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First Family (Sean King & Michelle Maxwell, #4)
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First Family (Sean King & Michelle Maxwell #4)

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  22,453 Ratings  ·  1,516 Reviews
Following the instant #1 New York Times bestseller Simple Genius, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell return in David Baldacci's most heart-pounding thriller to date.

It began with what seemed like an ordinary children's birthday party. Friends and family gathered to celebrate. There were balloons and cake, games and gifts.

This party, however, was far from ordinary. It was held
Hardcover, 449 pages
Published April 21st 2009 by Grand Central Publishing
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aj the Ravenous Reader
As I have already mentioned, I'm not very keen on reading detective novels with the exception of this one. In fact after reading this book, I acquired this sort of new and better appreciation of detective novels. Reading this book was practically just like watching movies about the U.S. president only here, the president is portrayed in a definitely not positive picture.
Mike (the Paladin)
Sep 27, 2015 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
This was an exceptional read. I often need to "side step" some of Mr. Baldacci's more overt political stereotypes. They have on occasion almost overwhelmed one of his stories. That could easily be the situation here. While we get some political shots I'm glad to say that it nowhere drowns the plot or the characters.

With one of our protagonists having a melt down and suffering with the shattering effects of things in her life (one of the reasons the book gets a 4 from me instead of a 5 the whole
Jun 17, 2012 Jennifer rated it did not like it
Shelves: thrillers, audiobooks
Apparently I'm the only person who didn't like this book. Let me say first what I did like.

The plot was interesting.

And now the list of what I didn't like:
1) The reader. I found his voice mostly annoying and vaguely insulting when he put on his woman's voice. If your only version of a woman's voice is whiny, then keep your own voice.
2) ALL the female characters. ALL of them. They were terrible. There was the passionless manipulative bitch (Jane Cox), the quivering coward (Diane), the slut (Cassa
Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo
I really liked First Family right up to the last half of a dozen chapters. The ending was a little bizarre and a bit far fetched for this reader. Baldacci had me until Jane Cox walked out of Atlee, then...

But I did overall like this installment that has Sean King and Michelle Maxwell dealing with 2 dysfunctional families: The extended First Family and Maxwell's. David Baldacci does stretch the boundary of the suspension of disbelief though. The story line itself is a page turner. He is a master
May 11, 2012 John rated it liked it
Having been a Baldacci fan since his first book, it was to my great dismay that First Family was a sincere disappointment. Don't get me wrong, it's readable and there are some fun elements to it, but for the most part, it is a succinctly forgettable novel with a very contrived and never believable plot.

Those of you that have read previous reviews of mine know that I detest spoilers. But since it is my recommendation that you skip this particular Baldacci creation, I should be forgiven for the fo
Personally, I thought that this was slightly better than book #3, Simple Genius, but I still loved it less than the previous two books. I disliked how there were too many things happened at once:

President's niece being kidnapped ((view spoiler)), Michelle still fighting her demons and suddenly got bad news herself ((view spoiler)
Jul 12, 2014 Mark rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of good thrillers
Recommended to Mark by: the tv show
I do like the King & Maxwell series, both smart arse characters that have great dialogue and approuch their investigation with caution.

This time they get involved with a kidnap and murder of the family of the President of the USA. Sean King does have a friendship with the family and he and Michelle run into the kidnappers as they are leaving but are rather outgunned. Despite the policing power at their fingertips the First lady prefers Sean King on the case as well because of services render
Morgan Mussell
Jan 06, 2014 Morgan Mussell rated it really liked it
Shelves: action-adventure
Sometimes you luck out and find good reads just by browsing, and so it was with David Baldacci’s First Family, 2009, an action adventure novel featuring private detectives Sean King and Michelle Maxwell. As ex-Secret Service agents, both know Washingon, and in this case, the first lady, who calls them when her 12 year old niece, Willa, is kidnapped.

At first, we know who the good guys and bad guys are, and the breakdown of that certainty as the story moves forward is the single most telling featu
Sep 11, 2013 Monnie rated it really liked it
My quest to finish David Baldacci's series featuring former Secret Service agents Sean King and Michelle Maxwell before the latest one is released brought me to this one, the fourth in the series. Like the others before it, the dynamic duo - now partners in a private investigation firm - bump heads with both the Secret Service and the FBI early on. And right away, I thought to myself, "Just once, can't you folks play nice with each other for a change?"

Also as usual, there are two story lines. On
May 24, 2011 Iskreads rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 8th-roberts
Title: First Family
Author: David Baldacci
Rating: *****


In David Baldacci's thrilling novel First Family, no one ever thinks of laying a hand on The First Family. A tragedy befalls The First Family on the birthday of their most favorite niece, Willa. An old flame ignites while Michelle and Sean are in the White House and after a few gruesome murders later, they are able to piece together every bit of information. Once again David Baldacci captivates his readers by the use of language and

Jun 22, 2009 Chuck rated it really liked it
Another Sean King/Michelle Maxwell novel, perhaps the best one of them so far. For those of you unfamiliar with the Baldacci world. King and Maxwell are both former Secret Service agents who have become private investigators (they were in the agency earlier in the series). King's a lawyer by training who got the itch to go into law enforcement, Michelle's a cop's daughter (her four older brothers are all policemen) who's about as tough as they come.

Two plots here. The first one, and the one whic
Plot-wise, David Baldacci's First Family is very good. Baldacci was able to tie and connect the strands between the kidnapping of the President's niece, Willa, and the kidnapper, Sam Quarry. the Quarry narrative, at times, seem to go on and on but there was depth there and an incredible and sad reasoning to his motives. He was an honorable yet broken man destroyed by people in power who did not care.

The secondary plot involving old wounds with Michelle was satisfying as well. It ended an arc tha
Mary Beth
May 31, 2015 Mary Beth rated it it was amazing
I gave this 5 stars without even thinking about it. It was that good!
WOW! It feels so good to read a very good book! Review to come shortly!
❆ Crystal ❆
Review for audiobook - 4.5 stars story 4.5 stars narration. The series is definitely getting better. ...more
Mahoghani 23
Apr 30, 2016 Mahoghani 23 rated it really liked it
I didn't want to put this book down. At work, I wanted to skip lunch & find a quiet place to read but a girl needs her food.

Once again, Sean & Michelle are up to their eyeballs with trouble, suspense & danger. The first lady's niece, Willa, has been kidnapped & she hires them to locate her. When Sean & Michelle takes on this case, they are determined to find Willa before it's too late. However, the First Lady keeps putting roadblocks in their way & to top it off, Michell
Terri Lynn
Dec 26, 2013 Terri Lynn rated it really liked it
I am taking off one star for something Baldacci should have known better than to write in this book and also for a number of sappy moments that make me sick (I expected chick lit author Debbie Macomber to come out twirling an American flag like a majorette while Kate Smith sang God Bless America at any moment even though Kate is dead)but I really was so glad (and relieved) that this book was so much better than the one before it in this series.

In this story, America has a truly evil President an
May 04, 2009 hllf rated it liked it
Not my favorite Baldacci, but still a very good novel. Below is a breakdown of my rating:

Enjoyability: 4
Re-Readability: 3
Character Development: 3.5
Complexity: 3
Writing Style: 3.5
Believability: 3.5
Overall: 3.42

This book is the fourth in the series involving Sean King and Michelle Maxwell. It appears to pick up shortly after the events in Simple Genius, although the exact timing is never formally confirmed.

It strays a bit from classic Baldacci, as this novel focuses a lot more on personal elements
Benjamin Thomas
Nov 03, 2014 Benjamin Thomas rated it really liked it
I can always count on a David Baldacci novel to keep me entertained and this one is no exception. It's definitely a page-turner. Of course, in this day and age with the prevalence of e-readers, I suppose you could say it's a real "page-tapper" or perhaps a "page-swiper" if that suits your style. Given the intensity of this book, particularly the last 150 pages, perhaps we can agree on "page-thumper?" But I digress...

This is the 4th of the Sean King/Michelle Maxwell series. Both are former secret
May 04, 2009 Jeffrey rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Baldacci fans of his Sean King stories
This continuation of the Sean King & Michelle Maxwell series is an unrelenting thriller. A grieving father, Sam Quarry and three AWOL soldiers, one of whom is Quarry's son, kidnap Willa Dutton, the daughter of the brother in law of the President and an unknown woman as well. The First Lady who knows King from long ago recruits King and his partner to find her daughter.

The First Lady, Jane Cox, has been keeping her husband out of trouble and getting rid of his problems, mostly women, for yea
Mark Soone
I would call this a 3.5 stars read, but still it does not remain a goodreads option!

My oh my how this series is rapidly spiraling out of control. I love Baldaccai's writing, and while I don't find this quite as engrossing as some of his earlier work I am still drawn in like a bug to a light. This series has certainly...not sure how to word it??? I guess this would be best be described as a Soap Opera in print. Michelle's family is the epitome of dysfynctional, and their continued drama is someti
Ryan Madland
Jan 08, 2010 Ryan Madland rated it really liked it
First Family is the fourth installment in the Sean King/Michelle Maxwell series. Once again, Sean & Michelle become involved in an investigation where the truth isn't always what it seems or easy to find.

Jane Cox is married to the President of the United States. They've just thrown a birthday party for Jane's niece Willa. All is find and dandy until after the party when Willa is kidnapped and Jane's sister is murdered during the abduction at their family home.

That's when Sean & Michelle
May 15, 2009 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Normally I am not a fan of thrillers except for Baldacci- he is a great writer and his books always promise excitement and good mystery.
First Family is definitely one of his best- just when you thinks things are calming down, more fuel is added to the fire and the plot thickens! He brings back Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, two of his heroes from previous novels. You don't have to have read the other books to follow this story, but it does help in remembering their backgrounds, etc.
The niece of
Apr 29, 2009 drey rated it really liked it
David Baldacci's First Family is a thriller with non-stop action, lots of suspense, and a run-around-in-circles-till-you-figure-it-out mystery in the middle of everything.

When the First Lady's niece, Willa, is kidnapped on her 12th birthday, former Secret Service agents Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are asked to find her, even if they no longer serve in an official capacity. And in doing so, they unravel a secret that's been kept for 13 years, a secret that threatens to tumble the presidency in
Bob Carroll
Jun 08, 2009 Bob Carroll rated it really liked it
The President and First Lady (think Bill and Hilary Clinton) have a history that needs to be kept buried. He's a charismatic philanderer, and she's the cunning power behind the throne. Two children characters (Willa, the kidnapped girl at the center of the plot) and Gabriel Macon (a black boy living in the big house of the kidnapper) are smart, insightful beyond their years, avid readers and incredibly well-balanced for what they go through. It sounds as if Gabriel will likely appear future Bald ...more
May 23, 2015 Pat rated it really liked it
Again this book is a little unrealistic but I must confess I really enjoyed it! The story of the abduction of The President's close family. Rather long with two thrillers inside the one novel. This is my second Baldacci and I will try another soon.
Joe Wisniewski
Jun 08, 2009 Joe Wisniewski rated it really liked it
I haven't done much in terms of reading non-fiction recently. This is my first Baldacci book. I am halfway through this. We'll see if some of my guesses on the whodunnit are right. I will probably have to pick up the other Baldacci books. I enjoy his easy-flowing style.


I'll give this a four. Definitely want to check out his other books though. The Sean and Michelle thing has a DEFINITE Mulder and Skully feel to it. I think Baldacci did a good job of bringing in subplots that did
Jul 15, 2009 Barry rated it liked it
Thrills and chills and high adventure! People whizzing all over the place as popular writer David Baldacci provides a shot at the immorality of politicians.
And dag nabbit, if it weren't for those pesky detectives, Sean and Michelle, the villain would have gotten away with it.
The plot stretches belief and coincidences as no one seems to notice that the President has a past worth hiding that included rape and drunkeness abetted by his wife. Sounds like the Clintons.
But the plot keeps moving along
Apr 21, 2014 Deanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crimethriller
Started reading th books after watching some of the TV series, and have to admit that I prefer the characters in the books, they seem tougher and more serious than those portrayed in the show.
As to the book, good twisty story with a few dead ends and dark alleys to get lost in.
Apr 04, 2015 Julia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's Baldacci, so you don't pick it up expecting great literature, but you're hoping at least for a fast-paced page turner. And it starts well. The niece of the President of the US is kidnapped after celebrating her 12th birthday at Camp David. It quickly becomes apparent that the kidnappers are motivated by something other than money and that the First Lady is somehow central to what's happening. She enlists Sean King and Michelle Maxwell to assist the FBI in their investigations. I admit it, I ...more
Susan McChesney
Sep 17, 2014 Susan McChesney rated it liked it
Another great book in the series by David Baldacci with the main characters of Michelle Maxwell and Sean King. This was the fourth of this series. I really enjoy reading about these two characters. They are both ex-Secret Service agents that have partnered up to become a private investigation firm. First Sean King gets a call from the first Lady's sister-in-law to come to her house to discuss a job. When they both arrive, they find her murdered, her oldest child kidnapped and the rest of the fam ...more
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David Baldacci writes because he can't imagine not writing. He published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996; one year later, it was adapted for film, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. In total, David has published 30 novels for adults; all have been national and international bestsellers, and several have been adapted for film and television. His novels have been translated into ...more
More about David Baldacci...

Other Books in the Series

Sean King & Michelle Maxwell (6 books)
  • Split Second (Sean King & Michelle Maxwell, #1)
  • Hour Game (Sean King & Michelle Maxwell, #2)
  • Simple Genius (Sean King & Michelle Maxwell, #3)
  • The Sixth Man (Sean King & Michelle Maxwell, #5)
  • King and Maxwell (Sean King & Michelle Maxwell, #6)

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