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Book Review: 'The First Counsel'

Posted on

The First Counsel

Current Status:
In Season
Brad Meltzer

We gave it an A-

A potent cocktail of pulp fiction and inside-the-Beltway politics, the latest novel from attorney-turned-author Meltzer (The Tenth Justice) follows White House lawyer Michael Garrick as he falls for the President’s thrill-junkie daughter, Nora Hartson. As Garrick’s affair with the First Femme Fatale ensnares him in a glue trap of blackmail and murder, Meltzer serves up deliciously hard-boiled prose (”she shoots me a look that I can feel in my pants”) along with cold facts about life in the West Wing (air pressure is increased to protect the Prez from a bio-attack, which ”by definition makes the White House the most high-pressured place to work”). Starting with a grabber Secret Service-chase opening, Counsel maintains pedal-to-the-metal pacing for nearly 500 pages, all the way to its pleasingly melodramatic climax. A-