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Executive Privilege (Dana Cutler, #1)
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Executive Privilege (Dana Cutler #1)

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  3,423 ratings  ·  445 reviews
When private detective Dana Cutler is hired to follow college student Charlotte Walsh, she never imagines the trail will lead to the White House. But the morning after Walsh's clandestine meeting with Christopher Farrington, President of the United States, the pretty young coed is dead—the latest victim, apparently, of a fiend dubbed "the D.C. Ripper."

A junior associate in...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published April 28th 2009 by Harper (first published May 20th 2008)
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Executive Privilege is what some would call an airport novel or, a little less kind, a potboiler. Before you take that as a criticism, let me comment that there is a important need for potboilers. Man can not live on Pynchon alone. Sometime we need to escape into a world where good and bad is tightly defined, the sex is sleazy, and everything is wrapped up in a neat if ridiculously implausible package.

Phillip Margolin writes really good airport novels. While Thomas Pynchon need not worry about h...more
Kevin Allmaras
First of the series with Brad Miller and Dana Cutler. Thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Good introduction of characters, nice plot line that keeps you guessing and plenty of action. A real page turner. The story starts out as a young college student is murdered and is mutilated like a victim of a notorious serial killer. Dana Cutler an ex-cop turned private eye has been hired by an unnamed client to follow the young woman when she tracks her to a private home that has high security she starts takin...more
Adrian McCarthy
It's not a bad book, it just wasn't for me. I don't care for the style of writing; there's far to much telling instead of showing. I don't want a three paragraph backstory interrupting the action every time we meet a new character. There were too many point of view characters to really identify with anyone. The plot held no surprises. You immediately know who the good guys are, who the bad guys are, and the story just sort of plays out without anyone facing any real challenges. I never once felt...more
Una Tiers
This was a great book, the blood and gore precluded me from giving it five stars. The pace is terrific. Characters are a little shallow. The author keeps you guessing until the surprise ending.
Caitlin O'Sullivan
The President of the United States is linked to the murders of two young women by a junior lawyer and a private detective, triggering a race against time as ruthless elements connected to the president attempt to destroy evidence and the Good Guys attempt to find it and bring the killer to justice.

As other GoodReaders have noted, this is an airport novel: twist-and-turn-y enough to keep your attention, but not so complicated that it ever risks confusing the reader. I'd be happy to give it three...more
Jan 16, 2009 Stacey rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Stacey by: Amy
This book is super exciting and definitely a page turner, or in my case, next disc please! I enjoyed it so much I listened to it a second time before returning it to the library.
This is the kind of book that would make an awesome movie only we all know it would be mutilated since books are always better than the movies!
Dana Cutler is an ex-cop turned PI after a horrible personal experience. Dana is hired by a DC attorney to tail Charlotte Walsh, a teenage campaign volunteer and college student...more
I'll admit that after finishing this work I was scratching my head. It wasn't the "mystery" element of the book the cause this condition -- instead, I was perplexed at how the author managed to make an interesting concept into a pretty boring mystery book.

Now I won't brag that I'm a great intellect nor did I expect a tour de force novel. But I figured out "who-dunit" in the first quarter of the book so the only real remaining suspense was how the author was going to pad the book for the balance...more
Although I'm not the largest fan of legal thrillers, Phillip Margolin has always managed to grab my attention. I became hooked when I read Sleeping Beauty (2004) which, despite the various negative reviews I've read on it, was actually very, very suspenseful and unpredictable.

Executive Privilege features scandal in the White House; in which young girls turn up dead after having "relations" with the President of the United States. When tough-girl, private investigator Dana Cutler witnesses a secr...more
Very strange - I couldn't get into this book despite all the action. It just didn't grab me. There was just something about it that struck me as...I don't know pedestrian maybe? But here's the strange thing, one quarter of the way into a book that's not grabbing me, I pick up Hostage Zero by John Gilstrap and am hooked almost right from the start even though both are from the same genre, political thriller/action story.

However, while HZ started off with the discovery of a kidnapped boy and a pr...more
Dana Cutler, a former cop turned private eye, is asked to follow a young college student. After taking pictures of her at a farmhouse and being chased by armed guards the college student is killed by a serial killer. Later Dana is amazed when her pictures showed the college student met with the President. Meanwhile, across the country, Brad Miller, a young associate at a Oregon law firm is handling the appeal of a serial killer who is adamant about the one murder he didn't commit. It is the murd...more
Jay Deb
A nicely plotted novel, no doubt. A woman PI is the main protagonist who does all sorts wired things once she uncovers that the president might be involved in murder of a teenager. Story moves on to another teenager's murder by apparently a serial killer. Guess who is the real murderer?
A young lawyer uncovers the truth about second murder and stumbles upon a third murder. The president does things that, for me, fails the plausibility test.
Lot of action, as CIA agents etc try to wipe the murder...more
When private detective Dana Cutler is hired to follow college student Charlotte Walsh, she never imagines the trail will lead to the White House. But the morning after Walsh's clandestine meeting with Christopher Farrington, President of the United States, the pretty young coed is dead—the latest victim, apparently, of a fiend dubbed "the D.C. Ripper."

A junior associate in an Oregon law firm, Brad Miller is stunned by the death row revelations of convicted serial killer Clarence Little. Though L...more
Jay Jessmer
I enjoyed the story well enough, predictable as it was, but something about the writing style rubbed me wrong.I can't really put my finger on it, it just felt somewhat basic, for lack of a better word. I couldn't really connect with any of the players at all. Very little character development and spotty back stories for most of them. It made me feel like I had missed a previous novel, but upon further review, this appears to be the first in a series featuring Dana Cutler.
I couldn't get any typ...more
A private detective, a wet-behind-the-ears law firm associate, a philandering United States President and his First Lady, a couple of serial killers, a few hell-bent-on-protection agents, and a bunch of lawyers with the scruples of … well, lawyers. There are many more peripheral characters in Executive Privilege, too many, but those listed pretty much are the key players. Only a couple of the characters are well developed, in my opinion. The story is extremely creative on the part of Margolin an...more
This was a great beach read! It kept my interest start to finish. As a matter of fact, it was a real page-turner for me. Even though I figured things out a good while before the ending, the author did a great job of making me want to see how he would work things out. Definitely worth my time.
This might be closer to five stars than to four. A young associate on the West Coast and a former cop on the East Coast get caught up in two separate murder investigations that possibly implicate the most powerful individuals in the land. Margolin makes the characters and their actions somewhat believable, and as the investigation continues, the author keeps your attention by throwing a few surprises in. The only reason why I'm not giving it five stars is while reading it, I felt that there were...more
Nancy Baker
I received this book as one of the Free Friday books on my Nook. It has sat in my library for some time and while browing for something new to read, I opened it. I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed the mystery of the story (event though I had it figured out about half-way through). The book was very entertaining and follows the pitfalls when dealing with breadth of governmental arms that leave little room in which to hide. Well worth my "free" cost, but I would have enjoyed it had I paid full...more
Lorin Cary
Although the premise is far fetched (you'll have to read the book to understand that) it is a fascinating reflection of certain political events and actions of certain politicians. The tale told is a grabber. Some gore, some mad action and lots of good, solid story telling laced with interesting and well-defined characters.

Dana Cutler is a former police officer, now a private investigator. (There is something in her past that led to her retirement from the police force, and Margolin feeds us tid...more
This story started so slow I was beginning to think of giving up on the whole thing. Lucky for me, I persevered and the second half of this book made up for the first one in pacing, action, suspense, and jaw-dropping surprises.

The premise was great. The US president has a penchant for young (make that teenage) women. Which is easily hidden, he’s the president after all. But somehow all the young women the president has an affair with end up dead. But are they really random victims of serial kill...more
Margolin starts this book off with a prolog and commits writing sin #1 in the second paragraph on page 1: a character describing himself by looking in the mirror.

When you’re a hugely successful author like Margolin, you can get away with things like that. Mere peon writers get crucified for it.

Chapter 1, however, reveals that the prolog isn’t really a prolog. It’s more of a mid-log – a writing device to lure you into reading on to find out where in the novel the prolog really belongs. At least t...more
Stephen Terrell
I enjoyed this book within limits. It is fast-paced and the characters are interesting and multi-dimensional. Dana Cutler is particularly intriguing. But the plot a bit too far-fetched for my taste. If you are willing to suspend disbelief this much, you'll enjoy it.

One thing that bothered me is how long the subplots "hang" without the author returning to them. At one point I was beginning to wonder if one of the lead characters was ever going to re-appear. Another major characters with a seeming...more
J.W. Cunningham
New York Times bestselling author Phillip Margolin is back, this time with a powerful tale of murder that snakes its way through Washington, D.C.'s halls of power, leading straight to the White House and the most powerful office on earth. When private detective Dana Cutler is hired by an attorney with powerful political connections, the assignment seems simple enough: follow a pretty college student named Charlotte Walsh and report on where she goes and whom she sees. But then the unexpected hap...more
This was a Free Friday book from Nook and I am glad it was as I really enjoyed it. Since I assume that authors participate in Free Friday to gain loyal readers, this one worked. I will be looking for other books by Margolin to read.

Executive Privilege follows two main storylines; one of private detective/ex-cop Dana Cutler and the other of new attorney Brad Miller. At first I found it hard to follow as I couldn't imagine what the two storylines had in common.

Dana Cutler is hired to do a simple...more
Thriller by the numbers. President of the US is possibly connected to the murder of a young campaign worker. Plucky PI investigates, average but street smart lawyer comes at it from another angle and honest cop puts it all together.

Twists and turns pleasantly, with nothing too shocking. Written in a clear, easy manner with all your thriller tropes (redemption, over detailing, showing off inside knowledge of the way things work). Would read more, but won't be hunting the author down.
Shane Fritz
It had a slow start, so it didn't engage me as quickly as a Baldacci novel. Nevertheless, it be came quite interesting and exciting. It was recommended by a friend who knows that I like Baldacci novels. I would likewise recommend it to anyone who likes a Baldacci story. Plus, the author is from Portland, and some of the action takes place in Portland, Salem, and other Oregon locations. Heck, 3 of the characters attended OSU! Much of the story also takes place in Washington, D.C.
Reviewers whose opinions I respect rated this book four and five stars. It was easy to read and the mechanics of good writing were fine. The book is definitely worth the read, but it was a little mundane. Nothing grabbed me. The characters of Dana Cutler and Agent Evans were the only characters that were adequately developed. But they both had quiet and reserved personalities. The book could have been an edge of the seater, but it wasn't. Basically, the President of the United States liked young...more
Dana Cutler a former cop turned private eye is asked to follow around a young college student. After taking pictures of her at a farmhouse and being chased by armed guards the college student is killed by a serial killer. Later Dana is amazed when her pictures showed the college student met with the President. Meanwhile across the country Brad Miller a young associate at a Oregon law firm is tasked with the appeal of a serial killer who is adamant about the one murder he didn't commit the murder...more
Jul 08, 2010 Jack rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all
In this predecessor to Supreme Justice, we are introduced to both Dana, a former DC cop – now PI who is hired to follow a college student volunteer who is actually working for the President’s reelection campaign doing some espionage work on his opponents campaign. She is murdered, and the event is made to look like that of a serial killer, only Dana has pictures that can place this student with the President. And Brad, an east coast law graduate who has moved west to escape from the aftermath of...more
I enjoyed this book and will probably continue with the next Dana Cutler episode sometime in the future.

The story was well paced, and I liked the different angles to the mystery that came together - the despicable president and his loyal henchman, the tough-as-nails private detective on the run for her life, the cowardly but sincere attorney with his more adventurous colleague, and the FBI agents... all in search of the truth.

3.5 stars

I believe that this is the first book that I've read by this author. I like mysteries, and spy thrillers and I think I will probably read some more of his books. **stop here for spoilers** The president of the US is not a good person. He is unfaithful to his wife and the girls he sleeps with end up dead. A young lawyer and a good policewoman and FBI agent all piece it together and gather the proof needed. We have bit of romance and a lot of violence, and some disgusting criminals too.
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