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The 500: A Novel Hardcover – June 5, 2012
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"A thundering David-and-Goliath tale of corruption...This is a real page turner, with high stakes action that doesn't stop. Expect this to be one of the season's most talked-about debut thrillers. A sequel is in the offing and will be much anticipated."―Michele Leber, Booklist (Starred Review)
"Quirk's engaging first novel transplants the milieu of Grisham's The Firm to the world of political lobbyists...Quirk supplies just enough characterization and journalistic detail of Washington, D.C. life to ground his story as he launches into a streamlined, gripping man-on-the-run thriller."―Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Matthew Quirk studied history and literature at Harvard College. After graduation, he spent five years at The Atlantic reporting on crimes, private military contractors, the opium trade, terrorism prosecutions, and international gangs. He lives in Washington, D.C.
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Top customer reviews
Matthew Quirk's Novel "The 500" was a nice and light quick read. I say nice and light primarily because the plot of the book is relatively straightforward and the characters aren't too complicated. The main character is Mike Ford, a man that tries to live an honest life but his criminal past continues to find him. From the very beginning of this book, I found myself rooting for Mike as he tried to live his life by the "straight-and-narrow." He put himself through Harvard and truly worked harder than most people do in a life time. But he quickly comes to realize through his involvement with the Davies Group that this life is filled with crooks and the "straight-and-narrow" simply doesn't get the job done in a town like Washington DC.
As the book moves through Ford's life as an associate at the Davies Group, Quirk continues to ask his readers to ponder how to be honest in a city run by crooks? Through characters light Davies, Malcolm, and Cartwright you continue to ask yourself what is truly good versus bad. And as Ford continuously proves, the answer oftentimes is very grey. In the end, when faced with an opportunity to use bad for good, Mike Ford does the RIGHT THING... "I was born crooked, sure, but like my father I was an honest thief."
If you are looking for an interesting but far from complicated summer read, Matt Quirk's "The 500" is a novel for you. While you never get complete visibility to whom the 500 most powerful people in DC are, Quick creates enough interesting characters (in particular Mr. Henry Davies) to keep you interested in the book throughout. You never really know how is good and who is bad (in the traditional black and white, good vs. evil sense) and even when the book ends you still find yourself questioning.
THE 500 is a very long thriller. Matthew Quirk, in his debut effort, proves himself to be an adept storyteller. Of course, the story is quite reminiscent of John Grisham's THE FIRM. The characters are a stereotypic bunch but given that this is a debut novel, I would expect the author's ability to define characters will improve. My main problem is the sheer length of the work. The plot, at times, appeared to be endless. As the reader approaches the climax, the reader must suspend belief as the story becomes increasingly implausible. Yet, the pacing progressively increases. The conclusion is satisfying and fun from a thriller's standpoint. This is a solid debut effort and a worthy Edgar contender.
The cracker-jack ending, much to the woe of my family, had me cheering out loud...
Also gave me reason to ponder just what the heck is really going on in Washington, DC...!!!
Hope one day they abolish the "Lobby System" and make way for local & district representatives, mayors, supervisors, township politicians, governors, state senators, etc., to all debate & work together (Without Commercial Influence) to assist passing bills in Congress that would be beneficial toward "Constituents" of both their individual States & of these wonderful United States Of America... "NOT" by hiring independent lobbyists working, little doubt, through bribes, fancy wining & dining, gifts, corruption & downright sleaze...!!!
"The 500" is an awesome eye-opener to say the least...
Catch ya' later,