Simple Genius


Author: Baldacci, David

Title: Simple Genius

Genre: Thriller/Suspense

Publication Date: 2007

Number of Pages: 407

Geographical Setting: Williamsburg, Virgina, Washington DC & Tennessee

Time Period: present day

Plot Summary: The latest in a series to feature former secret service agents turned private investigators Sean King and Michelle Maxwell. In this stand alone novel, both Sean and Michelle’s lives are falling apart. Michelle has admitted herself into a mental institution in an effort to escape some deeply buried personal demons. In order to foot the bill for Michelle’s psychiatric treatment and keep their PI business afloat, Sean takes on a job to investigate the murder of a scientist, Monk Turing, who lived in Babbage Town, where a secret enclave of scientific geniuses are working to surpass the capabilities of the most sophisticated microprocessor in the world. Michelle joins him and the two of them must wade through layers of lies that are shielding a world of elite mathematicians, physicists, war heroes and spies and get to the bottom of why and how Turing was killed. Sean and Michelle soon discover that they can trust no one but themselves, Michelle’s psychiatrist and Turning’s autistic genius daughter. Extremely engaging and fast-paced this book is a great choice for readers who enjoy thrillers with political conspiracy theories.

Subject Headings: secret service agents, murder investigations, man/woman relationships, emotionally disturbed women, conspiracies, political corruption, government investigators, think tanks, mathematical genius, code breaking, political suspense, mystery

Appeal: fast-paced, action-oriented, deliberate, engrossing, engaging, serial characters, recognizable characters, strong secondary characters, plot twists, dramatic, details of governmental agencies, investigative, realistic characters,  political, suspenseful

Similar Authors & Works:

First Daughter by Eric Van Lustbader – political intrigue, missing child, political corruption

Digital Fortress by Dan Brown – Government murder, computer programs, code breaking

The Cove by Catherine Coulter – FBI agents and private investigators, serial characters, relationship between a man and a woman

Relevant Non-Fiction Authors & Works:

Battle of Wits: The Complete Story of Code Breaking In WWII by Stephen Budiansky – In the author’s note, Baldacci mentions that he based events in the book on these true events. Deals with mathematical code breakers and WWII.

The Man Who Knew Too Much: Alan Turing and the Invention of the Computer by David Leavitt – A look into the life of the lonely genius Alan Turing who was filled with many secrets

FBI, CIA, the Mob, and Treachery by Rodney Stich – FBI and CIA cover-ups and corruptions exposed

Name: Sarah

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One Response to “Simple Genius”

  1. Peter Martel Says:

    Synopsis suggests a very rich range of concepts and intrigues. “Simple genius” would seem to fit Turing’s character very well.

    There appears to be a nice usage of “roman a cles” techniques in this work.

    Looks like a “good read”.

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