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First Counsel

Meltzer, Brad

7,042 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 034076936X / ISBN 13: 9780340769362
Published by Warner Books, 2001
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very good contents & dustjacket (B544); B047479; 367 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 47479

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Bibliographic Details

Title: First Counsel

Publisher: Warner Books

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: hardcover

Edition: book club ed.

About this title

Synopsis:

The runaway bestseller that takes us down the rabbit hole of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
John F. Jennedy, Jr., was Lark.
Amy Carter was Dynamo.
Chelsea Clinton was Energy.
Meet Shadow.

Shadow is the Secret Service code name for First Daughter Nora Hartson. And when White House lawyer Michael Garrick begins dating the irresistible Nora, he's instantly spellbound, just like everyone else in her world. Then, late one night, the two witness something they were never meant to see. Now, in a world where everyone watches your every move, Michael is suddenly ensnared in someone's secret agenda. Trusting no one, not even Nora, he finds himself fighting for his innocence--and ultimately, his life.

Review:

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

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