Simple Genius

Simple Genius

In a world of secrets, human genius is power. And sometimes it is simply deadly... A three-hour drive from Washington, D.C., two clandestine institutions face each other across a heavily guarded river. One is the world's most unusual laboratory, whose goals and funding are a mystery. The other is an elite CIA training camp shrouded in secrecy. Now a man and a woman are abo...

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Title:Simple Genius
Author:David Baldacci
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Edition Language:English

Simple Genius Reviews

  • Kathy

    Typically, there's a reason you should read a series in order. In the case of Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, it should be followed. While the main stories are separate, the relationship between Sean and Michelle and the internal battles they battle are revealed and dealt with in order.

    "Simple Genius" is a great thriller. It brings together current research, historical information with well-developed characters. Once again Baldacci employs a strong storyline with several twists to keep the read

    Typically, there's a reason you should read a series in order. In the case of Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, it should be followed. While the main stories are separate, the relationship between Sean and Michelle and the internal battles they battle are revealed and dealt with in order.

    "Simple Genius" is a great thriller. It brings together current research, historical information with well-developed characters. Once again Baldacci employs a strong storyline with several twists to keep the reader fully engaged until the end.

    A genius scientist is found dead on CIA property, while his death is generally accepted to be suicide, some people associated with his employer aren't convinced. Sean's former Secret Service partner Joan Dillinger subcontracts the job out to Sean, who is in need of funds while Michelle is receiving treatment following a near-death fight she provoked. The readers are treated to a main mystery, a secondary mystery, insight into what makes Michelle tick, and a peek at how Sean and Michelle's relationship may change.

    Once again, greater details would release spoilers, which I have resolved not to do in my reviews. I strongly recommend this book for mystery and thriller fans.

  • Corey

    Simple Genius takes place not long after the events of Hour Game. Michelle Maxwell is spending some time voluntarily in a Rehab Institution, after beating up a random street-punk in a Bar, realizing she's on edge, decides to get some help, and in this entry, we learn more about Michelle's dark past. While Michelle is in Rehab, Sean King is on a mission of his own, he is called to investigate a murder that took place at a top-secret CIA Training Camp and laboratory installation known as Babbage T

    Simple Genius takes place not long after the events of Hour Game. Michelle Maxwell is spending some time voluntarily in a Rehab Institution, after beating up a random street-punk in a Bar, realizing she's on edge, decides to get some help, and in this entry, we learn more about Michelle's dark past. While Michelle is in Rehab, Sean King is on a mission of his own, he is called to investigate a murder that took place at a top-secret CIA Training Camp and laboratory installation known as Babbage Town, almost an Area 51 type complex, only not as heavily defended, HAHA!

    Later Michelle reunites with King and they draw deeper into the investigation, and are hired to protect a young autistic girl named Viggie, who is related to the man who was murdered, and who is extremely smart to the point where she's a genius. With King and Maxwell with hardly any allies to assist, they dig further into the mystery behind the murder and the mystery of Babbage Town.

    One of the side-stories involved quantum physics and mathematicians, which was very complicated and hard for me to understand. But besides that, good plot, good characters, and great suspense!

  • Jonel

    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 characte

    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.

  • Brenda H

    is the third book in the King and Maxwell series by

    . This book picks up where we left off with the main characters, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell in Book 2,

    . Michelle is struggling with her confidence and self-control after the events in the last book. Sean is trying to help her overcome her issues.

    While dealing with Michelle, Sean takes a job with his ex-lover, Joan, to investigate a questionable suicide at a Washington DC Area research laboratory (Babbage Town)

    is the third book in the King and Maxwell series by

    . This book picks up where we left off with the main characters, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell in Book 2,

    . Michelle is struggling with her confidence and self-control after the events in the last book. Sean is trying to help her overcome her issues.

    While dealing with Michelle, Sean takes a job with his ex-lover, Joan, to investigate a questionable suicide at a Washington DC Area research laboratory (Babbage Town) …which just happens to be across the river from an ultra-secret CIA training camp. In following the clues, King and Maxwell find themselves immersed in the world of mathematicians, spies and codes.

    I found myself somewhat disappointed in this book. I like the main characters, King and Maxwell, and their relationship as well as a few of the other characters in this book. However, the main story line involving Babbage Town did not hold my interest nor did it always hold up as well and I thought it should. Additionally, the main story line did not have anywhere near enough action or suspense for me. Other story lines were intriguing and interesting – especially those dealing with Michelle’s backstory. I feel that I am rating this slightly higher than the overall story deserves because of the couple of side story lines as well as the promise of more to come.

    Rating: 3.75 Stars

  • Carol

    In a world of secrets, human genius is power. Sometimes it is simply deadly. Near Washington, D.C., there are two clandestine institutions: the world's most unusual laboratory and a secret CIA training camp. Drawn to these sites by a murder, ex-Secret Service Agent Sean King encounters a dark world of mathematicians, codes, and spies. His search for answers soon leads him to more shocking violence-and an autistic girl with an extraordinary genious. Now only by working with his embattled partner,

    In a world of secrets, human genius is power. Sometimes it is simply deadly. Near Washington, D.C., there are two clandestine institutions: the world's most unusual laboratory and a secret CIA training camp. Drawn to these sites by a murder, ex-Secret Service Agent Sean King encounters a dark world of mathematicians, codes, and spies. His search for answers soon leads him to more shocking violence-and an autistic girl with an extraordinary genious. Now only by working with his embattled partner, Michelle Maxwell can he catch a killer...and solve a stunning mystery that threatens the entire nation.

    Murders, kidnappings, international conspiracies, internecine warfare between alphabet agencies, mad scientists and, oh yes, buried treasure, as Baldacci pours it on.

    Michelle Maxwell and Sean King, once of the Secret Service, but now, reductively, P.I.s chasing the industrial security buck, return in Baldacci’s 13th (The Collectors, 2006, etc.) to face a sea of troubles. For one thing, Michelle may be cracking up. We know this because in the opening scene she ventures into exactly the wrong Washington D.C. bar and picks a fight with exactly the wrong Neanderthal. She’s almost killed, which, it turns out, might well have been the aim of the game. Instantly, Sean nudges her into a “facility” where she can be restored to mental health by world-class though unconventional psychologist Horatio Barnes, Sean’s old friend. (We know how far from hidebound he is because he wears jeans and black t-shirts and drives a Harley.) Restoring Michelle to mental health does not come cheap, so Sean takes on a gig that connects him to a certain high-powered and mysterious enclave in Virginia called Babbage Town. Baggage Town is high-powered because the scientists who work on its behalf are super bright, and it’s mysterious because no one really knows what they’re working on—except that a breakthrough could bring “the world as we know it to a screeching halt.” There, Sean finds the adorable Viggie, an 11-year-old girl genius (mathematics) who is targeted by various nasty types attempting to exploit her. Soon the customary battle ensues. Fortunately, Michelle recovers sufficient mental health to blow the facility and resume the partnership, arriving in time to earn again the thanks of a grateful…make that world.

    Interesting book. Recommend.

  • Robin

    Private Investigator Sean King has been hired to look into the death of Monk Turing, a physicist whose body was found at a secret CIA Training Camp. Was it suicide or murder? Monk worked at a laboratory named Babbage Town, a private facility across the York River from the training camp. Sean moves into Babbage Town to interview Monk's co-workers and learn what he was working on before his death. With the help of his partner, Michelle Maxwell, Sean needs to uncover the truth of what is happening

    Private Investigator Sean King has been hired to look into the death of Monk Turing, a physicist whose body was found at a secret CIA Training Camp. Was it suicide or murder? Monk worked at a laboratory named Babbage Town, a private facility across the York River from the training camp. Sean moves into Babbage Town to interview Monk's co-workers and learn what he was working on before his death. With the help of his partner, Michelle Maxwell, Sean needs to uncover the truth of what is happening across the river.

    This book started off with Michelle entering a mental hospital after nearly being killed in a barroom brawl. I enjoyed Michelle's conversations with her psychiatrist and the intrigues at the hospital. Sean's portion of the story started off well, but slowed down to a crawl in the middle of the book. Happily, when Michelle joins him in Babbage Town, the story picks up and gets hard to put down. My rating: 3.5 Stars.

  • kartik narayanan

    Simple Genius has moments of greatness and moments of dumbfuckery. I loved the protagonists' character arcs as well the new character. There are three threads running for about two-thirds of the book and until these were relatively separate, they were enjoyable. After they come together, the whole is not simply that enjoyable and the book becomes less likable. What I loathed were the clumsy call outs to cryptanalysts and mathematicians of ages past. Baldacci could have just put 'normal' names an

    Simple Genius has moments of greatness and moments of dumbfuckery. I loved the protagonists' character arcs as well the new character. There are three threads running for about two-thirds of the book and until these were relatively separate, they were enjoyable. After they come together, the whole is not simply that enjoyable and the book becomes less likable. What I loathed were the clumsy call outs to cryptanalysts and mathematicians of ages past. Baldacci could have just put 'normal' names and it would not have been as distracting. But, bonus for a shout to IIT since its my alma mater.

    Overall, this book has its ups and downs. But on average (weighted, of course), the book is good.

  • Angie

    Just horrible. Horrible dialogue. The one-liners of King are getting very old. As is his finding out clues but not sharing with his partner. The only thing worse than the cliches of angry FBI agent and bumbling local law enforcement was what Baldacci did to Michelle Maxwell's character. I read several reviews of the previous King and Maxwell book (The Hour Game) where many (including me) were critical that there was no character development for Michelle Maxwell. So this time he really beefs up t

    Just horrible. Horrible dialogue. The one-liners of King are getting very old. As is his finding out clues but not sharing with his partner. The only thing worse than the cliches of angry FBI agent and bumbling local law enforcement was what Baldacci did to Michelle Maxwell's character. I read several reviews of the previous King and Maxwell book (The Hour Game) where many (including me) were critical that there was no character development for Michelle Maxwell. So this time he really beefs up the story line for Michelle but it was ridiculous. The romantic tension got me to finish the book but I am not sure I will continue with the series. Also, for those who have read The Hour Game, Baldacci sets another scene of boats gone wild during an incredible storm. Can't believe he got away with that when he did the exact same thing in the last book.

  • Ami

    I am disappointed

    Everything I loved and enjoyed from the first two books were GONE. Here, Sean and Michelle were 'separated' for the better of the first half of the book. Michelle suffered from breakdown, showing suicidal tendency, picked up a fight and being beaten, and must checked herself voluntarily (with Sean's insistence) for treatment. Meanwhile Sean was "forced" to get a job from his ex, Joan Dillinger, to investigate a death of a physicist at quasi–think tank place, Babbage Town.

    Well, guess what

    I am disappointed

    Everything I loved and enjoyed from the first two books were GONE. Here, Sean and Michelle were 'separated' for the better of the first half of the book. Michelle suffered from breakdown, showing suicidal tendency, picked up a fight and being beaten, and must checked herself voluntarily (with Sean's insistence) for treatment. Meanwhile Sean was "forced" to get a job from his ex, Joan Dillinger, to investigate a death of a physicist at quasi–think tank place, Babbage Town.

    Well, guess what, I didn't bloody care about the whole mystery!!The whole code, blood, something with German prisoners, cryptography, drugs, CIA farm, etc, etc, just went straight over my head. I practically skimmed every single thing related to this plot. I think at some point there was torture? But I really didn't remember (and didn't want to, honestly)

    What I loved from the previous two books were simple murders and investigation, with Sean and Michelle working together, throwing light and friendly banters. There was none of that here. It was totally different and I didn't enjoy it at all.

    The only thing that still salvage the book, albeit slightly for me, was also the plot that I disliked in the beginning. See, I was actually intrigued with Michelle's past. I liked the psychologist, Horatio. I liked how he was dealing with Michelle's breakdown.

    HOWEVER, I also didn't believe that Michelle from previous two books could arrive to this point. There were no clues what-so-ever about her having such past. Michelle that I was familiar with was strong, determined girl. So it felt like her character suffered from some sort of brain surgery here. There was no trace of the Michelle I loved.

    So in conclusion, IT SUCKS BIG TIME!!

    I am not giving up this series yet. But I'm taking a short break before jumping to book #4.

  • Steve

    I just hated this book. The story was implausable and the subplots were so poorly constructed. Halfway through the book, I would have rated it as ok but the last 30 pages were just idiotic.

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