Disbelief. Novelists ask readers to suspend our disbelief while they present their imagined characters and situations in ways that lead us to recognize something about human nature or relationships. Some novelists, like David Baldacci, have created brands with their novels that reprise characters and place them in new situations. Protagonists Sean King and Michelle Maxwell return in Baldacci’s latest novel, First Family. Sean and Michelle are competent private investigators, and former Secret Service agents. In First Family, they’ve been hired by the First Lady to find a missing child. What unfolds has all the qualities of a thriller: fast-paced action and plot twists and turns. For me, the novel fell apart in the middle when there were few characters that had any complexity or multiple dimensions. Past the middle, the plot became so implausible that any surrender of disbelief became impossible. I plodded through to the end, shaking my head at the drivel that can sell a lot of books. If you’re looking for an escape from reality, and little need to engage your mind, consider reading First Family.
Rating: Two-star (Mildly Recommended)