Saturday, January 23, 2021

The First Counsel by Brad Meltzer

I FINALLY read the paperback edition of The First Counsel by Brad Meltzer, which I've had in my 'to be read' pile since January 2011!! 

I purchased this political thriller novel at the FOL Used Bookstore in Carpinteria as I became interested in reading a novel by Brad Meltzer novel after I watched him on the History Channel's Decoded television series years ago.

The First Counsel by Brad Meltzer is the first novel I've read in a long time that is over 500 pages in length. In fact, I can't even remember the last time I read a book that was 500+ pages in length. I usually aim to read books under 350 pages these days. 

The First Counsel is the first novel I've read by Brad Meltzer. I can officially say I was underwhelmed by this novel. It took me roughly 2.5 months to finish reading it. 

Don't get me wrong, there were several things I enjoyed about The First Counsel... Like the fact that this novel is a political thriller, is set in both Washington DC and the White House... And, of course, the entire premise of this novel is a good one. I also enjoyed reading many of the fast paced, riveting, and well written scenes sprinkled throughout the novel. 

However, The First Counsel fell short in many ways for me. I think it dragged on way too long and had many dead spots in the storyline. It also has a predictable bad guy and red herrings. The main character made too many dumb moves for someone who is a seasoned attorney hired to work as part of the White House's in house counsel team. Some of the main characters seemed a bit over the top... mainly, the character of Nora Hartson, the President's daughter in this novel. This novel also read like a made for television movie in parts. So deciding whether I liked this novel or not was a difficult one.

Below is the plot summary for The First Counsel by Brad Meltzer from Amazon:
White House lawyer Michael Garrick has a relatively anonymous position at a very public address. That is, until he starts dating Nora Hartson (secret service code name: Shadow), the sexy and dangerously irresistible daughter of the President. But the confident young attorney thinks he can handle the pressure. Until, out on a date, Nora and Michael see something they shouldn't. To protect her, he admits to something he shouldn't. And when a body is discovered and Michael is the suspected killer, he finds himself on the run. Now, in a world where power is an aphrodisiac and close friends carry guns and are under strict orders to risk their lives, Michael must find a way to prove his innocence.

I am giving The First Counsel by Brad Meltzer a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars, which I think is generous. I think I'll skip on reading any further books written by Brad Meltzer.

Until my next post, happy reading!!


  1. Interesting review but the book doesn't seem to appeal to me so I'll probably give it a miss.

  2. I have often wondered if I should read this author. Now I will spend my time on thriller writers who are truly good. I purely hate books that sound like a made for TV movie. Thanks for your review. And I just want to say that there are so many great books over 500 pages. Watch out for some I will read in the coming months.

    1. I use to read more books that were over 500 pages in the past... Like when I was much younger. But now that I'm older for some reason reading shorter books means I can read more books.

  3. That's too bad that you didn't enjoy it. I haven't read this one but I did read, The Book of Lies. Honestly, I don't remember if I liked it. I didn't even give it a rating on Goodreads nor did I write a review. Oh well...

    But hey, great job reading a book that has been on your TBR pile since 2011!

    1. Thanks, I still have so many books in my 'tbr' pile that are 7+ years old waiting to be read.