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Extended Audio Sample The First Counsel, by Brad Meltzer Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,838 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Brad Meltzer Narrator: Scott Brick Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2005 ISBN: 9781594834332
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John F. Kennedy, Jr. was Lark.

Amy Carter was Dynamo.

Chelsea Clinton was Energy.

Meet Shadow.

Shadow is the Secret Service code name for First Daughter Nora Hartson. And when Michael Garrick, a young White House lawyer, begins dating the irresistible Nora, he’s instantly spellbound, just like everyone else in her world.

It’s a world all of us have heard about but few of us really know. A world where power is an aphrodisiac, your father is the President, your close friends wear earpieces and carry guns, and everyone watches your every move.

Like most, Michael thinks he can handle the pressure. Until, while together late one night, he and Nora witness something they were never meant to see, and become ensnared in a secret agenda, a scheme by a White House insider that includes betrayal and murder.

Suddenly, this young Washington power broker, who just yesterday was out on a dream date, finds himself trusting no one, not even Nora, in a battle to prove his innocence. It’s a battle that will shake the walls of the Oval Office to their foundations, and may ultimately cost Michael Garrick his life.

In a fresh and knowing voice, Meltzer takes us down the rabbit hole of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and paints a riveting picture of a danger only one man will know: what it’s like to fall in love with the world’s most powerful daughter.

The First Counsel.

The President’s Daughter.

You’ve never dated anyone like this.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A potent cocktail of pulp fiction and inside-the-Beltway politics…hard-boiled…with pedal-to-the-metal pacing.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Fast-paced and suspenseful…ups the ante for legal thrillers with its intricate plot and clever, complex characters…the perfect setting for perilous crimes.”

    People

  • “Meltzer excels at plotting…The First Counsel is a cleverly commercial mix of legal thriller and political chicanery guaranteed to keep you turning pages until Meltzer puts the third branch of government in his sights, too.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Meltzer sprinkles his tale with many interesting details of working in and around the White House…His…narrative…digs its hooks in, and even skeptical readers will want to continue through the twists and turns, if only to confirm their own predictions.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The Washington color and scenery and the unusual cast of characters take The First Counsel a step above your average page-turner and will keep you reading until the startling conclusion.”

    Booklist

  • The First Counsel is a top-notch political thriller that takes readers into the very heart and soul of the White House.”

    Library Journal

  • “Meltzer doesn’t weigh his supernova plot down with niceties like political policy…or psychology. Nothing gets in the way of the adrenaline jolt Meltzer delivers like a master.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barb | 2/17/2014

    " I enjoyed the book. Meltzer doesn't build suspense, he jumps right in on page one and doesn't let up until its finished. I like that with each story he gives a little more insight into the workings of Washington DC and its politics. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Corinne | 2/17/2014

    " A book that relies so much on snappy dialog is likely to irk me, I admit, but this one is really irritating. PEOPLE DON'T TALK LIKE THAT. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kaylol | 2/17/2014

    " The last chapters were good. "

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

    " Great political thriller! Make you wonder what really goes on behind closed doors in DC. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gary | 2/13/2014

    " Quite a nice thriller so far... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carolleforge | 2/9/2014

    " Another great Meltzer read, but not as good as The Tenth Justice. However, it did make me wonder about all the inner areas of the White House that we never hear about. I did not find it believable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauriek | 2/6/2014

    " This was just the book to remove the drama of my life. Very well written, although the ending was a bit abrupt, the suspense was intriguing and intense enough to keep my mind wandering back to the characters whenever I had to put it down and live. I am about to make such a silly statement I have to introduce it as profound or come across as an imbecile. The suspense was suspenseful! Lately, I haven't been able to find a book with characters or plot interesting enough to be worthy of the small amount of time I had. I may have started many good or even great books, but none began with enough energy to stimulate my curiosity or hold my attention until another five minutes presented itself. Eagerly looking forward to another novel by Mr. Meltzer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tiffany | 1/20/2014

    " A real page-turner! Loved it and highly recommend it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janet Mccrea mccomb | 1/13/2014

    " I thoroughly enjoyed this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meagan | 12/6/2013

    " Pretty quick read....definitely suspenseful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom Buford | 12/2/2013

    " Rambled on a bit too long, but overall a very good book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike | 11/27/2013

    " OK, the ending wasn't quite what I hoped for, but it was a great read. Not too many bizarre plot twists, but enough to keep you on your toes. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karen | 11/9/2013

    " This was the first Brad Meltzer book I've read. It was very slow moving and I almost put it down. The last few chapters kept my attention and I didn't want to put it down. :) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melanie | 9/6/2013

    " This mystery was a fairly good read. I didn't see the end coming as it did. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jared | 8/20/2013

    " This one is garbage, but if you like garbage... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cynthia Hoige | 8/8/2013

    " Awesome book. Highly recommend it, if you are into poilitics "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rob | 7/26/2013

    " I've never really been a fan of Brad Meltzer, but this was a page turner and one of his better efforts. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 D R | 6/2/2013

    " The first Brad Meltzer thriller that I read. A classic example of abrupt turns and twists in an intriguing plot narrated in a racy style. I enjoyed reading it and would recommend it to anyone who wants to read a thriller with a difference "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melissa | 4/10/2013

    " I have enjoyed other Brad Meltzer books, but this one was not quite as strong as some of the others. It takes place a the White House and there are a lot of twists, but it takes quite a while before it really gets moving. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leah Smith | 1/27/2013

    " I will say I liked this book. I liked it, not loved it. Especially the end, that did it in for me. I stayed up till 2am to get to the end only for THAT to happen!? Suck. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Miriam | 7/6/2012

    " My favorite of Meltzer's books until I read THE BOOK OF LIES. A super fun read about the first daughter and the trouble she gets into. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael Edwards | 4/7/2012

    " Awesome!!! You kept me hooked and led me down a dead-end alley (I suspected the wrong person), wow, I didn't see the ending coming until the last chapter when it was revealed!!! If all novels were like this, the Internet would just be a passing phase and books would still rule the earth!!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marianne Stehr | 3/20/2012

    " This was very slow to begin. I think the book could have been cut by at least 100 pages. In any case, once it got going it was a thriller, but the start up was so slow I almost gave up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leah | 1/8/2012

    " I really like this author. He is able to capture your attention and ,most of the time, your heart too, in his writing. He is a young writer and uses current slang. He can create many believable and dynamic characters. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Patricia T. | 11/20/2011

    " Characters frustrated me, they would make stupid decisions which came back to wreack havoc in their lives. BUt I want to find out how it will end, so I'll stick it out. I enjoyed the reader, though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason Diehl | 8/25/2011

    " Easy reading mystery that held my attention to the end. I found myself wanting to read more! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judy | 8/20/2011

    " Kept me guessing the whole time and I had guessed wrong. Not a great book but a good "escape" book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sara | 8/16/2011

    " Very fast read - murder mystery in the White House, low-level attorney (who happens to have just started dating the First Daughter) scrambles to clear his name. The story was a bit melodramatic for my tastes, but it definitely kept my interest. Recommended for people who like John Grisham. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ashley Merzetti | 8/12/2011

    " I absolutely loved this book...it kept me on edge at all times. A good book from start to finish, I highly recommend it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christina | 7/30/2011

    " Fun, but at the same time the main character annoyed me to no end. Seemed perennially stupid. On the plus side the character is well explored as are some of the other side characters which 'sort of' explains their behavior, though not always. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jody | 7/29/2011

    " This was a really good, high-paced read. The lead character Michael was a really likable, if gullible guy. The ending sort of sucked, but it was realistic. It seemed to end too quickly though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barb | 6/10/2011

    " I enjoyed the book. Meltzer doesn't build suspense, he jumps right in on page one and doesn't let up until its finished. I like that with each story he gives a little more insight into the workings of Washington DC and its politics. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rosie | 4/30/2011

    " Personally, I'm not a big fan of lawyer-type books. However, this book was very engaging and the twists kept coming so fast, and so frequently that it was hard to put this book down! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian | 4/3/2011

    " The First Counsel is a book of intrigue and suspense. It is a very good work of fiction, I can't believe that it could actually happen, and is an entertaining book that keeps you on your toes as to who done it. All in all a good read.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 2/26/2011

    " This was a well written book by Meltzer and the first book I read by him. It was a fast paced book and got me interested in the book right away. The idea of a young lawyer dating the President's daughter was interesting. I was surprised at the ending, hope you will be too. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judy | 2/3/2011

    " Kept me guessing the whole time and I had guessed wrong. Not a great book but a good "escape" book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cynthia | 1/18/2011

    " Awesome book. Highly recommend it, if you are into poilitics "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason | 1/11/2011

    " Easy reading mystery that held my attention to the end. I found myself wanting to read more! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marianne | 1/9/2011

    " This was very slow to begin. I think the book could have been cut by at least 100 pages. In any case, once it got going it was a thriller, but the start up was so slow I almost gave up. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Corinne | 12/15/2010

    " A book that relies so much on snappy dialog is likely to irk me, I admit, but this one is really irritating. PEOPLE DON'T TALK LIKE THAT. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sammy | 12/5/2010

    " Brad Meltzer has become my new favorite author. It combines a great plot, with fascinating characters and adds just the right amount oh humor. I think that Meltzer creates characters that everyone can relate to. His books tend to make me continue reading until I get to the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jami | 10/20/2010

    " Well put together. An altogether good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Fran | 10/2/2010

    " Another solid suspenseful thriller from Brad Meltzer. I did guess the ending pretty early in the reading, though...which made the second half of the book drag a bit for me. "

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