Thursday, May 28, 2009

Books I've read this week - First Family

Last night I finished reading another good book, First Family by David Baldacci. I won this from Drey's Library earlier this month. (Thanks Drey!) This was the first book I'd read by this author but I like his style and he's the author of 16 consecutive bestsellers. This book is also on the bestselling list right now.

In the story, the niece of the First Lady is kidnapped and her mother killed. We learn early on who the kidnapper is but not why he did it. Was the girl's family the real target or is the President involved in some way? Private investigator Sean King and his partner, Michelle Maxwell, both former Secret Service agents, are asked by the First Lady to find and rescue the girl. This causes hard feelings both with the Secret Service and the FBI but because the President's wife asked them to join in the hunt, they can't complain.....too much. While they're trying to solve this case, Michelle's mother dies and her death turns out to be a homicide so Michelle and Sean also work to find her killer. Michelle thinks her father may be involved. This story within a story was well-written and didn't detract from the main thread. I found the descriptions of how things are handled behind the scenes at the White House very interesting. The kidnapper's well-thought-out plans were very inventive and you had to feel some compassion for him when you found out his reasons. The book has intrigue, violence, romantic tension, family feuding, smart kids, ruthlessness and compassion, and interesting locations. I'd recommend it to both men and women.

I did find a couple of passages in the book which didn't read right though. At one point while investigating her mother's death, Michelle tells her mother's friend the death was a homicide. A couple of paragraphs later, the friends says, "Are you telling me she was murdered?" Michelle says, "Why would you think that?" Well, duh! You just told her.

Then later in the story Michelle fractures her ankle and yet a short while later she's driving, jumping out of her vehicle and running. My husband broke his big toe a few years ago and it hurt like hell. Even if Michelle had been to the doctor between the two scenes, she would probably be on pain killers, shouldn't be driving and no way would she be running. Edited to add - I contacted Mr. Baldacci through his website and told him I thought there were mistakes in the book. I received a very nice email from his secretary as follows: "Thank you for your recent email to David Baldacci. David read your note and asked that I extend his personal appreciation for reading with a close eye. We have passed along errors in FIRST FAMILY to David’s editor."

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