The President’s teenaged son is threatened by a potentially fatal illness that is rooted in dark secrets from a long-buried past.
President Geoffrey Hilliard and his family live in the ever-present glare of the political limelight, with relentless scrutiny of their daily lives. The White House is not an easy place to grow up, so when the President’s son Cam, a sixteen-year-old chess champion, experiences extreme fatigue, moodiness, and an uncharacteristic violent outburst, doctors are quick to dismiss his troubles as teen angst. But Secret Service agent Karen Ray, whose job is to guard the president's family with her life, is convinced Cam’s issues are serious – serious enough to summon her physician ex-husband for a second opinion.
Dr. Lee Blackwood’s concerns are dismissed by the president's team – until Cam gets sicker. Lee must make a diagnosis from a puzzling array of symptoms he's never seen before. His only clue is a patient named Susie Banks, a young musical prodigy who seems to be suffering from the same baffling condition as Cam. Hospitalized after an attempt on her life by a determined killer, Susie’s jeopardy escalates as Cam’s condition takes on a terrifying new dimension.
Is someone trying to murder the President’s son?
As Lee and Karen race for a cure to Cam’s mysterious and deadly disease, they begin to uncover betrayals that breach the highest levels of national security.
Returning to the same Washington, DC setting of The First Patient, which former President Bill Clinton said “captured the intense atmosphere of the White House,” The First Family is a riveting new medical drama from acclaimed novelist Daniel Palmer, in the tradition of his late father, New York Times bestselling novelist Michael Palmer.
Praise for The First Family:
"Terrifying and all too plausible—Daniel Palmer continues his father's tradition of delivering authentic and high-velocity medical suspense. The combination of medical chills and high-level Washington make The First Family irresistible.” —Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of Paranoia and The Switch
"Palmer's The First Family gives you likable characters to root for, a top-notch villain, and enough excitement to make your hair curl. Have fun with this thriller." —Catherine Coulter, author of The Devil's Triangle
“Double the trouble, twice the action, and quadruple the enjoyment, this is a high-octane game changer.” —Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Bishop's Pawn and The Lost Order
“High-stakes and intelligent, The First Family is everything you want in a medical thriller. Chilling!”
—Robert Dugoni #1 Amazon, Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestselling author of My Sisters Grave
"The First Family is adrenaline-fueled entertainment that twists, turns, surprises and satisfies!” -John Lescroart, New York Times bestselling author
"A Palmer novel transports you into the complex world of medical-legal-social ethics. The First Family doesn't disappoint, wrestling with the murky questions of what we can do versus what we should do. Gripping.” —Kathy Reichs, New York Times bestselling author and creator of Bones
Paper-thin characters and a hard-to-swallow plot mar bestseller Palmer's self-described homage to his late father Michael's The First Patient. Karen Ray, the Secret Service agent primarily responsible for the safety of Cam Hilliard, the U.S. president's teenage son, consults her ex-husband, Washington, D.C., family practitioner Lee Blackwood, after Frederick Gleason, the head White House physician, suggests that Cam be treated for a mental health problem. Lee is brought in for a second opinion, and, after his exam, clashes with Gleason over Cam's treatment. Lee's suspicions that there's a physical basis for Cam's symptoms are eventually validated and lead him and Karen to look into the True Potential Institute, "a unique educational center dedicated to helping D.C.'s most gifted children develop mastery in a variety of disciplines," where Cam, a chess master, studies chess and where he routinely receives medications intended to boost mental acuity. The plot never generates much suspense. Readers can only hope that Palmer (Mercy) will return to form next time.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The First Family
WOW! You really have to force yourself to put the book down!
So ready for the next book!
Interesting plot with very plausible twists. Totally kept me turning the pages I have recommended to all my friends.
Gripping Medical Thriller
I received a copy from NetGalley and St Martin’s Press
I’ve always LOVED Michael Palmer. This is the first book I’ve read by Daniel and boy does he follow in Michael’s footsteps. I’m so happy to see the legacy lives on. It was interesting that the patient is the presidents 16 year old son, Cam. A long time secret service agent, Karen, who guards him has concerns about his well being when he becomes withdrawn and lashes out at times. The White House physician just thinks he needs a psychiatrist. Karen calls her ex husband, Lee, who is a doctor, for a second opinion. It’s chilling at what the outcome is. Don’t want to spoil it so I can’t tell. Working in the medical field, this story really sucked me in. It’s chilling to think this could really happen. It’s not too far fetched. My favorite part was how the role and lifestyle of a family physician was explained. People hear “doctor” and automatically think money, when the sad truth is, this day in time, a family physician does good to make ends meet after paying overhead. The ones left practicing are owned by big hospitals and are encouraged to refer everyone to specialists. The ones who truly are in it for the patients give so much of their time for free and also a lot of their services for free. It’s even worse in areas that are 80% Medicare population like here. But I guess I got off the subject here. Read the book, you won’t be disappointed if you love a good medical mystery.