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First Family

(Sean King & Michelle Maxwell #4)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  34,265 ratings  ·  2,014 reviews
Following the instant #1 New York Times bestsellers Split Second, Hour Game, and Simple Genius, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell return in David Baldacci's most heart-pounding thriller to date . . .


A daring kidnapping turns a children's birthday party at Camp David, the presidential retreat, into a national security nightmare.

Former Secret Service agents turned p
Hardcover, 449 pages
Published April 21st 2009 by Grand Central Publishing
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Bjoern I can't be sure, but it feels as if he's going for the maximum emotional impact of a death... you can't be much more shocked than when a nice old aunt…moreI can't be sure, but it feels as if he's going for the maximum emotional impact of a death... you can't be much more shocked than when a nice old aunt that has done nothing wrong is strangled or a lovely mum gets her throat cut... Only small, happy children would be even more shocking and dishevelling but those deaths would be maybe too upsetting for "every novel" to have them.(less)

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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  34,265 ratings  ·  2,014 reviews

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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.
May 17, 2011 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
Mike (the Paladin)
Nov 29, 2013 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
kartik narayanan
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First Family is a great entry in the King-Maxwell universe.

It continues the protagonists' character arc development that we saw in Simple Genius and brings it to a conclusion. In addition, the story is excellent with its themes around revenge and forgiveness, both the in the main and side plots. I liked the satisfying resolution to both Michelle's trip to the past as well as the main plot line concerning the first family.

The other characters, including the nominal 'villains' were well detailed
Jan 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars. I really enjoyed this book and it is a clear favourite in the King and Maxwell Series so far. I loved the way that we didn't have Sean keeping things back from us (and his partner) like he did in the other books, and the way this allowed for plenty of speculation about what had happened in the past and who was to blame. I always prefer it when I get the chance to interact with a book in this way. There were a number of humorous points in this story that made me laugh out loud. look fo ...more
Brenda H
Jan 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
The fourth book in the Maxwell and King series, the story opens with the kidnapping of the First Lady's niece. Michelle Maxwell and Sean King soon find themselves in the middle of a security nightmare for the Secret Service and FBI as they attempt to find the kidnapped child and unravel the mystery that lead to it in the first place.

This storyline is very involved and there is a lot of depth to the characters and the plot. However, we are still dealing with the fallout from Michelle's breakdown
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Probably so far the best King and Maxwell tale in the series! Keeps you guessing right to the end. David Baldacci is a brilliant guy, how he comes up with his ideas and stories, why he's one of my all-time favorite writers!

King and Maxwell this time are called in by the First Lady of the President of the United States. Years ago, Sean King, during his days with the Secret Service saved her then-senator husband from an assassination attempt, and the First Lady and King have been close friends sin
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, suspense
Private Investigators and former Secret Service Agents Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are called by the First Lady of the United States to discover who kidnapped her niece. The twelve-year-old girl was taken from her home, her mother murdered, her father and siblings knocked unconscious. Sean met the First Lady many years ago when he saved her husband from political disaster. With the FBI and the Secret Service already investigating, Sean doesn't want to get involved, but the First Lady insists. ...more
Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another brilliant book by David Baldacci how he's coming up with these stories I have no idea
Apr 26, 2012 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
Oct 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
King and Maxwell do not fail to impress in this 4th installment of their series! Lots of twists and turns figuring out how the seemingly disjointed stories ultimately fit all together. Loved that in the end even the mighty and powerful get what is due them! Great story, Mr Baldacci--8 out of 10!
Mary Beth
Aug 22, 2014 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!
Oct 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
First Read: I like the Sean and Michelle books by David Baldacci. He is one of the cleaner authors in crime drama out there. This book is quite long, and takes a little while to figure out what's going on. Overall I really liked it. My husband did not, so I read it instead. Recommend.

Second Read: Her footsteps were unhurried. Down the street, making one left, a two-block straightaway, and then a slight right. There was a pause at one intersection, a longer stop at another. Just from habit, reall
Morgan Mussell
Dec 16, 2011 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
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)
Sep 09, 2013 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
This is Baldacci’s fourth novel featuring Former Secret Service agents and current private investigators, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell. They are on their way to see Pam Dutton, who is the President's sister-in-law, and has urgently requested their help. As they arrive at the Dutton house, they see a car speeding away. Of course they step in to try and catch the car but are unsuccessful. When they return, the FBI and Secret Service informs them that someone broke into the party, being attended ...more
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
First Family by David Baldacci
Maxwell & King series Book #4

From The Book:
A daring kidnapping turns a children's birthday party at Camp David, the presidential retreat, into a national security nightmare.

Former Secret Service agents turned private investigators, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell don't want to get involved. But years ago Sean King saved the First Lady's husband, then a senator, from political disaster. Now the president's wife presses Sean and Michelle into a desperate search
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
Mangalam Shiva
Oct 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Aug 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
I gave this three stars just to be anonymous. I don’t want to come across as some sort of asshole who hate-read this. I really, really wanted to enjoy it. I thought it was pretty lousy.

This was my first walk into the world of super bestseller writer, David Baldacci. I’m calling it quits after 251 pages. Why was this thing allowed to go to 449 pages (my eBook was 551 pages)? It should have been 300 pages, at the most.

The author gives a master class on novel writing, and he deserves to as he’s wri
David Highton
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
King and Maxwell are ex-Secret Service and this fourth outing brings them into contact with the First Lady and less directly with the President after a kidnapping of her niece. Maxwell’s mother is found dead and resolving this sub-plot helps with her mental health issues revealed in Book 3. Baldacchi manages to maintain the momentum throughout a very long book although the bones of the finale were predictable with 200 pages to go, some twists were left in the end.
Michele Kosel
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I know not everyone loved this book but I did! I love Sean Kings sense of justice & Michelle Maxwells ability to kick but. This is a diamond with many facets! I loved the culpability of the Of powerful, even if that’s not how things go in reality. It’s fiction & It kept me wanting more! ...more
Diana Long
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
202. A Sean King and Michelle Maxwell novel by a creative and immensely talented author. I was pulled into this read from the start and was entertained throughout. Highly recommend.
Very thought-provoking, at least for me. Can one have compassion for a kidnapper and killer??
Jun 22, 2009 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
May 24, 2011 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

Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
Completing this book made me reluctant to write a comprehensive review here. This shows my disenchantment with what is only the third failure of a book from David Baldacci. It's not really a flop as it gave pleasure to many fans and readers alike. But it could be that the things that worked in the book made people ready to overlook the snags.

I think that the author, because of his experience and intelligence, did all the little things right and bungled the supra stuff. The large details. That
Nov 01, 2013 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 rendered b
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
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Play Book Tag: First Family by David Baldacci - 4 stars 2 12 Jan 20, 2017 06:17AM  

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David Baldacci has been writing since childhood, when his mother gave him a lined notebook in which to write down his stories. (Much later, when David thanked her for being the spark that ignited his writing career, she revealed that she’d given him the notebook to keep him quiet, "because every mom needs a break now and then.”) He published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996; it was subsequ ...more

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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