Simple Genius by David Baldacci


Former Secret Service agents Sean King and Michelle Maxwell become partners in solving the suicide of a scientist that happened in the property of Camp Peary, a CIA facility, in Virginia.

Before partnering up Michelle walks into a bar and searches for the biggest toughest guy she can find and picks a fight with him. It is clear she may even win but instead lets herself be beaten unconscious. Sean rushes to the hospital but after learning what he can suggests she voluntarily commit herself to a psychiatric facility where Horatio Barnes, a psychologist and old friend of Sean, treats her.

Sean gets started on the Camp Peary investigation while Horatio begins treatment to find the childhood roots of Michelle’s death wish,

The two mysteries eventually come together with secret codebooks, high speed chases and violence.  The plot twists and turns as we would expect but isn’t as compelling as some of Baldacci’s others.  


“There’s a chromosome that goes haywire when you turn thirteen. It commands you to live in filth”  ( ok, truth is here that Michelle keeps her truck a little filthy)

“People who attempted to end their lives, no matter how amateurishly they might do so at first, often got better at it, with the result that on the third, fourth or sixth try, they ended up on a slab with a coroner poking around their remains.”