First Family, by David Baldacci


“Birthday Balloons and submachine guns. Elegant forks, digging into creamy goodies which toughened fingers coiled around curved metal trigger guards. Gleeful laughter as gifts were unwrapped floated into the air alongside the menacing thump-thump of an arriving chopper’s downward prop wash.”

 David Baldacci’s First Family is the fourth in a series featuring private detectives, ex-Secret Service agents, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell and the action begins on the first page.  Willa, the niece of the First Lady, is kidnapped and she calls Sean to help. Sean has known both the First Lady and the President for years and is trusted by them so despite or maybe because of the involvement of the FBI and the Secret Service he is asked to help.

 The mastermind of the kidnapping plot is Sam Quarry who is ruthless and fanatical in his own pursuit of justice for his daughter who has been in a coma for 13 years.  It seems clear, at least in the beginning, who the bad guys and the good guys are but as the story evolves that changes and captures and holds our attention.

 Sidekick Michelle Maxwell has her own mystery unfold when her mother is killed and she has to leave to be with the family.  Every chapter seems to have a challenge to be faced.

 Published in 2009. Good character and a well-crafted plot.


“Everybody’s got somewhere to go. Just takes some folks longer to figure out where to.” 

“I guess it comes down to greed. You don’t pay folks, you make more money. That and thinking one race wasn’t as good as another.” 

“What’s a quick fling in the sack compared to decades of indifference?” 

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