First Family (Sean King and Michelle Maxwell Series #4)

First Family (Sean King and Michelle Maxwell Series #4)

3.9 476
by David Baldacci

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#1 New York Times bestsellingauthor David Baldacci follows the instant success of Divine Justice with another unstoppable thriller.

Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, back from their harrowing and near-fatal adventure in the blockbuster #1 bestseller Simple Genius, return in a mesmerizing new thriller. A daring


#1 New York Times bestsellingauthor David Baldacci follows the instant success of Divine Justice with another unstoppable thriller.

Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, back from their harrowing and near-fatal adventure in the blockbuster #1 bestseller Simple Genius, return in a mesmerizing new thriller. A daring kidnapping turns a children's birthday party at Camp David into a national security nightmare, but the hostage is not who anyone would expect. The First Lady enlists the services of King and Maxwell to bring the child back safely. Years ago, King saved her then-senator husband from an assassin's bullet; whether they shared anything else is their secret. With Michelle still recovering from her own demons the pair are pushed to the limit, with forces aligned on all sides against them, and the line between friend and foe impossible to define...or defend.

Editorial Reviews

Last seen in Simple Genius, former secret service agents Sean King and Michelle Maxwell return for another top-secret executive mission. This time the first lady calls on them to conduct a strictly below-the-radar investigation of a daring kidnapping that took place at a Camp David kids' party. The pair's descent into this national security nightmare isn't the only thing on their minds; Michelle's emotional balance is still askew, keeping the couple at near wits' end even as they try to save a child -- and much more.
Publishers Weekly
Veteran character actor Ron McLarty brings a strong performance to a rather weak entry in Baldacci's political thriller series featuring ex-Secret Service agents turned private investigators, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell. When the president's niece, 12-year-old Willa, is kidnapped, the first lady brings in King and Maxwell to help find her. Unknown to the PIs, the motive behind the abduction has the potential to shake the presidency to the core. Although the action moves swiftly enough, the plot strains credibility, and it is to McLarty's credit that he manages to impart some reality with excellent character voices and sense of urgency. His reading is exceptional during the scenes between Willa and her kidnapper as he plumbs a depth of character beyond the written words. Strategically placed sound effects enhance the listening experience. A Grand Central hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 30). (Apr.)
Washington Times
"Mr. Baldacci's books are jigsaw puzzles of intersecting events, not simple whodunits. FIRST FAMILY is no exception."
Columbus Telegram
"What Baldacci does best is provide thrills, chills, and suspense. This novel is a total surprise from beginning to end."
"The story unfolds wonderfully. It's another top-flight thriller from this bestselling author, and it's good to see King and Maxwell again."
From the Publisher
"Ron McLarty is the perfect choice to present Baldacci's latest thriller. His clear, strong voice shifts effortlessly among the story's varying passages of sadness, anger, and irony. His facility with multiple characters of both genders and many ages, races, and regional accents enables the listener easily to keep track of everyone. Music and sound effects, used liberally in the opening sequences, trail off as the story progresses, becoming less frequent and lower in volume with each chapter. Too bad-their use enhances the story."—AudioFile

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
Sean King and Michelle Maxwell Series, #4
Edition description:
Large Print
Product dimensions:
9.22(w) x 6.18(h) x 1.85(d)

Meet the Author

David Baldacci lives with his family in Virginia. He and his wife have founded the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America. He invites you to visit him at and his foundation at

Brief Biography

Northern Virginia
Date of Birth:
August 5, 1960
Place of Birth:
Richmond, VIrginia
B.A. in Political Science, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1982; J.D., University of Virginia, 1986

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First Family (Sean King and Michelle Maxwell Series #4) 3.9 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 476 reviews.
Tidbitsofscott More than 1 year ago
I've been a fan of David Baldacci from the beginning and have read all of his novels. First Family did not disappoint! Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, Secret Service Agents turned private eyes, are contacted by the First Lady - Jane Cox. Her neice has been kidnapped. The FBI is heading up the investigation, but Cox has dealt with King in the past and trusts him. She wants an extra set of eyes looking that report to her alone. This was an excellent story, told from both the viewpoint of the kidnapper and those looking for him. The reasons behind the kidnapping are slowly and deliciously eked out, keeping my interest piqued. The character development is excellent as is the secondary plot line involving Michelle. Ron McClarty was the reader and he did a phenomal job of bringing the characters to life. His voice is rich and pleasant to listen to. Each character was easily defined with a different voice. His inflections conveyed the emotions and nuances of the plot extremely well. I knew I would enjoy the story as I knew the author from previous reads. Excellent book.
Omarika More than 1 year ago
I love David Baldaci and have read most of his books, so I was thrilled to get a copy of his newest novel. After struggling through 200 pages, I closed the book and decided that my time is too valuable to waste on the nonsense I was reading. This is by far from Baldaci's best, and I was shocked at the poor quality of the writing. I very rearely put a book down in the middle of reading it, but this one is not worth the struggle of finishing.
JUST-JUDI More than 1 year ago
I listened to this book while driving 1500 miles.It kept me guessing right to the end and I did not guess the plot once. Really enjoyed it.
grumpydan More than 1 year ago
David Baldacci creates an impossible situation with believable characters. When the president's niece is abducted from a birthday party at Camp David, the question is why? Why are private investigators Sean King and Michelle Maxwell hired to locate the missing child? And what does the abductor want? Why has he kidnapped another woman along with the child? So many questions, which all get answered as the story unfolds. This book had me on the edge of my recliner as I read each chapter wondering where is was headed and why. Great book.
Brandie185 More than 1 year ago
Fast paced - this book had me hooked from the beginning! I love how Baldacci weaves these tales, intertwining the characters lives. I mean, these books aren't happily ever after for all the characters involved, but it's fast paces, it keeps moving, my mind was constantly trying to figure it all out and I could hardly put the book down!
lv2read71 More than 1 year ago
Baldacci does not disappoint. This book definitely holds up to his high standard of suspense and mystery. Excellent plot, and writing. Couldn't wait to find out how he solved the case, it's different every time. Love his books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love all his books - this one certainly didn't disappoint! great read for a long plane trip or a beach vacation - hard to put down! Great character development and intriguing plot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Baldacci is one of our favorite authors. His stories are detailed and engaging. The reader can relate to the characters throughout and he makes it seem so realistic. What a great book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I turned off my cell phone so that no one could call and interupt me while I was driving. This book has the greatest twists, turns and personal intrigues. I love Mr. Baldacci's characters and Mr. McLarty as the reader. A dynamic duo!
Maximillian More than 1 year ago
Yes, the book was a tad too long with some flaws, but all-in-all it is a good read. I do believe Bill and Hillary were the models for two of the main characters!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best book I've read for a while. The characters are believable, the suspense is great,
tlz More than 1 year ago
The twists and turns in this book were amazing. One's past does come to visit and it can be devastating. The characters in this book were so unique - we kept rooting for the "bad guy" and, of course, the kids. A very good book - difficult to put down.
Fighterjock More than 1 year ago
My wife and I listened to this on audio tape during a recent road trip and could not wait to get the next disk into the CD. We loved the characters and the conclusion of the story. However, I was surprised by the error they made with Sam's character. He allegedly was an F-4 pilot in Vietnam, but since he also allegedly enlisted, there is no way he could be a pilot, only officers were fighter pilots.
lawrehd8 More than 1 year ago
I like political thrillers and I am willing to suspend some belief for a good story, but this story is just too convoluted and unlikely. The basic facts behind the story are believable, but the primary villan in the book is just too big a stretch to your imagination. I found that I wanted to finish the book just to see how they author was going to bring everything together. Some of the physical elements surrounding the villan reminded me of the old TV show The Wild, Wild West.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While I wanted to know how the story ended, it was almost a tedious read. I'm not fond of David Baldacci's style, and this was my least favorite yet. I was disappointed to say the least.
1readerNC More than 1 year ago
The plot has many twists and turns.
KarenKean More than 1 year ago
Excellent! Character study:You see the characters...almost reach out and touch them, get inside their head. Plot: The story was never too gruesome like Patterson's...left some to the imagination which is the purest form of an excellent story. David Baldacci is a favorite of all time. He is up there with Nelson DeMille, Dick Francis, and John Grisham as mystery/suspense authors.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoy all the author's books; however, this one lands a bomb. The plot hinges on an autopsy report that notes that the woman gave birth to only two children as her uterus showed 2 c-section scars and her pelvis was so small that no obstetrician would allow her to deliver a baby vaginally. This would limit her natural family to 2 children according to the author. The latter comment is possibly not arguable; however, the former fact could NOT be discerned by an autopsy. This piece of medical misinformation, substantially ruined the novel for me.
DavidB1021 More than 1 year ago
David Baldacci is living off his previous fame and fortune. First Family is a preposterous plot exposed through vapid writing and poor character development. Unlike other books of this genre that are often hard to put down, this book was BORING!! I barely got through it. Yawn!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First Family is an entertaining Thriller but a predictable one. Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are back trying to find the niece of The President of the United States. Their trail leads to shady dealings, questionable motives and a secret that the First Lady will do anything to keep. (You'll figure it out within the first hundred pages) Baldacci pulls out all the stops as usual in this latest addition to the King/Maxwell series. He also wraps up some loose ends from the previous book, Simple Genius. It's highly entertaining with one good twist at the end. The problem lies within the characters. I've never found them as engaging or interesting as The Camel Club. King never felt fully developed and Maxwell's past takes up to much of the book. By the end, everything seems wrapped up so Baldacci could move on to hopefully, the follow up to 2008's excellent, The Whole Truth.- BobsViews
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Several plots going on simultaneously. You know who the culprit is but how will they capture them and what is the motive. It is certainly worth your time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I felt that this was not one of Baldacci's better novels, but still entertaining and kept my interest to continue reading. There were two plots which I felt confused the reader and were unnecessary to the overall story line. I would still look forward to D. Baldacci's books and would say this makes for a good beach read.
DonVG More than 1 year ago
This is another great book by Baldacci. While the plot originates with the First Family, the author's clouding of a direct plot makes for an intriguing read. In the end, both sides exhibit character flaws that we can identify, if not sympathize, with.
Booknut62 More than 1 year ago
I have read several of Baldacci's books and he never disappoints by providing the reader with a good solid story that entertains. This book is no different. It has Baldacci's usual plot twists. While this was not quite what I would call one of those "hate-to-put-it-down" reads, it had an engaging story. Characters, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are. as usual, fun to follow as they try to unravel another mystery that has national implications. I would recommend this one to other Baldacci fans.
cewilch More than 1 year ago
David Baldacci has long been one of my favorite novelists and I have sung his praises many times. I feel disappointed with this book - it is not up to par with the author's previous offerings. I had given up on it by chapter 8. Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are an unlikely and unbelievable duo. There is no way a Secret Service agent/Private Investigator would be allowed any where near the family of the President of the United States if they had been judged to be mentally unfit. Michelle's continous unstable state has also become a bit of snooze. I desperately miss the Camel Club crew.