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First Family
By David Baldacci

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First Family

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First Family
By David Baldacci
Read by Ron McLarty
Hachette Audio, (2009)
An Unabridged Recording on 12 CDs
ISBN: 978-1-60024-548-0
Genre: Thriller

This title is also available in Large Print and in an abridged audio edition on 5 CDs.


Reviewed by Angela Evans - May 4, 2009

First Family is the newest installment in the Sean King and Michelle Maxwell series by David Baldacci. In this thriller, a birthday party held at Camp David seems to go off without a hitch. However, shortly after the party ends, everything starts to go horribly wrong. The President's niece and another woman are kidnapped, and another party member is killed. King and Maxwell, former Secret Service agents turned private investigators, are pulled into the case by the First Lady. Years ago, King had the opportunity to do her husband a great service, and now she wants King to do the same for her and get the child back unharmed!

As the story unfolds, you learn not only intimate details about the members of the First family, but also about Sam Quarry a.k.a. the apparent 'bad guy' who seems to have orchestrated this personal, and because of the family involved, national tragedy. Quarry is in his sixties, and if he really is the 'bad guy' King and Maxwell are having a hard time determining his motives. Complicating their investigations is the Secret Service, who doesn't like idea of former agents treading on their toes, as well as Maxwell's ongoing psychological issues. In the previous book in this series, Simple Genius, Maxwell was almost killed, and her mother died, and she is still trying to come to terms with these two traumatic incidents. Baldacci does not give you much time to deal with her issues. The story moves along at a frantic pace, and at times it is questionable whether or not Willa, the President's niece, can be recovered.

The audio edition of First Family is read by Ron McLarty, who easily translates the tension and drama of the story line into his reading. If this were the print copy, I would say that this is a real page turner. As it is the audio edition, I'll just say that once you hit play, you'll not turn the book off until the very end! Along the way Baldacci delivers a well developed and a very believable plot, plenty of tension and action, and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing about what is really going on until the very end. A must for all of Baldacci's fans, and especially so for those of Sean King and Michelle Maxwell!

And for those who have not read them already, the first three books in the King and Maxwell series are:
  1. Split Second
  2. Hour Game
  3. Simple Genius

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