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Unconvincing,
Boring

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The First Counsel
by Brad Meltzer

Published: 2010-06-01
Mass Market Paperback : 608 pages
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The runaway bestseller that takes us down the rabbit hole of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

John F. Jennedy, Jr., was Lark.
Amy Carter was Dynamo.
Chelsea Clinton was Energy.
Meet Shadow.

Shadow is the Secret Service code name for First Daughter Nora Hartson. And when White House lawyer Michael ...
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Introduction

The runaway bestseller that takes us down the rabbit hole of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

John F. Jennedy, Jr., was Lark.
Amy Carter was Dynamo.
Chelsea Clinton was Energy.
Meet Shadow.

Shadow is the Secret Service code name for First Daughter Nora Hartson. And when White House lawyer Michael Garrick begins dating the irresistible Nora, he's instantly spellbound, just like everyone else in her world. Then, late one night, the two witness something they were never meant to see. Now, in a world where everyone watches your every move, Michael is suddenly ensnared in someone's secret agenda. Trusting no one, not even Nora, he finds himself fighting for his innocence--and ultimately, his life.

Editorial Review

Aficionados of the hit TV show The West Wing who are suffering through holiday reruns will jump right into Brad Meltzer's third novel (after The Tenth Justice and Dead Even), which takes readers into the White House office of the president's own law firm and introduces a first daughter whose complex psychological problems jump-start this fast-paced thriller. Michael Garrick loves his job as deputy counsel, but when he falls for Nora Hartson, the president's daughter, the conflict between his professional ethics and his growing love for her puts him right in the middle of a murder plot that may reach all the way to the Oval Office.

Meltzer excels at plotting, and he knows the back corridors, family quarters, and secret tunnels of the executive branch as well as those of the Supreme Court, which he revealed in his first two blockbusters. He's not as skillful at characterization. It's hard to believe that the sociopathic tendencies of people in a president's inner circle--or even his family--would have managed to escape the scrutiny of an FBI investigation during his rise to power. And Nora, in particular, doesn't quite come off as the misguided victim she must be in order to make the rest of the story credible. But that's not a huge quibble; Meltzer manages to make Edgar Simon, Michael's boss, the most interesting White House counsel since John Dean. The First Counsel is a cleverly commercial mix of legal thriller and political chicanery guaranteed to keep you turning pages until Meltzer puts the third branch of government in his sights, too. --Jane Adams

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by ebach (see profile) 06/13/15

This is a ridiculous story with a dumb main character, a lawyer working at the White House, and a deranged and spoiled First Daughter. I dislike it so much that I forced myself to read half ... (read more)

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