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The 500 (Mike Ford #1)

3.44 of 5 stars 3.44  ·  rating details  ·  2,621 ratings  ·  493 reviews
Mike Ford is a former con artist who's been plucked from his Harvard Law School classroom to be an associate at The Davies Group, Washington's most high-powered and well-respected strategic consulting firm. Their specialty: pulling strings and peddling influence for the five hundred most powerful people inside the Beltway, the men and women who really run Washington -- and ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Reagan Arthur Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

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The 500 has frequently been compared to The Firm. I get it. The villains in both books are shadowy organizations whose all-seeing, all-reaching power require a taffy pull of your disbelief. Where they differ (as best as I's been 20 years since I read The Firm) is that Michael Ford (the protagonist and narrator of The 500) is no Mitch McDeere (The Firm's hero). Ford, in fact, barely resembles a human based on his motivations and mental faculties under duress. Throughout the book, Ford ...more
Pass the popcorn, a book that would be better as a movie
Promo material for “The 500” says the novel is now under development as a major motion picture. I’m glad to read that. As written, I think the book would be better as a movie.

Tom Cruise would be a natural to play the part of Michael Ford, except Cruise is now too long in the tooth to play the twenty-something hero.

I see the book being better as a movie because all the fast action, coincidences that are too pat and dialogue that’s too glib
This is the definition of a beach book. The perfect book to read when all you want is to empty your mind so you can just relax. At first,The 500 reminded me of early John Grisham, especially The Firm and The Pelican Brief, but the pace is faster and the characters are more complex yet better understood.

Mike Ford is a con artist by blood and inclination. He wants nothing more than to live an honest life with the security that comes from making the right choices. He is running from his past, a chi
Set in DC? Always a promising sign. Legal thriller of lawyer fresh out of law school? Now we're cooking, but wait, something went way wrong.

The 500 was a prime example of the book jacket reading much better than the book. I hate leaving negative reviews. I'm proud of anyone who gets something published, but I never understood the criticism of clichés until I picked up this novel. The writing is high school at best, and I almost expected the author to pull out tired phrases like, "it was raining
Kelly Hager
Michael Ford is not doing well. His dad is in prison, his mom has died from cancer and he doesn't speak to his brother. Due to his mom's medical bills, he is also almost $900,000 in debt (well, between the medical bills and the college tuition fees). He'd be willing to do just about anything to make that debt go away.

Enter The Davies Group. They're sort of a consulting firm in DC and they recruit Mike. They pay off his debt, get him a nice apartment and a huge salary. Best of all, Mike quickly f
Being a Harvard grad is indeed impressive. Probably impressive enough to get a book publishing deal and have decent reviews. All that being said, someone stirs in the crowd and says, "the Emperor has no clothes!" But unlike the story where everyone said, you are right, reviewers opinions are not fact and are vastly different as I have so often noticed on Goodreads. This author can tell a story but his characters are hollow and lack any substance whatsoever. The plot is silly. It's like reading a ...more
Steve Keefe
I read the sneak peek of this book and enjoyed it. I live in D.C. and suffered through 4 years as a biglaw associate, which contributed to my appreciation of the story. I loved the D.C. references, like the greasy paper bag at 5 Guys and places like Brasserie Beck.
I think the book nails the cut-throat culture that permeates D.C.'s "prestigious" consulting firms and law firms. I didn't mind that the story glamorizes the slog that is billable hour culture, because I personally don't want to read
Katie Kenig
No one has an equal shot in life. Some kids have it particularly tough. When your dad loses his business and turns to the life of a con man to try to keep a roof over your family's head, only to wind up in prison when you're still young. When your older brother follows in his footsteps and winds up so heartless he's only interested in using his little brother for what he can get out of him. When your mom dies of cancer when you're still young, and you don't have insurance to get her proper care, ...more
Jayne Giesler
I enjoy a good suspense so I decided to give it a go for my summer reading. Once I started, I could not put it down-carrying it with me everywhere-searching, creating and stealing moments to soak up another paragraph or two. The downside was those paragraphs always left me wanting more.

Written in first person, the reader experiences everything through the protoganist, a young attorney, Mike Ford; a very likeable character that has not been dealt an easy hand in life. Past familial relationships
I don't normally read action/political suspense books, but this one was really good. I was shocked multiple times throughout the story and was completely drawn in to the life of Michael Ford. The book starts at the end, just before the final con is played out and I like knowing that at some point in the book the obvious has to happen. I was on the edge of my seat during the harrowing escapes that Mike is forced into. I thought he was a very good main character, smart, funny, and most of all he k ...more
Gerald Sinstadt
I have managed to read books with unbelievable characters because the plot was acceptable. I have read books with preposterous plots that have still carried me along with some enjoyable characters. I have, very occasionally, overlooked cardboard characters pursuing a nonsense story line because of the quality of the writing.

Sadly, the first sixty pages of The 500 could not persuade me to continue by any criterion, so I didn't.
Tempo de Ler
Em 'Os 500' entramos com Mike Ford num mundo de corrupção e jogos perigosos. Mike parece finalmente ter a conquistado vida que sempre quis quando começa a trabalhar numa empresa de consultoria financeira: dívidas saldadas, um excelente salário e a mulher dos seus sonhos… o que Mike não sabia é que esquemas vergonhosos de chantagem e manipulação aplicados às pessoas mais poderosas da capital norte americana faziam parte do seu trabalho!

A personagem ganha dimensão conforme vamos alinhando as decis
Lucas Bale
Quirk has done a genuinely good job here. The prose is slick and enticing and the lead protagonist flawed enough (Mike Ford is a former con-artist trying to go straight, and is very nearly there) that his edge is sharp and serrated enough to pique our interest from line one. The opening is classic thriller territory – setting the stakes high and then dropping back a little to explain how we got there, but never revealing too much. Ford is hit from all sides - professional (his job and his future ...more
A great debut novel by an author bursting onto the scene with much vigour. Quirk pens, if you will pardon the pun, a quirky novel that lights up the charts and presents his own spin on a plot type that I am used to seeing by Joseph FInder or Jesse Kellerman; main character is down and out, finds his path crossing with someone influential, hired on and works for them, discovers they are not what they seem (with influence in the wrong direction) and tries to claw their way out. Quirk does this in ...more
Larry Hoffer
Mike Ford has struggled for most of his life. After his father went to prison, he tried to support his mother, but found himself quickly drawn into the same criminal world that attracted both his father and his brother. A stint in the military helps point him in the right direction, and he is pursuing two degrees at Harvard Law School while working to pay off all of his debts. When he is tapped by a visiting lecturer to join The Davies Group, a high-powered lobbying and consulting firm in Washin ...more
In a city as large and powerful as DC, you just know there is corruption and blackmail buried below the surface, masked behind the names of even more powerful men and firms. These seedy characters deftly mold the political sphere of our nation's capital and revel in the sway they hold over even the most noble.

Welcome to the world of Mike Ford. Mike has worked hard to overcome the incarceration of his petty criminal father and the insurmountable debt left by his unsuccessful battle against his m
It's an amazing novel! Fast paced, cleverly plotted, realistically written, exciting and full with suspense, it also goes with a down-to-earth attitude!

I like how the main character being a young man who has a troubled family background and wanted to leave his humble beginning behind. I like the reason why the Boss of a widely influential company chooses the young man to be his sidekick instead of choosing the other equally talented young men. I like how the Boss teaches the young man to play th
I enjoyed The 500. I was pleasantly surprised by the book. I was afraid it was going to be like The Firm (which I didn't care for) and I was happy to say that it wasn't like that at all. The story is filled with intrigue, paranoia and lots of secrets. The plot of the book was well fleshed out. I enjoyed some of the twists that the author threw into the story to throw the reader off. I don't want to give too much away, because it would ruin it. While I don't really know much about lobbyists and t ...more
Tony Nielsen
A fast paced thriller was a pretty good place to go after the intenssity of John Irving's "In One Person". This was pretty good actually, one of those "wham bam, thank you Ma'am" quick reads, great for whiling away a cold winter's night. Its all about Mike Ford who gets recruited into what is on the surface a super-lobby organisation in Washington. In reality its a no-holds-barred company whioch will do anything to deliver the goods to its clients. And I mean anything. Their files hold the dirt ...more
Jonathan Hiskes
Fun genre thriller about Washington, D.C., hustlers and a conspiracy that, naturally, goes all the way to the top. Like House of Cards and Scandal, the insistence that "this is how the world really works," is a little heavy-handed and annoying. And, like most action movies, the initial plot developments are more interesting than the inevitable chase scenes and violent face-offs. But the heist stories are well-crafted and engaging.
Tom Tischler
Mike Ford former con artist is plucked from his Harvard Law School to
join the Davies Group. This is Washingtons most high powered and influencial
consulting firms. Their specialty is pulling strings and peddeling influence
for the 500 most powerful people in the Beltway. The namesake of the firm is
Henry Davies who knows everyone and their secrets. His experience goes back
40 years and he worked for Lyndon Johnson and Nixon, then he put out his own
shingle as the Hills most expensive fixer. Now he'
Jonathan Tomes
The 500, a first novel by Matthew Quirk, is a good read. It has been compared to John Grisham’s The Firm but is about a lobbying firm in Washington, DC, rather than a law firm in Memphis. After reading it, one has to wonder whether Washington is as corrupt as portrayed in the very readable novel. The “hero,” using the term loosely, is a former con man who has gotten a law degree and gotten hired by the big lobbying firm, which apparently will use just about any tactic to satisfy its clients’ nee ...more
Jill Manske
If you like John Grisham books, you'll probably like "The 500". It's full of intrigue, Washington politics, and scoundrels. We follow the career of Mike Ford, as he completes law and business degrees and is wooed into a prestigious but mysterious Washington consulting firm, all the while trying to put his less-than-law abiding adolescence behind him. Quirk paints a flawed but likable character who really struggles with the straight and narrow. You're never quite sure if he's going to cave in and ...more
Fast-paced, entertaining plot, likeable people - violence, no graphic sex, no cussing - liked it enough to reread, so I did. Audiobook well narrated.
A few weeks ago I put The 500 by Matthew Quirk on my reading wish list and I was finally able to get it. The writer takes us into the world of the most powerful people in Washington, D.C. and shows us, from the inside out, how dirty the political game really is. Most of us are aware that there are a lot of schemes that go on in our government but for the most part, no one is ever really able to put the right fingers on the right situation to change it all around. Being able to witness this polit ...more
Aaron Thompson
Well, at least this one only cost me a buck at the dollar store. Made it to page 96 before 86ing this one. I cannot even imagine how this multi-page disaster called a novel could even begin to be included in the same universe that is made up of John Grisham's writings!! For some reason, it was compared to The Firm not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES on the dust cover. Hence the only reason I bought it. Let this be a lesson to not believe obviously-paid-for review blurbs by other so-called autho ...more
Blood Rose Books
In his debut novel Matthew Quirk introduces the reader to The 500, the most powerful people who really run Washington, and they use that power to shape it and it is Mike Ford's job to own them:

Mike Ford's past is definitely different from others attending Harvard Law School, and normally is not one you would put on you University application. Mike grew up in a small town, where his father was a con-man and Mike has been learning the techniques of this trade for as long as he can remember. He is
Matthew Dixon
I know the film rights for this book went for a lot of money and i'm not surprised. It reads very much like a screenplay, with little character exposition but a lot of set pieces. It also seems like the writer read "The Firm" about 10 times and watched the movie a lot as well because many parts of it seem pretty derivative of that book. The author did a workmanlike job but it all just seemed a bit too familiar for my taste.
Dave B.
Mike Ford creates a pretty interesting reluctant action hero in this book. This was a fun political thriller with a blue collar guy that tries to put his father’s sins behind him and create a future as a student of law at Yale University. This desire is manipulated by Davies in an attempt to create another pawn for the Davies Group empire. The author puts most of his work and research into the con artist and political black mail which leaves the story feeling a little thin at times. I understand ...more
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Matthew Quirk studied history and literature at Harvard College. After graduation, he spent five years at The Atlantic reporting on crimes, private military contractors, the opium trade, terrorism prosecutions, and international gangs. He lives outside Washington, D.C.
More about Matthew Quirk...

Other Books in the Series

Mike Ford (2 books)
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