Camp David, USA. A birthday party turns into a nightmare when a child is snatched after the celebrations. The First Lady enlists the services of Sean King and Michelle Maxwell to bring the child home safely. But she and King share a past. Years ago he saved her then senator husband from political disaster. And this may not be all that passed between them. With Michelle still battling her own demons, the two are pushed to the limit, with forces aligned on all sides against them - and the line between friend and foe impossible to define...or defend.
©2009 David Baldacci; (P)2009 Hachette
Only a so-so book and plot. You had to wait till the end to find out what the "big plan" of the bad guy was, but other than not telling you till the end, the drama wasn't there.
What really drove me to write a review was the unneccesary sound effects and music. A decent book doesn't need repetitive music that sounds like it was lifted from a cheap video game to add suspense. Maybe the producers didn't trust the content to stand alone and thought it needed spicing up.
Once I started listening to First Family it was almost impossible to put down. I had listened to the whole book in less than two days!! I have listened to every David Baldacci title available through Audible.com. I have enjoyed each and every one. First Family holds it's place with the others!! I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a good suspense novel!!
I have either read or heard on Audible all of David Baldacci"s books and found them all to be enjoyable with the exception his recent "First Family" which I though was terrible. I can't believe it was from the same author who has in the past written thoughtful and thrilling novels. This one is insipid and its hard to believe it was written by the same person. Even though Audible offered a special deal on the book it wasn't worth it.
This is one of the worst books that I have listened to. There are incredible errors in the storyline. One minute the characters are doing an act in a certain way and then there is a sentence change and the characters have changed the way again. There are parts of the book that seem like they have been taken from other authors books.
I am listening to it just to see where the storyline goes next.
Reader, Listener, Optimist
Throughout this listen, I had the impression that this book was rushed to publication without distillation, reflection or consideration of purpose. I appreciate any book whose author writes about what he knows or at least has researched well enough to be convincing.
However, this commercialized effort by Mr. Baldacci falls flat as he describes places, people, and things that he is obviously unfamiliar with. Antebellum slave plantations in the northeast Alabama hill country? A woman attends her murdered mother's funeral and immediately returns to work with her smart mouthed sidekick who routinely chews out the First Lady without repercussions? And how can an electric generator be battery powered?
It appears that this book was written so fast to fill an annual quota that no consideration was given to plausibility or literacy, but relied heavily on readers' gullibility and fan loyalty.
Hopefully, future efforts by Mr. Baldacci will be better crafted, but I'll be very reluctant to gamble with my time and money on his books again.
Baldacci is becoming a victim like most, if not all, writers churning out books to meet the demand. Quality is an afterthought, and his most recent was on sale thankfully.
If you're looking for a good thriller, don't bother with this. Poorly written and researched, and mediocre narrator. Instead spend your credits on a Barry Eisler book.
Not one of Baldacci's best. The plot in itself has potential, but ridiculous plot twists and totally implausible situations prevent you from buying into the story.
The narrator is decent, but it's hard to like anyone telling this preposterous story. At one point the narrarator reverses his male and female voices during dialogue between characters.
While I've enjoyed other Baldacci novels, I found myself glad to be done with this book. I would not recommend it.
The book was great, as expected. My only criticism is around the sound effects of the audiobook. It is the first audiobook that I have listened to that contains gunfire, explosion, lightning and other sound effects. It either implies the listener has no imagination or some sound tech was overzealous and couldn't keep his newly acquired sound clip library in check.
Agree with others that the secondary story of Michelle's family was distracting and a waste of time. Without it the book's length would probably be a 1/3 shorter and not worth the listen. Even the primary storyline dragged on. There were too many points along the way where the author comes up with a solution to a problem that is unrealistic. Reminds me of one of his previous books with these characters where during a gun battle the two bullets from the villain and Shawn miraculously collided, thereby preventing injury. Sigh.
Definitely not of of Baldacci's better reads; not even close.
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