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First Family (King & Maxwell) Hardcover – April 21, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 1,087 customer reviews
Book 4 of 6 in the King and Maxwell Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Plenty of intense action drives bestseller Baldacci's stellar fourth novel to feature former Secret Service agents Michelle Maxwell and Sean King (after Simple Genius). Maxwell and King, D.C. PIs, step on the toes of everyone, including the FBI and the Secret Service. They even manage to bruise the ego of First Lady Jane Cox, who hires them after her 12-year-old niece is kidnapped following a birthday party at Camp David. Baldacci excels at making the improbable believable as one obsessed man, 62-year-old Sam Quarry, takes on the best security the U.S. can muster from his Alabama redoubt. Even more impressive than Quarry's determined campaign is the ingeniousness with which Baldacci manages to disguise both Quarry's precise motivation and aims. Meanwhile, Maxwell has to deal with her mother's death and a host of other personal issues. Baldacci's careful plotting and confidant depictions of national security procedures make this a thinking man's thriller. (Apr. 21)
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Review

"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 --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: King & Maxwell
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (April 21, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446539759
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446539753
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,087 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
First Family is David Baldacci's follow-up to Simple Genius. Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are summoned by Pam Dutton to instruct them on their next case. Before they can meet with her, however, they notice two men running from the scene firing their guns. As they investigate the house they notice Pam is dead, but, Willa, her eldest daughter, is missing. Subplots are plenty as Michelle, who is still struggling to come to terms about her mother's death, returns home to be with her father. First Family is a beefy book with twists and turns reminiscent of a roller coaster. Its politics and scandals are so complex that the reader stays in tune with the book from page one, and doesn't blink until the book ends. David Baldacci has once again delivered a novel that will captivate its readers....

I would also highly recommend: S is for Sirens a novel that ranked one of the best this year.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm not a kindle user, so am not involved in the controversy that makes up most of the reviews based upon it's Kindle price. This is simply a review of the book after reading it. And, I found it to be a decent thriller with one major flaw. Here's the upsides and downsides of it for me:

Upsides:
- I love the characters in this book: From "superheroes" Michelle, the blunt damaged secret service agent and Sean, her big more laid back partner to the evil-or-is-he-so-evil Quarry.
- Even though Michelle and Sean are from his previous book Simple Genius - this works just fine as a stand-alone thriller.

Downsides:
- The beginning was a little slow, though it picks up in the middle. (There's an interesting side-plot with Michelle in the middle that picked up the pace, but I expected it to connect more with the total story).

- The overall plot is mildly implausible, but that's alright given it's thriller nature and that there's Baldacci's writing to compensate. But, the ending just gets outrageously implausible. There's about 70 pages of it that go from one completely unbelievable action to another. I would just get through one thing that happened that I'd had to convince myself that "alright, maybe it's a little believable", before something even more outlandish would occur! The size of the "holes in the story"- just grew wider and wider!

BOTTOM LINE: A good page-turning premise and characters brought down to a just average thriller(and below what I expect from Baldacci) by some completely implausible action at the end.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read all of David Baldacci's books; and yes, some are better than others. I don't think that First Family was his best book, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I like the characters of Sean and Michelle and hope to see them again in future adventures. The "all charm but can't keep his pants zipped" President and his manipulative, powerful first lady were very believable (due to our own country's past history). Sam Quarry was a stereotypical redneck and somewhat extreme example of how some picture Southerners. Since I am from MS / AL, Sam was insulting, but plausible. The story line was, at times, stretching the reader's acceptance; but that is one of the appeals of Baldacci's writing. He pushes the believability factor to the absolute limit and then just a little beyond. But after all, that's why I am reading, for the entertainment factor. It's not supposed to be anything more. I'm anxiously awaiting his next book.
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Format: Hardcover
David Baldacci creates an impossible situation with believable characters. When the president's niece is abducted after attending a birthday party at Camp David, the question is why? Why are private investigators Sean King and Michelle Maxwell hired to locate the missing child? And what does the abductor want? Why has he kidnapped another woman along with the child? So many questions, which all get answered as the story unfolds. This book had me on the edge of my recliner as I read each chapter wondering where is was headed and why. Great book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
King and Maxwell are such a good team. Of the 3 - 4 books I've read involving this team, I like this book the best. It was so interesting and I liked much of the dialogue between Sean and Michelle. They're so comfortable with each other. Their banter is fun to hear and occasionally they ribbed one another - particularly in this book. We also sometimes know their inner thoughts - including dread or fear at times. Very near the beginning, King and Maxwell come across Tyler - a teenager - who was thinking about running away from home. Initially, almost against their better judgement, they take to him and become involved in helping him with what turns out to be huge; at the same time, they know he can't really pay them. As they they become more involved, and some threats were made against them, Sean quipped to Michelle: "In for a dime, in for a dollar." Michelle replied dryly, "I'm just wondering when we're going to run out of change."
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".
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