The First Counsel by Brad Meltzer

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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.

About Brad Meltzer

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Brad Meltzer is the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers The Inner Circle, The Book of Fate, and six other bestselling thrillers. His nonfiction books, Heroes for My Son and Heroes for My Daughter, were also New York Times bestsellers. He is the host of the History Channel series Brad Meltzer's Decoded and the Eisner Award-winning writer of Justice League of America. A graduate of the University of Michigan and Columbia Law School, 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
Published March 9, 2001 by Grand Central Publishing. 544 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Horror, Action & Adventure. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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What she wants now out of Michael Garrick is ditching her Secret Service escorts and going on a joyride to what turns out to be a gay bar in Adams Morgan, where she and Michael spot his boss, straight-arrow White House counsel Edgar Simon, and tail him to an isolated place where he drops off a pa...

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Publishers Weekly

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Their first date begins with a wild car chase to shake off Nora's ever-present Secret Service tail and ends when Nora and Michael see something they were never meant to see—something that will put Michael's career, and his life, in danger.

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Book Reporter

Her death appears to be the result of a heart attack, but there is doubt, and people heard her arguing with Garrick just before she was found dead --- by Garrick.

Dec 01 2001 | Read Full Review of The First Counsel

Entertainment Weekly

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.

Jan 19 2001 | Read Full Review of The First Counsel

Reviewing the Evidence

Meltzer takes the intricate workings of the White House and tries hard to give us a thrilling, contemporary view of life within its legal department.

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