The Sixth Man
David Baldacci

Grand Central Publishing
Hardcover/432 pages
ISBN: 978-0-4465-7310-8
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"Baldacci's style and creativity is unmatched…yet again."

One of the most fantastic writers on the planet has gone and done it again, creating a story that not only makes the reader not want to put the book down until the very end, but makes the reader actually feel the need to continue no matter what. The 'pull' of this novel is such a complete package of intelligence, perfect dialogue, edge-of-your-seat action, and a completely surprise ending. What would be the perfect 'defense' mechanism to have? Could it possibly be the perfect brain? Well, this story certainly gives new meaning to the phrase, "the best and the brightest."

Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are a private investigation duo. They both worked at one time for the Secret Service and, through other books that the great Baldacci has written, have now retired from 'national service' and formed their own unique team. They are not only amazing partners, but there is also a 'personal' link that both of them are trying to figure out as the years go on.

As we begin, Sean and Michelle are headed to Maine. Sean received a call from an old pal by the name of Ted Bergin who needs his help. Ted is the defense attorney representing a serial killer by the name of Edgar Roy. Edgar was caught red-handed with six bodies buried in his barn, and was hauled away and placed into a facility that goes beyond maximum supervision. The place is called Cutter's Rock and houses the criminally insane. This is a location in the middle of nowhere, with so many bells and whistles that it makes Hannibal Lecter's accommodations look like The Plaza.

However, when Sean and Michelle arrive in the wilderness, they not only find a dead defense attorney by the side of the road, but the criminal they visit named Edgar Roy seems completely 'gone.' The man's eyes don't dilate, his limbs barely move and, frankly, Sean and Michelle have no idea how to find out what brought about Ted Bergin's death, or why he was so desperate to help this so-called killer. Not only that, but they find it extremely suspicious that the FBI seems to keep track of Edgar Roy's every move.

As they head deeper into the mystery, characters come out of the woodwork that make the readers' mind whirl with excitement. From a Maine policeman who seems to be able to aide the detectives; to an FBI agent who knows far more than he's saying; to CEO's of the most technologically adept companies in the world that have 'inside routes' into the government; to a woman sitting at the head of Homeland Security who is playing the political game of her life. Add in Edgar's half-sister who is unwilling but, able, to explain the past, to a young lawyer just out of a law school, and a cold-hearted killer who seems to be working every side of the fence – this plot soon unveils itself as one of the best of 2011.

The banter, the myriad of complexities coming forth from every page that are explained with perfect timing and intelligence by the writer, as well as the thrills and chills stemming from a supposed serial killer all the way up to the White House, have the reader guessing the whole way through. And the surprise ending in this case really is a surprise!

It is always truly amazing when a writer seems to put together 'the perfect crime' so effortlessly. Baldacci's style and creativity is unmatched…yet again.

Reviewer: Amy Lignor