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Executive Privilege [Hardcover]

Jay Brandon
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 10 2001
For years, Edgar-nominee (Fade the Heat) Jay Brandon has enthralled readers with novels set in the legal world of his hometown of San Antonio, Texas. But with Executive Privilege, Brandon chooses a wider stage and brings the reader an all-new thriller set against the backdrop of our nation’s capital, the story of a wife’s desperate attempt to save herself and her young son from her husband, a man involved with selling our nation’s secrets and willing to do whatever he can to ensure that his family doesn’t get away. The wife? Myra McPherson, the First Lady of the United States.

When San Antonio attorney David Owens wins an important divorce case, he hopes the victory will bring him some new business. But he never imagined that the First Lady, a Texas native, would walk through his office door. Shy and fearful, the First Lady explains that she needs to divorce the President, to get herself and her young son out of the White House. The President is engaged in dangerous dealings . . . and has been unfaithful. But no woman has ever divorced a sitting President, and while every President has secrets, none are like the secrets this President wants to protect: his nefarious dealings with a billionaire businessman willing to use his money and power to manipulate even the leader of our nation.

When the news breaks, the publicity is huge, but the threat is even bigger. Orders have been given to kill the First Lady and her son, and all that stands in the way is her divorce lawyer and one Secret Service agent whose oath to protect her charges is more important to her than the power of the President.

With all the elements of a great thriller and a great courtroom drama, Jay Brandon delivers a novel sure to keep you up long past your bedtime.

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From Booklist

Sometimes you're settling into a thriller and you think: why hasn't someone thought of this before? Although the idea of the First Lady divorcing her husband while he's still the president may have seemed farfetched a few years back, it's entirely plausible these days, and it's a little surprising that it has taken this long for someone to write a novel about it. And a fine novel it is, too: exciting, smart, deceptive. How would the wife of the U.S. president go about getting a divorce, anyway? That's what Texas attorney David Owens needs to find out after he's hired to act as her lawyer. Owens is instantly propelled into the top levels of American government and into a plot of devilish complexity that threatens to ruin his career, if it doesn't kill him first. Brandon, the author of 11 previous novels, sets us up to expect a hairraising finale, and he delivers the goods. An expert blend of intelligent plotting and adrenalinepumping suspense. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Jay Brandon is a former prosecutor in his home town of San Antonio. His novel Loose Among the Lambs was a Main Selection of the Literary Guild. He was nominated for an Edgar Award for his novel Fade the Heat. He makes his home in San Antonio with his wife and three children.

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The Bexar County Courthouse in San Antonio is more than a hundred years old, the oldest working courthouse among the two hundred fifty-four counties of Texas. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Realities of Modern Life Dec 14 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Our Presidential roots suggests that it is entirely possible that a Presidential divorce would be out of the question given our high expectations of the office, its perks, and the dynamics under which it operates - while in office, as well as beyond it. However, given the nature of today's world, and the number of divorces that afflict the majority of the population, it is certainly an interesting concept to grapple with in the event it was ever a privilege at that executive level. In reviewing the concept, I had difficulty confining it to only future Presidents and was reminded of the difficulties other Presidential wives encountered, and what might have prompted a desire for divorce. For example, Jacqueline Kennedy might have been in such a situation had her husband not been assassinated prematurely. The complications of any divorce are difficult but must be nearly intolerable in such a prominent arena, thereby, encouraging the simplicity of dalliances rather than full blown affairs that might culminate in divorce for either party. It's obviously of some merit that the author decided to explore this unique, and conceivably legitimate topic since our Presidents are not usually permitted the luxury of being the human beings they might be without the pomp and circumstances that accompanies the office, sadly. The very tall order of the Presidential role does not easily lend itself to the rigors of daily life and freedom of relationships that might be formed outside of the "box," for the President or a First Lady. Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars Preposterous! But fun Feb. 4 2002
Young San Antonio attorney David Owens wins a big divorce case and hopes it will attract some new business, though his wildest dreams didn't feature his next client, the First Lady - that's right, the wife of the President - who wants a divorce for the sake of her precocious young son.
Even Owens finds this preposterous and when his office is searched by sinister Secret Service agents who say the woman was an imposter, he's inclined to accept it. Until he gets a mysterious, plaintive email message, which brings him to Washington and into the White House. Intriguing? Outlandish? It gets better. Owens and a female Secret Service agent outwit various guards and technology to spirit the First Lady and her son out of captivity and off on a cross-country road trip. There's even a heavy-handed villain - a megalomaniac billionaire technology tycoon (a Darth Vader version of Bill Gates) with a direct line to the president, who he all but handed into office. Ridiculous? Certainly. But Jay Brandon keeps it all moving; juggling action, plot lines and characters for a rousing, suspension-of-disbelief entertainment.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Will be a better movie than it is a book Dec 18 2001
This is a book that almost makes it to the top of the star chart. The premise of a sitting First Lady wanting to divorce her husbnand, the President is not so hard to accept. Many White House marriages have been badly flawed and it is only a matter of time before a spouse has really had enough. If Jay Brandon had dealt with just that scenario this might have been a better book. Instead he throws in a Satanized version of Bill Gates who has developed a computer chip that will do the most dastardly things and who has the President in the palm of his hand and sleeping with one of his confederates. The whole project is in danger of being exposed, however. Not by some super spy of industrial espionage, but by the President's 8 year old son who has learned of the plans (and understands them) while evesdropping during Oval Office visits. Myra, the First lady is obsessed with Randy and getting him out of the White House. The bad guy is obsessed with getting Randy and closing the loop on exposure of his plans. The President is obsessed with staying in office. All of this gets dumped in the lap of a Texas lawyer named David Owens who becomes obsessed with Helen, one of the Secret Service Agents protecting Myra and Randy. This then turns into a lot of cat and mouse running and hiding, power plays, threats and intrigues and a surprise ending which has been done several times before and is no surprise to the reader.
It probably is a better movie script than a book but, readers who like intrigue among the powerful will still enjoy the book. I just thought it was a bit of a stretch.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good thriller Nov. 20 2001
David Owens is a 32-year-old attorney in San Antonio who has just won an important divorce settlement case. This was only his fifth trial. Three weeks later he is surprised by a visit from the First Lady of the United States, Myra McPherson. She wants a divorce and she wants Owens to represent her and her 8-year-old son. Needless to say, this opens up a whole can of worms. First off, the president wants his family back in the White House, as do some other powerful interests. Secondly it seems that young Randy, the first couple’s son, knows something he shouldn’t and this scares some very powerful people.
This was a well-paced thriller. Filled with thrills and surprises. The premise seemed a little stretched at times, but it was still a fairly good read.
Cute quote from inside the covers:
“If you beat an enemy, you’ve just made an even worse enemy. But if you turn your enemy into your friend, then you’ll have a friend you can never really trust.�
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