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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Simple Genius by David Baldacci

In my next life I've decided I want to come back as the female part of a crime investigating duo that also features a hunky, sensitive, in-love-with-me-but-doesn't-know-it kinda guy.

I want to know what it feels like to have that nagging thought at the back of my mind that if I could only remember it would solve the entire crime I'm working on and get me world-wide recognition as a genius. Of course, I share this reputation with my 6-pack sporting sidekick whose eyes may wander ever so slightly toward some gorgeous blonde every now and then, but as soon as he finds out that she cannot perfectly execute a karate kick to the chops, his eyes will refocus back on me where they belong.

There will be none of that sissified leaping buildings in a single bound type stuff either. I will instinctively know all maneuvers taught at FBI training camp, and I will be able to race a kayak through storm tossed waters with the ease one usually associates with merely flecking a fly from the edge of my cheeseburger.

I will, however, be vulnerable. But my soft, unprotected side will never interfere when I'm saving the country from the bad guys or when I'm gaining the trust of a child.

I am strong. I am invincible. I am every unbelievable cliche ever written into any novel labeled as a thriller, but in this case, I reside in David Baldacci's book Simple Genius.

Which is not to say that Simple Genius is an awful book, because it isn't. The problem is it's mediocre, and the larger-than-life people inhabiting its covers are used to try to make it something better than that. Instead, I think they come off as cartoonish and, yes, even stupid. When I can figure out a clue before a top-notch, highly paid investigator who used to protect the President Of The United States, passed the bar exam, AND knows how to get out of tight situations with nothing but both hands and a bizarre sense of direction, I'd say the character in the book is hardly the most seasoned oar on the kayak. But the really scary part is that, since I have figured out said clue, that makes me more of a Genius than the Geniuses in the book!

I'd recommend this book to people who like their thrillers a little predictable, but who may appreciate books of this genre with continuing characters. I know there's at least two other books in this series, and one or both of them could certainly be better than this one. My impression of Baldacci before this was that he was pretty good at spinning a yarn. Unfortunately I think this time he phoned it in using a tired old formula.

I read this book as part of my participation in the Readers In Thongs Weight Loss Book Challenge

This book weighs 1 pound 2 ounces.

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