The First Counsel

The First Counsel

by Brad Meltzer


$5.98 $16.00 Save 63% Current price is $5.98, Original price is $16. You Save 63%. View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, November 14


The runaway bestseller that takes us down the rabbit hole of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

John F. Jennedy, 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 White House lawyer Michael Garrick begins dating the irresistible Nora, he's instantly spellbound, just like everyone else in her world. Then, late one night, the two witness something they were never meant to see. Now, in a world where everyone watches your every move, Michael is suddenly ensnared in someone's secret agenda. Trusting no one, not even Nora, he finds himself fighting for his innocence—and ultimately, his life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780594899761
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 08/18/2008
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 73,515
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.37(d)

About the Author

Brad Meltzer is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Inner Circle, The Book of Fate, and seven other bestselling thrillers. In addition to his fiction, Brad is one of the only authors to ever have books on the bestseller list for nonfiction (History Decoded), advice (Heroes for My Son and Heroes for My Daughter), children's books (I Am Amelia Earhart and I Am Abraham Lincoln) and even graphic books (Justice League of America). He is also the host of Brad Meltzer's Decoded on the History Channel, and Brad Meltzer's Lost History on H2. He currently lives in Florida. You can find much more about him at You can also see what he's doing right now at and on Twitter @bradmeltzer.



Date of Birth:


Place of Birth:

New York, New York


B.A., University of Michigan; J.D., Columbia University

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

First Counsel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 154 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm usually very easy to please, and enjoy Meltzer's other books, however this book was not very good. It was not exciting or intense drama, but felt like soap opera drama, cheesy and you don't really care about the characters. There are better fiction books out there. Hope this review helped!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Did not enjoy this book at all. Had no reason to care at all about these characters or this story. Title is misleading - no relevance at all to his work as Counsel to the President. You will never see a trial or anything remotely connected to legal work. This is the story of a man who gets duped and then tries to extricate himself from the situation. Not enjoyable or entertaining or even enlightened at all.
cpollan27 More than 1 year ago
It's a good thing I checked this one out at the local library before I bought and downoaded it. I love crime/legal thrillers, but for some reason, I just couldn't get into this one. The description sounded interesting, but I put it down after the seventh chapter. I love Brad Meltzer's show, Decoded, on the History Channel, so I'm not completely turned off of him from this one book. But I am definitely going to read his other books somewhere else before I buy them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed Meltzer's Dead Even and The Tenth Justice, but this book was a waste of time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Brad Meltzer was recommended to me by a co-worker. This was my first purchase and I'll certainly be collecting more. Excellent plot twists, sympathetic characters, keeps the reader guessing until the very end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tco easy to predict the end
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was all over the place. It was hard to keep up with the characters. I had to read the same line over and over to figure out who was talking. Good ending, just took awhile to get there. Would not read again.
DodgerSD More than 1 year ago
This book was great from start to finish and was the first Brad Meltzer book I read and after reading this have read all his thrillers. He does an excellent job writing. It is a must read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down. The character developement is incredible. The suspense builds right from the beginning and gradually grows as the book moves along. When I finished the book I was left in awe of the eventual outcome. Moving to say the least! I'll definately be reading more of his books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was intense. I hadn't read Meltzer since finishing Dead Even several years ago. I shouldn't have waited so long. A solid and harried (in the end) story, but well worth a read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Meltzer's latest outing does not live up to the breathless reviews. The White House inside info is very interesting but not crucial to the plot. Annoyingly, the most fascinating character in the White House -- the president -- is rarely seen or heard from. In fact, the lead character Michael Garrick makes a presentation to the president on a topic that I was sure would be central to the plot. But Meltzer skips over the meeting entirely! Why? Who knows. Here was a chance to portray the highest level intrigues and give us a real feel for the Oval Office -- but it never happens. Garrick, as a well-trained and highly placed lawyer, is reduced to hysterial babbling throughout most of the book. Meltzer is sometimes heavy handed with his prose. An example of Garrick's over-wrought dialogue: 'Is that the lie of the moment? Some maudlin disclaimer?' (p. 450) Nora, the First Daughter, is an interesting character who keeps you guessing. The plot itself centers on a conspiracy and coverup that I won't give away. After 300 pages, you don't know much more than after the first 25. But Meltzer does keep you reading. It's compelling stuff but wears a little thin over the course of the book. The ending ties up many loose ends and was disappointing -- mainly because the conspiracy was more personal than political. So, again, the White House insider viewpoint is almost wasted. Still, a compelling read for Washington thriller junkies.
cmeilink on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have read a number of Brad Meltzer's books, and I don't know how I missed this when it first came out.The First Counsel is an outstanding book--well written and with a great plot. Michael Garrick is a White House lawyer who begins a relationship with Nora Hartson, daughter of the President of the United States. Taking on such a relationship would definitely bring its own set of problems; however, with Nora, nothing is normal, and "problems" is an understatement.A seemingly innocent night out on the town throws Michael into the center of a murder investigation with $10,000 of money intended for the victim in his name at a police station. The Secret Service, the FBI, and internal staff are all out to find the killer, and most of them are looking at Michael.Can Nora help him or will she throw him to the wolves? Great book!
taylorsteve on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If anything, I have learned more about my own reading pleasures through this book. I prefer a book that is realistic but still helps me escape from the realism of daily life, that develops relationships that matter, where evil is unquestionably identified, and where good clearly triumphs over evil. This book struck me as similar to a long, hard game of chess with a total stranger - at the end I know little of my opponent, in fact only what he has deliberately chosen to reveal, and it still ends in a clear stalement. No one wins, and it leaves a sense of discouragement and failure. Despite the clear suspense and unpredictable twists, this book left me regretting I had spent the time reading it.
ktptcruisin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After hearing an interview with the author I was excited to read his newest book "Book of Fate" but alas it had not yet been released, so I settled for the First Counsel to acquaint me with the author. The book was good, but I thought it was a little too drawn out, I think the author could have summed up the story in about 200 less pages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not his best, but Nora Hartson may have been my favorite character in his novels yet.  Exciting, thrilling, keeps you guessing, just like the other five books of Meltzer's I have read.....I definitely recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
the author writes a book that keeps you wanting to turn the page especially when the main character gets into trouble
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love all his books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jodaniicus More than 1 year ago
When I read a novel I want it to take me to a place that I want to be. This novel is all about a wimp. I'm actually surprised I finished reading it. Although the main character shows some spine near the end, his lack of courage winds up allowing the villan to do one last horrific deed. The situations are highly improbable and oherwise very contrived. Give me Vince Flynn, Brad Thor, Lee Child, Stuart Woods, or David Baldachi any day.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago