The small jet bumped down hard on the runway in Portland,
Maine. It rose up in the air and banged down again harder. Even the pilot was probably wondering if he could keep the twenty-five-ton jet on the tarmac. Because he was trying to beat a storm in, the young aviator had made his approach at a steeper trajectory and a faster speed than the airline’s manual recommended. The wind shear culled off the leading edge of the cold front had caused the jet’s wings to pendulum back and forth. The copilot had warned the passengers that the landing would be bumpy and a bit more than uncomfortable.
He’d been right.
The rear carriage wheels caught and held the second time around, and the lead aircraft-grade rubber bit down a few moments later. The rapid and steep flight path in had caused more than a few of the four dozen passengers on the single-aisle jet to white-knuckle their armrests, mouth a few prayers, and even reach for the barf bags in the
seatbacks. When the wheel brakes and reverse thrusters engaged and the aircraft slowed perceptibly, most of the riders exhaled in relief.
One man, however, merely woke when the plane transitioned off
the runway and onto the taxiway to the small terminal. The tall, dark-haired woman sitting next to him idly stared out the window, completely unfazed by the turbulent approach and bouncy touchdown.
After they’d arrived at the gate and the pilot shut down the twin GE turbofans, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell rose and grabbed their bags from the overhead. As they threaded out through the narrow aisle along with the other deplaning passengers, a queasy-looking woman behind them said, “Boy, that sure was a rough landing.”
Sean looked at her, yawned, and massaged his neck. “Was it?”
The woman looked surprised and eyed Michelle. “Is he kidding?”
She said, “When you’ve ridden on jump seats in the belly of a C-17 at low altitudes in the middle of a thunderstorm and doing thousand-foot vertical drops every ten seconds with four max-armored vehicles chained next to you and wondering if one was going to break loose and crash through the side of the fuselage and carry you with it, this landing was pretty uneventful.”
“Why in the world did you do that?” said the wide-eyed
“I ask myself that every day,” replied Sean sardonically.
He and Michelle both had their clothes, toiletries, and other
essentials in their carry-on bags. But they had to stop by baggage claim to pick up an eighteen-inch-long, hard-sided, locked case. It belonged to Michelle. She picked up the case and slid it into her carry-on.
Sean gave her an amused expression. “You’re the queen of the
smallest checked bag of all time.”
“Until they let responsible people on planes with loaded guns, it’ll have to do the trick. Get the rental. I’ll be back in a minute.”
This is an excerpt from THE SIXTH MAN by David Baldacci. Copyright © 2011 by Columbus Rose, Ltd. Reprinted by permission of Grand Central Publishing, New York, NY. All rights reserved.
Violence, coverups and murder abound in The Sixth Man, the explosive new King and Maxwell thriller by blockbuster author David Baldacci. Ever since he burst upon the scene with his debut novel, Absolute Power, Baldacci has proven again and again—in novels like The Camel Club, First Family and Hell’s Corner—that when it comes to storytelling, Baldacci is an absolute master.
This talent is in full display in this, the fifth book in his hugely popular King and Maxwell series. Now working as private investigators, former Secret Service Agents Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are no strangers to intrigue, which is why an old lawyer friend of theirs has called them in. His latest client, Edgar Roy, is an accused serial killer, but something doesn’t feel right about the case. Unfortunately, before he can give King and Maxwell more details, the lawyer is found dead, leaving them with more questions than answers. Is someone trying to bury the case? Is Roy really a killer, or just a patsy in a larger game?
Bombarded with obstacles, half-truths and dead ends, King and Maxwell find themselves pushed to the limit, caught in a conspiracy that could end their partnership…and possibly their lives.
Hardcover Book : 432 pages
Publisher: Hachette Book Group Usa ( April 19, 2011 )
Item #: 13-341970
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.97inches
Product Weight: 16.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Can't help raving above his storytelling!
Reviewer: Bobbie C
This is another great book by David Baldacci! Keep them coming looking forward to reading Zero Day!
Another great summer read.
Reviewer: K's K
Couldnt stop reading..filled with action and never boring..great story..want to read more from this author since this was my first but not my last..
When I can barely put a book down, I know that it's totally "grabbed" my interest. I read to be entertained and this book is not only entertaining but quite the thriller. I think that perhaps "The Wall" is a little bit out there but who knows what government secrets abound. The characters are developed nicely in this novel and there's action on every page. A fantastic read!
Reviewer: Beth H