First Victim (Two Cassettes)

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Is the president of the United States a charismatic leader before the cameras, and a monstrous wife abuser at home? When she was growing up in rural Oklahoma, Sabrina Ryan's mother used to tell her, "Watch out what you wish for, because it might come true." Now, as wife of the President-Elect of the United States, Sabrina has reason to remember that warning. After years of being abused, Sabrina hopes and prays that the election of her husband as the next President will take his mind off of her and onto the job of...
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Kenilworth, Illinois, U.S.A. 1997 Audio Book New Brand new. NEW in the shrink wrap. Two audio cassettes factory sealed in the original clear plastic box with the printed ... insert. 2 cassette tapes brand new. Enjoy this gift quality abridged audio performance! Sealed and new. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Is the president of the United States a charismatic leader before the cameras, and a monstrous wife abuser at home? When she was growing up in rural Oklahoma, Sabrina Ryan's mother used to tell her, "Watch out what you wish for, because it might come true." Now, as wife of the President-Elect of the United States, Sabrina has reason to remember that warning. After years of being abused, Sabrina hopes and prays that the election of her husband as the next President will take his mind off of her and onto the job of running the nation. Sadly and tragically, assuming the mantle of leader of the free world has had the opposite effect on Turner Ryan. As the mental and physical abuse spills into the White House, the First Lady turns in desperation to Duncan Smith, the President's Press Secretary, for help and maybe something more. In an effort to protect herself and her young daughter, Sabrina involves Duncan in a scenario for which he is entirely unprepared, and which ultimately thrusts the two of them into an unwitting love triangle. Their relationship is soon discovered and betrayed by a very ambitious Vice President, who uses it as fodder in a blackmail scheme designed to destroy Turner Ryan's presidency. Little does the Vice-President realize that he has just set in motion a series of events from which the government and nation will need years to recover.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Spousal abuse in the White House is the unlikely theme of this debut novel, which proves that it takes more than insider's knowledge, media savvy and a high-profile concept to write a decent political thriller. MacKinnon, who worked as a writer for Presidents Reagan and Bush before becoming a syndicated columnist and Beltway PR man, has not acquired the skill of spinning a good yarn. Beautiful, likable Sabrina Ryan seems an ideal First Lady when her husband, Turner, the Governor of California, wins the race for President. But Sabrina is the longtime victim of her husband's rages. Though she is artful at hiding her bruises, Turner soon considers her expendable and plots to get her out of his life. His loathsome behavior is echoed by other government personnel, even as danger is rising from an assassin's plot. While MacKinnon keeps the narrative moving quickly, a tin ear and heavy fictional hands are evident in too many sentences along the lines of: "During his entire life, he had never known a woman who had ever been raped. Let alone, by her husband. Let alone, by the President-Elect." Even the supposedly sympathetic characters, like press secretary Duncan Smith, are unintentionally subverted as MacKinnon over-uses scatological and/or racist language to suggest the stress of political life, or labors to make insider information take the place of real characterization. (June)
Kirkus Reviews
Debut political thriller by nationally syndicated columnist MacKinnon (the nonfiction Footprints, 1989, not reviewed), who worked as a writer for the Reagan and Bush administrations and knows the White House corridors well.

The First Lady as a victim of spousal abuse turns out to be a plot hook more intriguing in the abstract than in practice. Handsome, blue-eyed Turner Ryan, 48, moves from his six-year term as Governor of California to President of the United States. But Ryan has one very dark secret: uncontrollable rage that leads him to wife-beating. Ravishingly beautiful Sabrina Ryan, 37, adored by her Secret Service protectors, is in fact Ryan's punching bag. His blows to her body don't show, but the bruises on her neck (from Turner's attempts to strangle her) do. We follow Ryan's first weeks as President, but politics take a distinct backseat here as the story focuses almost entirely on the love affair that grows between Sabrina and Duncan Smith, the President's embattled press secretary, and on Turner's villainy. He's even willing to use his and Sabrina's 11-year-old daughter, Heather, as a pawn to keep his wife in line. Sabrina's dilemma deepens as Turner, who intends to be a two-term president, threatens to make her disappear altogether and to raise a brainwashed Heather himself. At the same time, his nefarious second-in-command, Vice President Robert Hannon, and Hannon's gay Chief of Staff, Bill Rogers, attempt to blackmail Turner. Although Turner's wife-bashing is kept under wraps by the Secret Service, revealing whiffs of scandal drift by the Washington Post, where Pulitzer Prizewinner Rick Adams is assigned to find the truth behind the White House walls. Meanwhile, a gorgeous terrorist sets out to assassinate the President.

There's swiftness here, sharp tough dialogue, and a graphic sense of life inside the White House. But MacKinnon cheapens the theme of spousal abuse by being content to use it for cynically melodramatic effect: Turner is a one-dimensional monster, and the novel he's in soon becomes merely a routine (and bloody) thriller.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781882071975
  • Publisher: B & B Audio, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/28/1997
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Abridged, 2 Cassettes
  • Product dimensions: 4.29 (w) x 7.25 (h) x 0.72 (d)

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