A date with the president's daughter draws an ambitious young lawyer into a bewildering web of scandal, extortion and murder in this formulaic but lightning-paced suspense thriller set behind the scenes at the White House. Michael Garrick works for Edgar Simon, counsel to the president, and knows the inside workings of Washington and the precarious image-management duties of the First Family. But he finds himself quickly out of his depth on a date with the volatile First Daughter, Nora Hartson, when the two see Michael's boss in a gay bar. Nora insists on following the married lawyer, and the two witness Simon making a suspicious cash drop. Subsequent events link Michael to the cash and the murder of Caroline Penzler, friend of the First Lady and the lawyer who has the dirt on all the big shots. With his career, a presidential election and perhaps his life at stake, Michael cannot trust anyone, least of all Nora, who is dogged by rumors of drug use, promiscuity and general wildness. She is the only witness to his innocence, but he is intent on protecting her, and the president, from suspicion. Meltzer (The Tenth Justice; Dead Even) sprinkles his tale with many interesting details of working in and around the White House. He relies on some heavy-handed techniques to generate suspenseDMichael is always sensing someone watching him or peering through slowly opening doorsDand the plot has a familiar Hollywood ring to it. But Meltzer's relentless narrative finally digs its hooks in, and even skeptical readers will want to continue through the twists and turns, if only to confirm their own predictions. Agent, Jill Kneerim. (Jan. 9)
Reviewed on: 01/01/2001 Release date: 01/01/2001 Genre: Fiction
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