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Executive Privilege (Dana Cutler Series) Mass Market Paperback – April 28, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 436 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in the Dana Cutler Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

What a concept: the President of the United States as a possible serial killer. And ace suspense writer Margolin pulls it off beautifully, with the help of narrator Jonathan Davis, who is the perfect choice to cool off a hot concept and make it human (as he did with Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash). Davis' fine third-person narration is matched by his performance as Dana Cutler, a beautiful and sharp D.C. private detective who is hired to follow a young college student who ends up dead after a secret meeting with president Charles Farrington. Davis also excels as an Oregon lawyer who is working on the Death Row appeal of a convicted killer. The inmate says he was framed for the murder of a teenager who, at the time of her death, worked for then-governor Farrington. A Harper hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 7).
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Private detective Dana Cutler receives a seemingly routine assignment to follow a young girl working on a challenger’s campaign against the incumbent U.S. president. To Cutler’s shock, she witnesses a rendezvous between the young woman and the president. The next morning the woman’s mutilated body is discovered, and Cutler is suddenly a suspect. How can she prove her innocence against someone who has the power of the presidency at his disposal? Meanwhile, an associate in a law firm in Portland, Oregon, gets assigned the appeal of a serial killer on death row. The convicted felon claims he didn’t kill one of the victims—a young woman who was working for the state governor at the time—the same man who is now president. Could the president be a serial killer? Both story lines collide in this pulse-pounding thriller from genre veteran Margolin. Expect plenty of buzz for this one as a result of both the intriguing premise and the well-wrought narrative. --Jeff Ayers --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Dana Cutler Series (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition (March 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061653373
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061236228
  • ASIN: 0061236225
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (436 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #687,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John R. Linnell on June 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Phillip Margolin is up to his old tricks. He has again come up with a novel which I guarantee you will have a hard time putting down as you read about the trials and tribulations of the two main characters, Dana Cutler and Brad Miller.

Cutler is a former policewoman, now a PI living in the DC area and Miller is a new associate at one of Portland, Oregon's most prestigious law firms. Each accepts an assignment; Cutler to due some surveilance on a young college student and Miller to do a pro bono appeal for a serial killer on Death Row. The common denominator that brings them together is Christopher Farrington. Farrington is the President of the United States.

He was elevated to that position while occupying the Vice Presidency when the elected president died. Farrington, as it turns out, has a zipper problem. He also has a close friend who is his top aide, who has been spending a fair amount of his time fixing that problem for quite some time.

How all of this blends into a real pot boiler of a novel is for the reader to discover and more telling of the story in this review would only dilute the fun.

If you are looking for a book to take on vacation, this would be a good choice, however you might lose some sleep.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Get ready to lose some sleep. I was not able to put this book down, and stayed up until 4 a.m. to finish it! The same thing happened to my mom, who was listening to it on the audio CD version.

I believe this is Mr. Margolin's best effort to date.

The book was fast paced, great characters, and a very credible, entertaining plot. If you like books that cover the U.S. from the West Coast to the East, politicians that you love to hate, lawyers, judges and law enforcement heroes that make you root for the home team and a little romance thrown in, then this is the book for you.

I was very sorry to read that Mr. Margolin's beloved wife passed away early last year. I think that it is possible that this great loss has made him a more powerful, gifted writer, and I sure wish that she was able to read this book. It is truly one of his best.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I have read several thrillers by this author who always makes sure the plot moves well and the characters are well-drawn. There are few subtleties in these books, but they are usually good reads. However, this one was ruined by a poorly thought and totally stupid ending. The scheme to trick the perpetrator is so poorly conceived and poorly executed that, in real life, the perpetrator would have gone free. An incredibly stupid and inane ending, worth of The Dukes of Hazzard or Hogan's Heroes, totally ruined this one for me. I feel that my time was wasted in reading this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Let me say, after reading this book through my Library's e-book loan program on my Kindle, that this is a rather quick read. It took me a little more than a 24 hour period to read the book. It was worth the read, but I don't know if I would quickly recommend the book to others.

The plot was good, the writing was ok, but there was just something missing from Executive Privilege. I think the problem was the dialogue. It just seemed a bit forced in places. The worst of which was when he was describing the Senators speech about racial profiling. It was just bland, stereotypical and rather pointless. That section actually made me laugh at how horrible the dialogue really was. I hate saying that, but it's true. The entire chapter could've been eliminated, and it would not have taken away from the story in the slightest.

As the title says, I found the resolution to be easily predicted, but it was satisfying nonetheless. I would be happy to read another book from Mr Margolin in the future.
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Format: Hardcover
Brad Miller isn't having his best year. He moved the width of an entire continent, from New York to Oregon, in order to put maximum distance between himself and Bridget Malloy, yet he still thinks of her almost constantly. It was his hope that his new position as junior associate in the state's most prestigious law firm might take his mind off Malloy and their traumatic breakup. Several months of a grueling workload, getting to know his colleagues and learning the ropes, has eased his pain somewhat.

Just when he is starting to feel better, a case is assigned to him that involves potentially appealing the conviction of Clarence Little, the most notorious serial killer Oregon has ever seen. While this may provide the sort of distraction Miller needs to help him forget Malloy, it does not provide much in the way of comfort. Little insists, though, that he has been framed for one of the murders, despite an eerily similar MO.

On the opposite side of the country, in Washington, DC, Dana Cutler is embarking on a new case too, one that will take her places she had never envisioned. An ex-cop with a host of her own bad memories, Cutler now works as a private investigator. She can usually count on high-powered DC attorney Dale Perry to throw business her way at least occasionally. The latest: A simple surveillance of a pretty young college student. Sounds easy. Of course, it isn't. In DC, not much is as it seems. There is always a hidden agenda. And Cutler should have known. The money was just too good.

As the client instructed, Cutler follows Charlotte Walsh and ends up surviving a harrowing evening of jaw-dropping surprises and heart-racing chases. Unfortunately, Walsh does not.
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