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Book Review of “Simple Genius” By David Baldacci

Simple Genius

By David Baldacci


In Simple Genius, Baldacci brings back two former Secret Service agents (now PIs), Sean King and Michelle Maxwell.

The story opens with Michelle Maxwell going through a breakdown.

Mentally stressed beyond her ability to continue a normal life – the result of some long-repressed childhood memory, Michelle ends up at a potentially suicidal bar brawl fighting a stranger. Sean’s concern for his friend makes him push Michelle to check herself into a psychiatric hospital for rest, recuperation and examination. Sean’s friend Dr. Horatio Barnes comes to help her at the rehab.

In order to pay for the facility he accepts a contract to investigate the suicide (murder) of a quantum physicist and computer scientist – Monk Turing.

Monk Turing was working for Babbage Town, Virginia, a high powered corporate think tank located across the York River from Camp Peary, a top secret CIA training facility.

The scientists at Babbage Town are very protective about their codes and quantum processors. And they need to know if Turing was murdered or did he commit suicide. Since the murder took place on CIA property Sean knows that the FBI would be involved, making things difficult for him.

It’s not long that Len Rivest, the head of Babbage Town, is found dead. This leads to further suspicions and confusions in the case. And Sean is seen pitting against the FBI, the CIA and unknown criminals involved in drug deals, secret codes, illegal detainments, illegal torture, buried treasure and Turing’s 11 year old autistic genius.

11 year old  Viggie Turing is emotionally and socially disabled, but she is a mathematical genius who speaks only in codes. She holds vital information that could help Sean crack the case.

Amidst his work, all Sean is really worried about is Michelle and whether she’d be able to pull through for him.

Meanwhile, at the rehab Michelle begins to notice strange activities at the centre, with her own healing process to deal with. She uncovers a drug ring, saves a fellow inmate’s life but soon leaves the centre and lands up at Babbage Town followed by Dr. Horatio Barnes.

Michelle befriends Viggie and tries to help the case by talking with her.

This is a mesmerizing and entertaining story with an interesting plot, many eccentric characters, and a surprising ending.

Baldacci has a knack for creating suspense and engaging his readers from the very first page.

The umpteen twists, unexpected plots, diversions and clear detailing talk a lot about his skill of absorbing information and presenting it to his readers.

Simple Genius is informative, riveting, entertaining and flows without any interruptions, hooking the readers to each word.

A genius thriller/mystery writer who churns out compelling stories that keep you turning the pages without putting the book down, Baldacci sure will keep you on your seat’s edge.

Highly recommended!



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Book Review of “The Appeal” By John Grisham

The Appeal

By John Grisham


One of Grisham’s most gripping thrillers, The Appeal is a compelling read, absolutely hard to put down. It takes a dig at present world’s election politics.

The story centers around Bowmore, Mississippi, where a chemical giant (Krane Chemical Co.) has been dumping toxic waste into the town’s water supply unit, causing cancer and related ailments to the inhabitants.

Carl Trudeau is the company head. On realizing the rising of the havoc he runs away to Mexico leaving hundreds of people to the ill fate (death).

The company is sued by an attorney couple, the Paytons, (on behalf of a widow) and wins a substantial settlement. And Carl decides to fight back, using his political connections and power of money. He sets out to hire a Supreme Court justice by picking a candidate to participate in the upcoming election. This way he can rule the decision in his favor (or so he thinks).

While this is no “typical Grisham thriller” with murder mysteries and mobster chases, it is equally intriguing. The story is believable and relatable. But the ending is a bit disappointing – seems like a bit rushed into.

The Appeal is an entertaining page-turner that, by showing readers a perversion of the system, yearns for justice. It is a well crafted tale of big business, politics, verdicts, and lawsuits.

A political-legal thriller, The Appeal shows just how easily a few million bucks could manipulate our legal and political systems. Sadly, at times, there is more garnish than meat.

Overall, a commendable job by a genius writer and master plotter!

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