Book Review: HOUR GAME, by David Baldacci

Reading Hour Game, by David Baldacci, was like watching a train wreck as it happened, driving by, then turning around and coming back to sit on the side of the road and watch the recovery efforts. You want to walk away, to drive away, to put it behind you, but you sit there, staring forward, and find you can’t quite bring yourself to leave without figuring out what is going on.

That’s not to say the book sucked; it didn’t. The plot had some high points, and toward the end of the book, I find it much harder to put down and walk away from than the beginning, which really seemed to drag. The problem I had the most with the book was that there were some very unbelievable situations for me, situations that failed me at suspending my disbelief for this universe and these characters.

The second most annoying part of this book was that I I figured out who the main killer was very early on, and while that happens to me quite often, a really good book actually still manages to give me something I hadn’t expected. This one mostly failed to do that, because not only did I figure out the main killer, but I also managed to figure out a couple of subplots too. Not that I got to them the same way the main characters got to the answers, but my answers were right nonetheless, and the characters methods of getting there were a bit suspect to me. It was more like they were jammed in there, to try to make them fit, rather than letting things organically unfold.

The editing on this book, for a major best-selling novel, was disappointing. There were incomplete sentences that weren’t for dramatic impact. There were run-on sentences that should have been caught. But that’s just grammar. The things that bothered me the most were the moments in which the characters acted out of character, where the plot didn’t flow as smoothly as it should have, and where certain things happened that just made me roll my eyes and says, “Yeah, right.”

One in particular was when two people turned to face each other, each with a gun, and in the dark of a storm, in the middle of a flash of lightning, shot their guns at each other at the same time. No problem there, right? Except… the author wrote and the editor accepted that the impromptu, lightning flash gunshots had the bullets collide in mid-air, in a flash, thus preventing either person from getting shot.

Though the author did preface this with a ‘billion to one chance…” I bet if we did the math on it, the odds are so astronomical that two bullets could collide mid-air, dead-on enough that neither would spin off in any direction but would rather just ‘flash’ and drop. I’d love to see Mythbusters tackle that one, even when they TRY to make it happen, much less impromptu on a lakeshore in a storm with two different types of guns and two characters of completely different height who cannot even see each other.

The story is mostly about a team of private investigators, a man named King and a woman named Michelle, both ex-law enforcement/legal backgrounds, who are known in the criminal justice community. They begin investigating some minor crimes that occurred at the home of a prominent wealthy family. In the meantime, a serial copycat killer is on the loose, leaving clues behind for investigators to find, almost daring them to hunt him down and figure things out.

King and Michelle are deputized to help the small-town law enforcement agents, and the FBI is called in and the usual pissing contests that I guess are now obligatory in a multi-jurisdictional law enforcement novel all proceed.

In the end, the killer gets revealed, the good guys are almost killed but survive, and the author tries to send the readers on some wild goose chases, but really fails to redirect me to think anything other than what happened happened.

With all that said, though, I find I can’t recommend that you not read this book. All said and done, it did not fail to entertain, even if the reasons for entertaining me might not have been what I originally intended. Also, I do like how when the story was winding down, when it felt like it was all about tied up, the author did take us on one more last ride. Though, because of the length of the book left to read, I knew it was going to happen, it was a nice diversion at the end.

Hour Game, by David Baldacci, was published in 2004, so it’s an older book, but you can still pick up a copy of it from Amazon and other fine book retailers both in stores and online. If you like crime fiction, you will probably at least get a kick out of this one. Also available in mass paperback, also from Amazon.com.

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One comment to Book Review: HOUR GAME, by David Baldacci

  • Ilker  says:

    Hello, Michelle!Found your blog by chance! I adore History as well. Have a soft spot for Russian Zars, but by sclnlriog down your page I KNOW I’m going to visit pretty often. Sounds enchanting!Tried to find the subscribe or follow this blog link, but didn’t find it. How can I follow your blog? Thank you!

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