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Publisher's Summary

When she turned the page and her gaze flickered over the date on top it was as though the lightening outside had somehow grounded right into her. A billion volts of pain, a shriek of anguish you could actually see, and feel, as it pierced her.

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Toni
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 05-04-10


You know a thriller is failing when its most vivid, interesting and sympathetic character is the villain, followed by the 12-year-old girl whose kidnapping he has orchestrated.

Everyone else here is boring, and the plot plods. The murder of Michelle's mother and its investigation - completely unrelated to the main plot - bogs the book down further.

The narrator is good, especially when giving voice to the villain. Not good enough to bring this novel up to a credit-worthy level.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Beth
  • Graham, TX, USA
  • 08-07-09

great book

This was a great book, but very long. I took a four hour trip to see my daughter and listened the whole way there (4 hours) and back (4 hours) and still had a lot of listening to do after I got home.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Mildly Entertaining - No more sound effects plz!!!

This was my first Baldacci read and would be my last if I had not read some other reviews from Baldacci fans that said this was far from his best work. Cheesy dialogue, outrageous plot (I'm sorry, but prez only has so much authority over the Secret Service). However, the story was good enough to make me want to listen all the way through, and was decent, though predictable. However, I must say I was disgusted by the sound effects/background music and by the narrator's movie-trailerish voice. Hopefully the sound effects were just an experiment and the producers will never go that route again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great characters

This book kept me interested throughout, not a slow spot in it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kathy
  • Goldsboro, NC, USA
  • 05-28-09

ok for long drive, but not my favorite

not as good as The Millionaires. My husband and I listened to it on a long drive; it held our attention and the basic story was ok, but there were several glaring errors (someone suddenly running who has a fractured ankle?!). We probably picked up more errors than if we were reading it. kind of a cross between Stuart Woods and Clive Cussler as far as the characters. probably won't buy any more DB any time soon. reader was not bad.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Good Listening!

Nice tight plot, interesting characters and character development, and a good narrator. The book also poses some very interesting questions about the Secret Service and their relationship to the first family, things that had never occurred to me.

I gave it four stars rather than five because it's not quite as engaging as his Camel Club series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Maurice
  • Hoffman Estates, IL, USA
  • 05-12-09

Another Baldacci/McLarty Winner

I've never listened to a Baldacci novel that hasn't held my attention from beginning to end. "First Family" was no exception. Being familiar with Shawn King and Michele Maxwell from previous books helped I'm sure. And of course Ron McClarty is my favorite Baldacci narrator. Perhaps this winning combination allowed me to enjoy it as much as I expected to. I was surprised by some of the other reviewers who were disappointed. Perhaps reading/listening to previous books in the Shawn King/Michelle Maxwell series is a prerequisite to getting the most enjoyment from this one.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • David
  • Sausalito, CA, USA
  • 05-11-09

A disappointment

I found this book uninspiring in any facet. While the plot had potential, it took a long time developing and fizzles in the end as the author ties everything in a neat bow, turning even the bad guys into good guys. The character development is non-existent which is a shame as none of them start out as all that interesting. Not to put too fine a point on it......

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

First Family

I am a fan of this author, But this was a major disapointment

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Eva
  • OrsaSweden
  • 05-02-09


I liked the story, but I don't like music and sound effects on audio books. Hence I gave it three stars instead of 4 that the story could be worth. Suspense with a twist you might say. My first meeting with Baldacci, and I probably will try something else by him later.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful