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First Family (King & Maxwell Series) Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 2010
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"Plenty of action drives Baldacci's stellar fourth novel to feature Maxwell and King."―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Mr. Baldacci's books are jigsaw puzzles of intersecting events, not simple whodunits. FIRST FAMILY is no exception."―Washington Times
"What Baldacci does best is provide thrills, chills, and suspense. This novel is a total surprise from beginning to end."―Columbus Telegram
"The story unfolds wonderfully. It's another top-flight thriller from this bestselling author, and it's good to see King and Maxwell again."―Oklahoman
About the Author
David Baldacci is a global #1 bestselling author, and one of the world's favorite storytellers. His books are published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries, with over 130 million worldwide sales. His works have been adapted for both feature film and television. David Baldacci is also the cofounder, along with his wife, of the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America. Still a resident of his native Virginia, he invites you to visit him at DavidBaldacci.com and his foundation at WishYouWellFoundation.org.
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You might say I give too much away in this review. But in an early King & Maxwell book, King's relation with the President and First Lady is described clearly. He pulled a girl off the President and turned the drunken President over to the First Lady! Now in this book we see the significance of that situation.
I have just started the King & Maxwell series but I jumped out of sequence for this book because the book sounded very interesting. I was also getting tired of the small town life where every third person is part of the plot! I think this is one of Baldacci's best. One thing I didn't like at first was the second plot that relates to Maxwell and her family. I don't like having my attention needlessly diverted from the main plot (to which the second plot bears no relation). But I still gave the book 5 stars because the second plot moves well and provides info about Maxwell and about the relation between King and Maxwell. Her Daddy can still save her butt in a night gunfight!
The main plot here involves the intended retribution of a Viet Nam Vet against the President of the United States. The President got drummed out of office for his sex crimes. It may be true that the Vet gets a little extreme in his manner of retribution, it is still justified, at least to some extent. You can expect some trouble when you tick off a combat pilot by raping his daughter and turning her into a vegetable with a botched abortion.
We should almost take off half a star for the name Baldacci gives to his villain - Sam Quarry, who digs lots of deep holes in a mountain. Really!
King and Maxwell end up being co-guardians of 10-11 year-old boy whose mother was killed in a flash fire started by the First Lady. This make Maxwell start thinking of motherhood (having lost her own mother earlier in the second plot - OK! that's the connection between the plots).
Eventually their sheltering Tyler and their wanting to understand more about some mysterious events unfolding led them them in several different directions. The plot kept going and going: in the first third of the book it seemed as if nothing was really going to happen. Plus at times too much explanation was given about what they were doing. Then it suddenly picked up. I'm so glad I continued the book. Of course some bad guys were involved; we're kept in the dark for quite awhile about how exactly are the "bad guys".