I kept seeing David Baldacci’s work appear on bestseller lists and thought I should check out his novels but you know how life can get in the way of good intentions. When I was at the LA Festival of Books recently, a woman in line for one of the mystery author panels couldn’t quit talking about how much she loved his books. That did it – I decided I had procrastinated long enough, so when I got the opportunity to read The Sixth Man, I jumped on it. All I can say is, David Baldacci where have you been all my life?
Ex Secret Service agents Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are called in by Virginia attorney Ted Bergen, Sean’s mentor and friend, to act as investigators for the Edgar Roy case. Roy is an alleged serial killer, accused of murdering six people and burying them in his rural Virginia barn. He’s being held in an extremely secure federal prison, in rural Maine. As Sean and Michelle drive through remote Maine to meet with Bergen and get instructions for their investigation, they stop to help what they believe to be a stranded motorist only to discover that it’s Bergen and he’s been murdered.
“When Sean told them who they were and why they were here, and, more important, who Ted Bergen was and that he represented Edgar Roy, one of the troopers walked away and used his handheld mic to presumably call in more assets…The trooper nodded, ‘Roy’s a federal prisoner. We got clear instructions from Washington. Anything happens with him, they get called in. That’s what I just did.’”
Not only has Sean lost a good friend but they have no information about the case or what they should do, and the FBI takes all of Bergen’s files. They are determined to do two things: 1) find Bergen’s murderer; and 2) continue Bergen’s work on the Edgar Roy case. There are a lot of questions to be answered, including why Washington and the FBI are even involved in the case; however, the most important question is whether Edgar Roy is guilty like everyone seems to assume. Unfortunately, that’s something Roy can’t help them with because he’s in a catatonic state.
“Sean glanced at Roy. Sean wasn’t even sure he was alive because he couldn’t see the rise and fall of [Roy’s]his chest. He didn’t blink, didn’t twitch. His eyes just stared straight ahead, looking but apparently not registering on anything.”
As they begin to dig into the case and try to get answers, they not only run into road blocks but people even remotely related to the case start getting killed. The deeper they dig, the more they realize they have rattled the chains of some very powerful people who will do anything to stop them. That’s puzzling all by itself – why does anyone even care about this case? What is so important to Washington about a guy in rural Virginia who murders six people? Sometimes you’re not paranoid – sometimes there really is a conspiracy. The more they run into stumbling blocks, the more they’re determined to get to the bottom of this, no matter the cost to themselves.
The Sixth Man is one hell of a rollercoaster ride! Once I started reading, I didn’t want to do anything except “work” on this “case.” I was totally absorbed and felt as determined to get to the bottom of it all as Sean and Michelle but I felt fortunate that there were only literary bullets coming at me instead of real ones. Now I want to read all of David Baldacci’s novels! If you like political intrigue and a heart-stopping thriller, you’re going to love The Sixth Man!
To purchase The Sixth Man, just click on the title links or the bookcover above.
For even more mysteries and thrillers to read this summer, check out our Summer Mystery & Thriller Reading Recommendations.
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