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

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  17,417 ratings  ·  1,329 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

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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
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)
Morgan Mussell
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
Mike (the Paladin)
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
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
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
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
Jul 12, 2014 Mark rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
Terri Lynn
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
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
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

May 04, 2009 Jeffrey rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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
Ryan Madland
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
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
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
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
Joe Wisniewski
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
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
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.
Susan McChesney
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
Lauren Fidler
whoa, whoa, whoa, sean. considering your suspect taste in women, perhaps, just perhaps, you should get off your high horse. slut-shaming is so 2010.

look, i'm pretty torn here. in some ways, this one has the best (most complex narrative). it even throws in a side mystery involving michelle's mommy. i enjoyed having two mysteries to solve, regardless of how simple they were to do so.

but my biggest problem here is the depiction of women. baldacci isn't exactly a renowned feminist in this series. hi
David Baldacci is a talented crime mystery novelist. He manages to hold a reader's attention for 450+ pages, not an easy task in an era of the internet, Netflix, and social media websites. I wasn't completely sold on the proposition that a story involving the First Family and White House Politics was a good idea, since others have tried to do so unsuccessfully. I passed on acquiring this book when it came out in 2009, but last week I found a hardbound copy in a bin at an event that raises money ...more
Marilyn Beyer
Enjoyed the book, it's plots, twists and subplots. Baldacci's King and Maxwell series is fun, if not completely believable. The President's 12-year-old niece is kidnapped, her mother (the President's sister-in-law) brutally murdered, but the FBI is ineffective in sorting out who did it and why. The First Lady hires a former Secret-Service-agent-turned-PI to find their niece, working separately from the FBI, but she has a private agenda to everything she does, not disclosing details important to ...more
May 15, 2009 Nanosynergy rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: David Baldacci fans.
Book 4 in the Sean King/Michelle Maxwell series. I'm a Baldacci fan, but his King/Maxwell series is not one of my favorites. While this book is a quick, fun summer read, I don't consider it one of Baldacci's better efforts. Way too much suspension of disbelief, some areas of lame prose I generally don't find with Baldacci, some predictable revelations, and a superfluous subplot about Michelle's childhood and her mother's death. It's one of those entertaining mind-candy books you read only once.
Kaat V
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joseph Pacey
I gave his book 4-stars... but that is relative to books of this genre. I mean, after all, it's just a crime / action / thriller paperback type book. But we all need some of those in our lives, and I enjoy David Baldacci (for the most part).

Like all of his books, it is vaguely sexist, even with the strong female characters always deferring to the even stronger male characters. But if you've read Baldacci before, you're either unbothered by this or have just learned to take it with a grain of sal
Nancy Bandusky
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Baldacci is back on track with this one! A mystery that is ACTUALLY a mystery until the last 100 pages! THat's been a rare commodity in the world of popular fiction! He took his time developing and weaving an intricate plot that really had me stumped...asking WHY? almost the whole way through. Couldn't put this one down...and really tried to read slowly to draw out the enjoyment...great read!!!On of his Best!!
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David Baldacci published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996. A major motion picture adaptation followed, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. In total, David has published 28 novels, all of which have been national and international bestsellers; several have been adapted for film and television. His novels have been translated into more than 45 languages and sold in more than 80 cou ...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)
Absolute Power The Camel Club (Camel Club, #1) The Innocent (Will Robie,#1) Split Second (Sean King & Michelle Maxwell, #1) Last Man Standing

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