.

He and Michelle both had their clothes, toiletries, and other essentials in their carry-on bags. But they had to stop by baggage claim to pick up an eighteen-inch-long, hard-sided, locked case. It belonged to Michelle. She picked up the case and slid it into her carry-on.

Sean gave her an amused expression. “You’re the queen of the smallest checked bag of all time.”

“Until they let responsible people on planes with loaded guns, it’ll have to do the trick. Get the rental. I’ll be back in a minute.”

“You licensed to carry that up here?”

“Let’s hope we don’t have to find out.”

He blanched. “You’re kidding, right?”

“Maine has an open carry law. So long as it’s visible I can carry it without a permit.”

“But you’re putting it in a holster. That’s concealed. In fact, it’s concealed right now.”

She flipped open her wallet and showed him a card. “Which is why I have a valid nonresident’s concealed weapon’s permit for the great state of Maine.”

“How’d you score that? We only found out about this case a few days ago. You couldn’t have gotten a permit that fast. I checked into it. It’s a mountain of paperwork and a sixty-day response period.”

“My dad is good friends with the governor. I made a call to him. He made a call to the governor.”

“Nice.”

She went to the ladies’ room, entered a stall, opened the locked case, and quickly loaded her pistol. She holstered her weapon and walked to the covered parking garage adjacent to the terminal where the rental car companies were clustered. There she found Sean filling out the paperwork for the wheels they needed for the next phase of their trip. Michelle showed her operator’s license as well, since she would be doing most of the driving. It wasn’t that Sean minded driving, but Michelle was too much of a control freak to let him.

“Coffee,” she said. “There’s a place back in the terminal.”

“You had that giant cup you brought on the flight.”

“That was a while ago. And where we’re going is a long drive from here. I need the caffeine pop.”

“I slept. I can drive.”

She snagged the keys from his hand. “Don’t think so.”

“Hey, I drove the Beast, okay?” he said, referring to the presidential limo.

She eyed the rental car tag. “Then the Ford Hybrid you reserved will be no challenge. It’ll probably take me a day just to get it up to sixty. I’ll spare you the pain and humiliation.”

She got an extra-large black coffee. Sean bought a donut with sprinkles and sat in the passenger seat eating it. He dusted off his hands and moved the seat back as far as possible in the compact car, and still his six-foot-two-inch frame was bent uncomfortably. He finally ended up putting his feet on the dash.

Noting this, Michelle said, “Air bag pops out of there, it’ll smash your feet right through the glass and amputate them when they hit the metal roof.”

He glanced at her, a frown eclipsing his normally calm features. “Then don’t do anything to make it pop.”

“I can’t control other drivers.”

“Well, you insisted on being the wheelman—excuse me, wheelperson. So do the best you can to keep me safe and comfortable.”

“All right, master,” she snapped.

After a mile of silence Michelle said, “We sound like an old married couple.”

He looked at her again. “We’re not old and we’re not married. Unless you really slipped something by me.”

She hesitated and then just said it: “But we have slept together.”

Sean started to reply but then seemed to think better of it. What came out instead seemed to be a grunt.

“It changes things,” she said.

“Why does it change things?”

“It’s not just business anymore. It’s personal. The line has been crossed.”

He sat up straight, removing his feet from the perilous reach of the air bag. “And now you regret that? You made the first move, if I recall. You got naked on me.”

“I didn’t say that I regretted anything, because I don’t.”

“Neither do I. It happened because we obviously both wanted it to happen.”

“Okay. So where does that leave us?”

He sat back against his seat and stared out the window. “I’m not sure.”

“Great, just what I wanted to hear.”

He looked across at her, noted the tense line of muscle and bone around her jaw.

“Just because I’m unsure of where to go with all this, doesn’t lessen or trivialize what happened between us. It’s complicated.”

“Right, complicated. That’s always the case. For the guy.”

“Okay, if it’s so simple for the ladies, tell me what you think we should do.”

When she didn’t answer he said, “Should we run off and find a preacher and make it official?”

She shot him a glance and the front end of the Ford swerved slightly. “Are you serious? Is that what you want?”

“I’m just throwing out ideas. Since you don’t seem to have any.”

“Do you want to get married?”

“Do you?”

“That would really change things.”

“Uh, yeah, it would.”

“Maybe we should take it slow.”

“Maybe we should.”

She tapped the steering wheel. “Sorry for jumping on you about this.”

“Forget it. And we just got Gabriel squared away with a great family. That was a big change, too. Slow is good right now. We go too fast, maybe we make a big mistake.”

Gabriel was an eleven-year-old boy from Alabama that Sean and Michelle had taken temporary custody of after his mother was killed. He was currently living with a family whose dad was an FBI agent they knew. The couple was in the process of formally adopting Gabriel.

“Okay,” she replied.

“And now we have a job to do. Let’s focus on that.”

“So that’s your priority list? Business trumps personal?”

“Not necessarily. But like you said, it’s a long drive. And I want to think about why we’re heading to the only federal maximum security institution for the criminally insane in the country, to meet with a guy whose life is definitely on the line.”

“We’re going because you and his lawyer go way back.”

“That part I get. Did you read up on Edgar Roy?”

Michelle nodded. “Government employee that lived alone in rural Virginia. His life was pretty average until the police discovered the remains of six people buried in his barn. Then his life became anything but average. The evidence to me seems overwhelming.”

Sean nodded. “Roy was found in his barn, shovel in hand, dirt on his pants, with the remains of six bodies buried in a hole he was apparently putting the finishing touches to.”

“A little tough to dance around that in court,” said Michelle.

“Too bad Roy’s not a politician.”

“Why?”

Sean smiled. “If he were a politician he could spin that story to say he was actually digging them out of the hole in order to save them but was too late; they were already dead. And now he’s being persecuted for being a Good Samaritan.”

“So he was arrested but failed a competency hearing. He was sent to Cutter’s Rock.” She paused. “But why Maine? Virginia didn’t have the facilities for him?”

“It was a federal case for some reason. That got the FBI involved. When the competency remand comes it’s wherever the Feds decide to send you. Some Fed max prison facilities have psych wards, but it was decided that Roy needed something more than that. St. Elizabeth’s in D.C. was moved to make way for a new Homeland Security HQ, and its new location was not deemed secure enough. So Cutter’s Rock was the only game in town.”

“Why the weird name?”

“It’s rocky, and a cutter is a type of ship. Maine is a seafaring state, after all.”

“I forgot you were a nautical guy.” She turned on the radio and the heater, and shivered. “God, it’s cold for not being winter yet,” she said grumpily.

“This is Maine. It can be cold any time of the year. Check the latitude.”

“The things one learns in enclosed spaces over long periods of time.”

“Now we do sound like an old married couple.” He turned his vent on full blast, zipped up his windbreaker, and closed his eyes.

Continues...


Excerpted from The Sixth Man by Baldacci, David Copyright © 2011 by Baldacci, David. 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.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 754 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(295)

4 Star

(182)

3 Star

(121)

2 Star

(70)

1 Star

(86)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 761 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2011

    Don't recommend

    I've read every book Baldacci has written up to this point, but $14.99 for an ebook is rediculous. It cost more than the list price of the hardcover on this very site. There are plenty of authors out there not gouging readers.

    45 out of 69 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 19, 2011

    Great book, once again Baldacci does a great read

    why is the hardcover cheaper than the nook version? Please someone answerthis question. I love reading with the nook, but I love collecting books as well. Think i will sell the nook and buy books again with what I can get for it.

    38 out of 56 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The latest King-Maxwell investigative thriller is a terrific action-packed tale

    Former Secret service Agent Sean King believes he owes his former mentor lawyer Ted Bergin big time. So Sean feels good when his friend hires him and his partner Michele Maxwell to help in the defense of alleged serial killer Edgar Roy.

    Edgar is being held in an isolated supermax psychiatric facility where the most dangerous criminal psychopaths are incarcerated. He was caught in his barn and soon after authorities found the remains of six bodies he was digging a grave for. A genius who worked for the IRS, Edgar left his job to work somewhere else. Sean and Michele drive to meet Ted when they see flashing hazard lights on an isolated road. They stop to see if the driver needs help only to find inside Ted who is dead. Determined to avenge his friend's murder, Sean and Michele dig deep into the Edgar case, but the more they uncover, the more they learn that the inmate has incredibly powerful enemies at the top levels of government who want him dead without a trial. As people associated with Edgar are murdered and attempts on the two sleuths increase, several groups have plans for Edgar.

    The latest King-Maxwell investigative thriller (see Split Second and First Family) is a terrific action-packed tale that explodes on the first page and intensifies to such a degree that the armchair reader will believes our lives are in peril too. While the relationship between the lead sleuths is tested, fans will wonder if this could be figuratively be the end as partners. In spite of a conspiracy seemingly over the top of the Washington Monument, David Baldacci shows his talent by convincing the audience that this thriller is true crime.

    Harriet Klausner

    25 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2011

    Baldacci is always a good read.

    I will never again be trapped into paying 14.99 for a book on Nook, when with normal discounts and a B&N card to can actually pay a lower price. Welcome to Barnes and Noble the rip-off store!!!

    24 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2011

    call customer service

    PLEASE stop using reviews for complaining call or email bn customer service

    21 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2011

    BALDACCI BLOCKBUSTER MAY HAVE SOME COMPANY WITH THE PARAGON CONNECTION BY FINZ

    Ranks at the top as a mystery thriller in which the team of Sean King and Michelle Maxwell once again find themselves in the thick of assorted murders, an accused they are dedicated to defend through their investigative skills, and a D.C. conspiracy comprised of evil people, all with huge power who conduct their insidious acts from hidden political perches. Having been a Baldacci affectionado beginning with his kick-off blockbuster "Absolute Power", to the present "Sixth Man", he has earned the top rank he enjoys with each of his entries. But ten or more Baldacci novels later, I can almost predict the action and writing-which indeed is first rate- and so I'm ready to move on to another talent. He's a new writer with a second book. This one is, "The Paragon Connection", by Leonard Finz. It too falls within the political mystery genre offering up an extraordinary story that speeds aloft like a missile, and with shocks and surprises along its treacherous path. In my view, Baldacci is one of the the best around, but I may have just discovered another great one.

    17 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 18, 2011

    Reviews

    Reviews are supposed to be about the BOOK content not the price. Those bad reviews for price skew the overall rating of the actual book!!!

    15 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 25, 2011

    Too much

    Why should I pay more for an Ebook than a hard cover....not a good way to earn customer loyalty.

    14 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 28, 2011

    Best David Baldacci Book Ever!

    And I've read them all! This one kept me on the edge of my seat and I literally couldn't put my nook down. Just when you think you have the plot and the characters figured out a new wrinkle is thrown in.

    I literally couldn't put my Nook down. Which leads me to another thought. I am tired of people grousing on these reviews about the price of an ebook! I think what Barnes and Noble needs to do is get a forum moderator to delete these worthless, meaningless reviews so those of us looking for some insight into the book itself can get some valuable information not worthless rants.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 20, 2011

    ??

    why is this book so expensive? nook is great but books are simply too expensive.

    10 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended

    This book was really well written. I found it really hard to put down.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2011

    Love David Baldacci...

    I've read everyone of his books, but I will not get this one. WHY IS IT SO EXPENSIVE??? I bought my nook thinking of the huge saving I would have by not buying paper. Was I wrong! I think I will sell my nook and dust of my library card. Sorry B&N you've lost a loyal customer. I am giving this book one star only because I have too.

    6 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Sixth Man

    It is so offensive to see the review process abused by people who do not like e-book pricing. Write to management if that is the case, do not abuse this space for people who actually read the book. I enjoyed The Sixth man even if the writing was sometimes clunky and even if I had to ignore some pretty impossible scenarios. Baldacci can tell a tale.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2011

    Great, as are all his books

    Just read the sixth man. Great book, and cheap!! Got it at BJ's. B&N is not getting any more high prices from me. I'm back to the discount stores until they realize we're not stupid. When the Nook book costs more than a hard copy book, someone is being greedy.

    5 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 28, 2011

    Too Expensive

    why the high price? I agree with others that this price should be reduced. I bought my Nook because it used larger print and as I age, I am finding the nook gives me the ability to read books that I could not read in regular print. However, I, too, will wait until the price drops. I love Baldacci's writing and definitely will read it , but not at this price.

    5 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 22, 2011

    Why so much?

    Now we have a Nook, and you put out the hook so we can get took. It'$ more than I want to pay for an ebook novel.

    5 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2011

    Why so much?

    Why do you charge so much for e books? Lots of posts asking this question but no answers! I will buy it at Costco and donate to the library when done!

    5 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Lower the price

    REALLY ? Lower your price B&N for ebooks

    5 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2011

    ?

    I have not read this like some of the other reviewers. I am a Baldacci fan, the Camel Club series being my favorite. Please tell all of your e-book readers why we cannot apply our membership cards and special offers to our e-books. This is making me think that I do not want to renew my membership with B&N. Please advise why we are separated from the hard book users.
    Thanks,
    Judy Margolis

    5 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2011

    The High Price Does Not Make Sense

    The truth is that price does matter! This may be the best book David Baldacci has written, but "Nook" people will never know because the price is so high. I'm still waiting for the supposed upgrade to make the Nook Color more of a tablet. Wonder if it will ever happen? Kinda wish I had bought a Kindle for $139.

    5 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 761 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)