Opinions about this book are all over the board, everything from ‘stellar’ to ‘awful’. I’m in the middle. There is a great deal of time spent on the psyche of Michelle Maxwell, who in previous Sean-Michelle mysteries has been considerably more stable. Stable as a rock. In Simple Genius, Michelle is a self destructive liability, vulnerable to the extreme, suicidal and basically her character behavior requires a stretch of the imagination. Credibility is lost. There is no way Sean would allow someone in this fragile state to be a trusted sidekick.
Desperate for any work, Sean takes on a job to investigate a murder, leaving Michelle in the hands of a trusted analyst who, with her acquiescence, checks her into a rehab clinic. While Sean is embroiled in the murder mystery, Michelle bags the bad guys in a drug bust at the clinic and then joins him. Slipping in and out of suicidal behavior, Michelle watches Sean’s back. Credibility? Not so much. Eventually, the two solve the issue, a satisfying conclusion. As far as narration, Scott Brick is the best. A good narrator can make a mediocre book better, which is the case, in my opinion, with Simple Genius.