Book Review: "First Family" by David Baldacci

Book Review

Genre:  Thriller

Rating: 4 WaterTowers (Sean King and Michelle Maxwell return)

In my quest to catch up on my favorite authors, David Baldacci ranks high on the priority list.

In “First Family” ex-Secret Service agents Sean King and Michelle Maxwell return for another rousing adventure.   Michelle is still feeling the effects of her depression, but, is back to work and things are going better for the King / Maxwell PI firm.

There are two separate stories in “First Family”.

Secondary Story Line

This is important to understanding Michelle and her bouts with depression.  In this story line, Michelle’s mother is murdered in her garage.  Her father is a suspect, but, after an investigation other suspects emerge.  As the plot of this story unfolds we learn more about Michelle, and her family, and then the stunning bombshell behind her depression.  You will just have to read the book to find out what that is, and who the murderer is.

Primary Story Line

“Birthday balloons and submachine guns.  Elegant forks digging into creamy goodies while toughened fingers coiled around curved metal trigger guards.”

Willa Dutton is celebrating her 12th birthday at Camp David.  Her aunt, Jane Cox, is Willa’s father’s sister and First Lady.   It was she who arranged the party at Camp David.

Once the festivities were done, Jane Cox returned home to the White House and Willa, her mom Pam, her brother John, and sister Colleen return to their home.   Pam was expecting a visit from Sean King later that night…she had an urgent request for his services.

As Sean and Michelle pull into the drive, the house is dark and they hear a woman scream. Jumping out of the car, Michelle engages in gunfire with unknown assailants while Sean went around back.

The assailants got away, but, they took Willa and left Pam dead on the floor.  The other members of the family, including Tuck, Willa’s father, were drugged and unconscious.  Why would they kill only Pam?  And what did the letters scrawled on her arm mean?  Why did they take blood from Pam?  And, most of all, why did they kidnap Willa?

In another part of the country, Diane Wohl was done shopping when she entered her car and was surprised by an older man who said “Drive, or you’re dead.”

Sam Quarry, 62,  is a good man.  A widower and ex-Navy pilot, he loves his daughter, Tippi, and regularly visits her in the nursing home where she has been in a coma for 13 years.  While there he reads her favorite book to her:  ”Pride and Prejudice”.

His home is the Atlee Plantation where he deeply cares for Ruth Ann his housekeeper and her son, Gabriel.  He lets members of the native Indian tribe the Koasati live on his property because he knows it was their land long before it became his.  Sam is a mechanical genius, and extremely detailed oriented.

He also kidnapped Willa and Diane, and is holding them in a cave many miles from Atlee.  And he has a plan for revenge.

As “First Family” rockets forward, we learn that Sean had dealings with Jane Cox and her wayward husband, then a newly elected Senator, 13 years ago.  That fact, and Sam’s curious and detailed nature and desire for revenge has everyone frantically searching for Willa (and Diane).

Will they find her / them?  What is the secret Sean has held to himself for so long?  Who lives and who dies?  What happened to Tippi?  What does Diane have to do with this?

You will just have to read “First Family” to find out.

I think it is pretty obvious that Baldacci is one of my all time favorites (yeah…I have a few), but, once again he has written a truly remarkable thriller that kept me going thru the hardest few weeks of my life (still hard, but, getting better slowly).

See ForCarol.com to see what that was….and please donate if you can!

Drive safe!  Set curfews for your teens!  Would you rather argue with your teen…or bury them?

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