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The 500 (Hardcover)
June 2012 Indie Next List
“Wow, can Quirk write an intense thriller! Mike Ford is a reformed confidence man--which makes him perfectly suited to be a junior member of a Washington strategic consulting firm. Perfectly suited, that is, until his conscience gets the best of him and his bosses try to set him up to take a fall. Quirk knows just how to build up suspense with the right mix of insider knowledge, procedural description, and school-of-hard-knocks action, and the reader ends up rooting for the anti-Boy Scout to take down the big dogs.”
— Nichole McCown, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
A gripping thriller debut, set deep in the heart of the world's most powerful political arena
A year ago, fresh out of Harvard Law School, Mike Ford landed his dream job at the Davies Group, Washington's most powerful consulting firm. Now, he's staring down the barrel of a gun, pursued by two of the world's most dangerous men. To get out, he'll have to do all the things he thought he'd never do again: lie, cheat, steal-and this time, maybe even kill.
Mike grew up in a world of small-stakes con men, learning lessons at his father's knee. His hard-won success in college and law school was his ticket out. As the Davies Group's rising star, he rubs shoulders with "The 500," the elite men and women who really run Washington -- and the world. But peddling influence, he soon learns, is familiar work: even with a pedigree, a con is still a con.
Combining the best elements of political intrigue and heart-stopping action, THE 500 is an explosive debut, one that calls to mind classic thrillers like The Firm and Presumed Innocent. In Mike Ford, readers will discover a new hero who learns that the higher the climb, the harder -- and deadlier -- the fall.
About the Author
Matthew Quirk studied history and literature at Harvard College. After graduation, he spent five years at "The Atlantic" reporting on crimes, private military contractors, the opium trade, terrorism prosecutions, and international gangs. He lives in Washington, D.C.
"A thundering David-and-Goliath tale of corruption...This is a real page turner, with high stakes action that doesn't stop. Expect this to be one of the season's most talked-about debut thrillers. A sequel is in the offing and will be much anticipated."
-Michele Leber, Booklist (Starred Review)
"Quirk's engaging first novel transplants the milieu of Grisham's The Firm to the world of political lobbyists...Quirk supplies just enough characterization and journalistic detail of Washington, D.C. life to ground his story as he launches into a streamlined, gripping man-on-the-run thriller."