Aficionados of the hit TV show The West Wing
who are suffering through holiday reruns will jump right into Brad Meltzer's third novel (after The Tenth Justice
and Dead Even
), which takes readers into the White House office of the president's own law firm and introduces a first daughter whose complex psychological problems jump-start this fast-paced thriller. Michael Garrick loves his job as deputy counsel, but when he falls for Nora Hartson, the president's daughter, the conflict between his professional ethics and his growing love for her puts him right in the middle of a murder plot that may reach all the way to the Oval Office.
Meltzer excels at plotting, and he knows the back corridors, family quarters, and secret tunnels of the executive branch as well as those of the Supreme Court, which he revealed in his first two blockbusters. He's not as skillful at characterization. It's hard to believe that the sociopathic tendencies of people in a president's inner circle--or even his family--would have managed to escape the scrutiny of an FBI investigation during his rise to power. And Nora, in particular, doesn't quite come off as the misguided victim she must be in order to make the rest of the story credible. But that's not a huge quibble; Meltzer manages to make Edgar Simon, Michael's boss, the most interesting White House counsel since John Dean. The First Counsel is a cleverly commercial mix of legal thriller and political chicanery guaranteed to keep you turning pages until Meltzer puts the third branch of government in his sights, too. --Jane Adams
From Publishers Weekly
A date with the president's daughter draws an ambitious young lawyer into a bewildering web of scandal, extortion and murder in this formulaic but lightning-paced suspense thriller set behind the scenes at the White House. Michael Garrick works for Edgar Simon, counsel to the president, and knows the inside workings of Washington and the precarious image-management duties of the First Family. But he finds himself quickly out of his depth on a date with the volatile First Daughter, Nora Hartson, when the two see Michael's boss in a gay bar. Nora insists on following the married lawyer, and the two witness Simon making a suspicious cash drop. Subsequent events link Michael to the cash and the murder of Caroline Penzler, friend of the First Lady and the lawyer who has the dirt on all the big shots. With his career, a presidential election and perhaps his life at stake, Michael cannot trust anyone, least of all Nora, who is dogged by rumors of drug use, promiscuity and general wildness. She is the only witness to his innocence, but he is intent on protecting her, and the president, from suspicion. Meltzer (The Tenth Justice; Dead Even) sprinkles his tale with many interesting details of working in and around the White House. He relies on some heavy-handed techniques to generate suspenseDMichael is always sensing someone watching him or peering through slowly opening doorsDand the plot has a familiar Hollywood ring to it. But Meltzer's relentless narrative finally digs its hooks in, and even skeptical readers will want to continue through the twists and turns, if only to confirm their own predictions. Agent, Jill Kneerim. (Jan. 9)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
What is the most dangerous thing a young White House attorney can do? Stumble upon a conspiracy while out on a date with the President's daughter.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Entertainment Weekly, 1/19/01
"A potent cocktail of pulp fiction and inside-the-Beltway politics...hard-boiled...pedal-to-the-medal pacing..."
A young White House attorney, romantically involved with the president's daughter, finds himself the FBI's number one suspect when a colleague is murdered. From the opening car chase to the final scenes, there's enough excitement to carry a decently read audio. But Scott Brick goes well beyond this, skillfully capturing attorney Mike's vulner-ability and confusion and the first daughter's bruised psyche. Brick's tone goes from explanatory to ironic to frightened as tension mounts. He is aided by various story devices--slowly opening doors, suspicious sounds, mysterious notes and assignations. Perhaps the most appealing characterization is that of Mike's mentally handicapped father, accomplished with sensitivity but not overkill. Details of White House routine, layout, and history make this tape informative as well as entertaining. J.B.G. © AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
Attorney/author Meltzer offers us a novel of conspiracy and skulduggery at the highest levels of Washington's power structure. Michael Young, an idealistic lawyer in the White House counsel's office, is on a date with Nora, the very sexy, intriguing, enigmatic daughter of the president, when they see the chief counsel in a compromising position. Nora's questionable behavior quickly throws them into the middle of a plot that involves blackmail and murder, with every indication of guilt pointing directly at our hero. Is it concern about reelection that keeps Nora from coming forward or a desire to make things worse? Her strong propensity for danger and risk and serious problem with truth do nothing to prevent Michael, ever the boy scout, from risking everything he has to shield her mostly from herself. He runs afoul of the FBI, mistrusts his friends, and consorts with known criminals all in an effort to save his reputation and life as well as preserve the well-being of his father (a unique character to say the least). Although this novel breaks no new literary ground, the Washington color and scenery and the unusual cast of characters take it a step above your average page-turner and will keep you reading until the startling conclusion. Danise HooverCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Revue de presse
'Breakneck . . . an action-packed read' (Mail on Sunday
on DEAD EVEN )
'Gets the blood pumping' (The New York Times
on DEAD EVEN )
'Grisham had better beware, for there's a new kid on the block. In The Tenth Justice young Brad Meltzer - all of 26 - has formulated a thriller that fairly crackles, having pace, confidence and velocity-charged story-telling' (The Irish Times
on THE TENTH JUSTICE )
'Legal mega-thriller which plumbs the dark depths of deceit, greed and treachery' (The Northern Echo
'A thriller to rival Grisham' (Peterborough Evening Telegraph )
'Meltzer's dark political thriller pulses with adrenaline in a mean and dangerous race to the final revelation.' (Oxford Times
'Terrific' (The Bookseller
'Brad Meltzer paces his thrid novel so well that pages literally fly past my eyes... as pure entertainment, THE FIRST COUNSEL works very well indeed' (Deadly Pleasures
'A wonderfully enjoyable ride ... a cracking good story, told with great energy and exuberence'' (The Legal Executive Journal )
Présentation de l'éditeur
JFK Jr. was Lark. Amy Carter was Dynamo. Chelsea Clinton was Energy. Meet Shadow.
'Shadow' is the Secret Service codename for the First Daughter, Nora Hartson. And when she starts dating young White House lawyer Michael Garrick, he starts feeling like First Counsel. That's what happens to everyone who lives in her world.
It's a world all of us have heard about, but none of us truly know - a world where your dad's the President, your close friends wear earpieces and carry guns and a world where everyone is watching.
On a date, Nora and Michael see something they shouldn't. To protect her, he admits to something he shouldn't. And when the problem snowballs out of control, she may have to do something she shouldn't.
The First Counsel. The President's daughter. You've never dated anyone like this.
In New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzers most mesmerizing and suspenseful novel yet, a young White House attorney gets caught up in a deadly conspiracy when he gets too close to the daughter of the president. Warner has signed Brad Meltzer for two books and will now publish him in both hardcover and paperback. White House lawyer Michael Garrick has a relatively anonymous position at a very public address. That is, until he starts dating Nora Harston (Secret Service code name: Shadow), the sexy and dangerously irresistible daughter of the president. But the confident young attorneywho starts feeling like the First Counselthinks he can handle the pressure. Until, out on a date, Nora and Michael see something they shouldnt. And when a body is discovered and Michael is the suspected killer, he finds himself on the run. Now he must find a way to prove his innocence. The First Counsel. The Presidents Daughter. You never dated anyone like this. Brad Meltzer is the bestselling author of The Tenth Justice (Rob Weisbach/William Morrow, 1997), which spent seven weeks on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list. His most recent novel, Dead Even (Rob Weisbach/William Morrow, 1998), was on the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestseller lists. Warners paperback editions of The Tenth Justice and Dead Even (1998 and 3/99, respectively) sold nearly 700,000 copies combined.
Biographie de l'auteur
Brad Meltzer is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, The Book of Fate
, and five other bestselling thrillers: The Tenth Justice
, Dead Even
, The First Counsel
, The Millionaires
and The Zero Game
. He is also one of the co-creators of the American TV show, Jack & Bobby
, and is the writer of the #1 selling graphic novels, Identity Crisis
and Justice League of America
. He is also the host of Brad Meltzer's Decoded
for the History Channel, the second season of which airs in October 2011. A graduate of the University of Michigan and Columbia Law School, he currently lives in Florida. Visit Brad's website, www.bradmeltzer.com; find him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BradMeltzer; or follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/bradmeltzer.