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Extended Audio Sample Palace Council Audiobook, by Stephen L. Carter Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (745 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stephen L. Carter Narrator: Mirron Willis Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2008 ISBN: 9781415955970
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John Grisham called Stephen L. Carter’s first novel, The Emperor of Ocean Park, “beautifully written and cleverly plotted. A rich, complex family saga, one deftly woven through a fine legal thriller.” The Chicago Tribune hailed Carter’s next book, New England White, as “a whodunit with conscience.” Now this bestselling novelist returns with an electrifying political thriller set in the turbulent era of Watergate and Vietnam, giving us one of the most riveting and naked portraits of Nixon ever written.

In the summer of 1952, twenty prominent men gather at a secret meeting on Martha’s Vineyard and devise a plot to manipulate the President of the United States. Soon after, the body of one of these men is found by Eddie Wesley, Harlem’s rising literary star. When Eddie’s younger sister mysteriously disappears, Eddie and the woman he loves, Aurelia Treene, are pulled into what becomes a twenty year search for the truth. As Eddie and Aurelia uncover layer upon layer of intrigue, their odyssey takes them from the wealthy drawing rooms of New York through the shady corners of radical politics, all the way to the Oval Office.

Stephen Carter’s novel is as complex as it is suspenseful, and with his unique ability to turn stereotypes inside out, Palace Council is certain to enthrall listeners to the very last moment.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Stephen Carter can really write. I loved every page of Palace Council and am eager for more. Robert B. Parker

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy | 2/14/2014

    " Thought provoking and mysterious until the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 2/10/2014

    " Not as good at Carter's other two books I have read. Loved The Emperor of Ocean Park and New England White. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mugsymkelly | 1/30/2014

    " Our current Book Club book. Just started but seems like typical Stephen Carter (love him!) with heavy character development, subtle plot development. Looks like another well-developed, intelligent mystery. A little different than my Goldy the Caterer books, ha! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sls Schnur | 1/30/2014

    " At first glance, a rather far-fetched plot, but after the past 8 years of the Bush Administration, not so far-fetched after all. Perhaps a little long, but after a certain point, I didn't want to put it down. Carter is a good writer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aileen | 1/28/2014

    " This is a great book, it's intelligenty written and will keep yoiu hooked until the end. The dark machinations of government form the backdrop of the book but it has an interesting view of human nature and how far people will go for what they believe in/love. I'd recommend this and will now be hunting out other books by this author "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scott Rhee | 1/24/2014

    " Another excellent mystery from Stephen L. Carter, "Palace Council" tells the story of the turbulent 1960s through the eyes of Eddie Wesley, a young black man from upper-class Harlem, and Aurelia Treene, Eddie's first and only love. On the night of her wedding (to another man), Eddie gets embarrassingly drunk and is booted from the reception. Stumbling through the park at night, he trips on the body of a well-known lawyer. Gripped in the man's hand is an inverted cross with a cryptic message engraved on it. Months later, and seemingly unrelated at first, Eddie's younger sister disappears without a trace. Thus begins a nearly 20-year-long investigation that leads Eddie to the highest levels of Washington, D.C. and the most dangerous war-torn sections of Saigon. As the years go by, and Eddie's career as a writer flourishes, he inadvertently becomes entangled in the history of the United States, from the formation of militant groups such as the Black Panthers and the Weathermen, the assassinations of J.F.K., Bobby Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, the ripple effects of the Vietnam War, to the Watergate scandal. As always, Carter tells a well-plotted mystery, one that unravels slowly over time but always in unexpected directions. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle Patterson | 1/17/2014

    " This was better than I thought. I loved the history and although he changed some historical facts to make his story more plausible, I enjoyed it. I also liked the weaving in of some characters from his previous two novels. Great read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maureen Flatley | 1/13/2014

    " As always, Stephen L. Carter writes the consummate literary mystery....his books have been my summer must reading for several years...anxiously waiting for his latest! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pam | 1/9/2014

    " This is billed as a "political thriller," & was the perfect antidote to all the blaring negative ads during this year's campaign. The characters are mostly Harlem high society, offering a unique viewpoint. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Victoria | 12/31/2013

    " I enjoyed the writing, but the story so often left me confused. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cheri | 10/8/2013

    " This was okay. I liked it but thought it was super complicated with too many steps and turns and secrets, I almost couldn't follow it. But it was interesting to read about upper-crust Harlem society in the late 1950s-70s. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charlene | 8/23/2013

    " This is the third of Stephan Carter's books that I have read and enjoyed. It is full of interesting observations concerning the black verses white culture issues. I do not usually read murder mystery books, but I really like Carter's style of writing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sheldon Lehman | 7/18/2013

    " Another well-written book. Conspiracy theories, historical fiction from a great story-teller! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzette Tanen | 7/8/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book's historical references, the 50's and 60's from a black perspective made for a very interesting mystery story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Peggy | 5/31/2013

    " Emperor of Ocean Park was the best of the three books in this "series." The storyline got a little farfetched and had a less than satisfying ending, but the obvious and not always flattering allusions to more recent political leaders was worth a chuckle. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deborah | 5/9/2013

    " best of his (that I've read so far anyway) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 4/8/2013

    " I felt that this book took too long to get started. But once it did, I enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elisabeth | 1/30/2013

    " Great read covering the 1950's and sixties. a lot of events I can remember but had forgotten to a great extent. The plot is intricate like a John La Carre novel and I had to back track on occasion to understand what was happening. I will read other by this author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peg | 10/28/2012

    " Stephen Carter's use of the language and creation of plot continue to enthrall his reader. To begin reading is to be "hooked". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike Horne | 8/3/2012

    " I love his thrillers. I need to read his nonfiction. They should be right up my alley. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Malex10000 | 2/28/2012

    " This is my third book by Stephen Carter. I really like him.I learned a lot about the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights movement,and history from 50's-70's. His other 2 novels are even better. Emperor of Ocean Park and New England White "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pmcdnld2 | 11/30/2011

    " Set among the wealthy black families in Harlem in the 40's-covers many decades of US history up to Nixon as 2 main charcaters try to solve murder mystery "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joanna | 9/14/2011

    " a little overstuffed, but really well written. Reading Carter's books is like entering another world. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cyndee | 7/19/2011

    " Complex story and characters. A fine follow up to the last book of Carter's that I read. Wonderful storyline about the 'darker nation.' "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mychelle | 7/3/2011

    " This book was long, and it took me a while to get into. Then, I was hooked. This is the only thriller I've ever read that took place over decades. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Judi | 6/3/2011

    " This book was complicated and confusing. I read about a quarter of it and found myself not looking forward to picking it up again so quit reading it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeanine Marie Swenson | 5/26/2011

    " A pleasurable trip into the world of political intrigue, cultural analysis, and family studies (all of my personal favorites), this piece of historical fiction grabs you immediately and does not let go. I am on page 127 and really loving this story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ron | 5/10/2011

    " Historical novel about 1960's politics and how fictional characters from New York's Harlem district play a role in affecting what went on in Washington. Interesting plot but sometimes too farfetched to believe any of it could really happen. Good light reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robyn | 4/15/2011

    " Interesting book, keeps you interested, as you follow one man's quest. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diane | 1/16/2011

    " I appreciated the author's note at the end explaining which historical facts he changed for the sake of the story's flow. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lindsay | 12/21/2010

    " interesting plot twists with historical references "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryan | 12/15/2010

    " Decent political thriller well-rooted in history. Some rough patches in the writing at first, but then it got much better. And Nixon, in all of his awkward weirdness, is a character! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Suzette | 12/9/2010

    " Very slow reading, would not recommend. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Toni | 9/17/2010

    " A lot of characters to keep up with. Excellent read. Good plot. 500+ pages. Don't let the length keep u away. Give yourself time to get through it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chelsea | 7/18/2010

    " This was a wonderful book that was hard to figure out right down to the end. One man's struggle through coming of age, civil rights and unrequitted love. Wonderful book! "

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About the Author
Author Stephen L. CarterStephen L. Carter is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale University, where he has taught since 1982. He and his family live near New Haven, Connecticut.
About the Narrator

Mirron Willis—actor of film, stage, and television—is the winner of the prestigious Audie Award for best narration in 2012 and a finalist for the Audie in 2015, as well as the winner of four AudioFile Earphones Awards for his audiobook recordings. He has worked extensively in film and television and on stage with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Houston Shakespeare Festival, and the Ensemble Theatre, among others. He has recorded some 150 audiobooks, including the Smokey Dalton series by Kris Nelscott and My Song by Harry Belafonte. He resides and records audiobooks on his family’s historic ranch in East Texas.