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The 500 (Mike Ford #1)

3.46  ·  Rating Details ·  3,206 Ratings  ·  554 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

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jul 21, 2012 Matt rated it it was ok
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
Jun 20, 2012 Dan rated it liked it
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
Jun 15, 2012 Mary rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, thriller
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
Jan 30, 2013 Joe rated it did not like it
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
Steve Keefe
Mar 07, 2014 Steve Keefe rated it liked it
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
Kelly Hager
Jun 16, 2012 Kelly Hager rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 19, 2012 Joe rated it did not like it
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
Larry Hoffer
Jun 14, 2012 Larry Hoffer rated it it was amazing
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
Katie Kenig
Oct 22, 2012 Katie Kenig rated it really liked it
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
Nov 10, 2013 Mizuki rated it it was amazing
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
Jayne Giesler
Jun 27, 2012 Jayne Giesler rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 04, 2012 Chelsea rated it really liked it
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
Una Tiers
Jan 07, 2016 Una Tiers rated it it was ok
Former con man tries to become respectable. Sadly his character, and the other main characters, are one dimensional. The impossible situations he is able to escape from turn the plot into a mess.
Gerald Sinstadt
May 10, 2012 Gerald Sinstadt rated it did not like it
Shelves: crime
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.
Apr 20, 2016 Books rated it really liked it
When a member from our book club told me this book is like the TV series, Suits, I jumped at the opportunity to read it. Suits is one of my all-time favorite TV shows, so of course I wanted to read something similar to it, especially after the way season six ended. Since reading The 500, I’m not sure how I feel about it being compared to my favorite TV series. Let me explain.

The 500 is, for all intents and purposes, a great read. Can it be compared to Suits? Yes. The similarities are endless, bu
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
Jul 17, 2014 Lucas Bale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 02, 2012 Matt rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
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
Nicole R
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
Aug 02, 2012 Kari rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook, 2012
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
Jun 08, 2012 Tony Nielsen rated it liked it
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
Jul 20, 2014 Jonathan Hiskes rated it liked it
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.
Dan Bergström
Aug 21, 2016 Dan Bergström rated it it was amazing
I loved the book! It was like reading an action film. The beginning of the story wasn't your typical beginning, but it definitely hooked me. The story telling is quite fast paced, very intense, and I really felt like I got inside the head of main character Mike Ford. A very enjoyable read, in a genre I don't think I've ever visited before.
Tom Tischler
Jul 25, 2012 Tom Tischler rated it really liked it
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
Jul 10, 2012 Jonathan Tomes rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense, thriller
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
Dec 22, 2012 Jill Manske rated it really liked it
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
Jan 31, 2014 Cindy rated it really liked it
Fast-paced, entertaining plot, likeable people - violence, no graphic sex, no cussing - liked it enough to reread, so I did. Audiobook well narrated.
Brooke Banks
I won a free copy from Big Books Tiny Voices that sadly seems to be defunct now. :(

This was a slow read for me. It took two days and I read it on lunches and breaks at work. Finished the last 60 pages on my Friday night with nothing better to do and no will to pick another book.

Once I started reading it was easy to keep going, but once I put it down, it could've stayed there. I do agree that it’d probably work better on the big screen than a novel.

I wouldn't call it bad. It just took a long ti
Ivan Velickovic
Sep 21, 2015 Ivan Velickovic rated it liked it
1. I decided to read The 500 by Matthew Quirk as I saw the brief description of it on the cover which explained a bit about the general idea. I then decided that it would be interesting to read as I've never read something quite like it before.
2. A character I found interesting in this book was Davies. I found him interesting because of his unique personality as well as the way he can know the character of someone without much interaction.
3. My favourite quote in The 500 is "Ego poured through t
Mar 14, 2014 Bianca rated it really liked it
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
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Matthew Quirk studied history and literature at Harvard College. After graduation, he spent five years at The Atlantic reporting on crime, private military contractors, terrorism prosecutions, and international gangs. He lives in San Diego.
More about Matthew Quirk...

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