Something not so good happened between publication of this book and its predecessor, The Sixth Man; the new TV series based on Baldacci's series about former Secret Service agents turned private investigators Sean King and Michelle Maxwell was canceled after a single season on TNT. That's a shame, IMHO - I really enjoyed the show that starred Jon Tenney and Rebecca Romijn in the title roles. But that said (and the good looks of Tenney and Romijn notwithstanding), 'tis better to read than watch. And this, the sixth book in the series, is further proof.
The story begins as the dynamic duo meet a teenage boy named Tyler Wingo, who has learned that his soldier father has been killed in action in Afghanistan. But something seems a bit off, and Tyler wants to hire Maxwell and King to find out what really happened. Michelle, who identifies with the boy, insists on taking the case - especially since the government is less than forthcoming with information, refuses to bring the father's remains home and claims his father is a traitor. Eventually, they learn why Tyler so insistent; it seems he received an email from his father a couple of days after the U.S. government claims he was killed.
But all attempts to ferret out the truth put Maxwell and King in the crosshairs of both the government powers-that-be and other, more ruthless bad guys; if they don't cease and desist, they could pay with their lives. Everything moves along quickly with plenty of action; along the way Maxwell and King are forced to take a closer look at their own relationship, King has to interact with his ex-wife with unexpected consequences and a third "partner" joins the team.
King and Maxwell by David Baldacci (Grand Central Publishing, November 2013); 425 pp.