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Absolute Power [Mass Market Paperback]

David Baldacci
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 1 2010
In a heavily guarded mansion in a posh Virginia suburb, a man and a woman start to make love, trapping Luther Whitney, a career break-in artist, behind a secret wall. Then the passion turns deadly, and Luther is running into the night. Because what he has just seen is a brutal murder involving Alan Richmond, the president of the United States, the man with...Absolute Power.

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Absolute Power + Total Control + The Winner
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Product Description

From Amazon

Can the President get away with murder? The fictional answer to this question results in a fast-paced page turner that combines political intrigue with gritty, hard-boiled suspense --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Casting the president of the United States as a crazed villain isn't a new idea?Fletcher Knebel worked it 30 years ago, in Night of Camp David?but in this sizzler of a first novel, Baldacci, a D.C. attorney, proves that the premise still has long legs. The action begins when a grizzled professional cat burglar gets trapped inside the bedroom closet of one of the world's richest men, only to witness, through a one-way mirror, two Secret Service agents kill the billionaire's trampy young wife as she tries to fight off the drunken sexual advances of the nation's chief executive. Running for his life, but not before he picks up a bloodstained letter opener that puts the president at the scene of the crime, the burglar becomes the target of a clandestine manhunt orchestrated by leading members of the executive branch. Meanwhile, Jack Graham, once a public defender and now a high-powered corporate attorney, gets drawn into the case because the on-the-lam burglar just happens to be the father of his former financee, a crusading Virginia prosecutor. Embroidering the narrative through assorted plot whorls are the hero's broken romance; his conflict over selling out for financial success; the prosecutor's confused love-hate for her burglar father; the relentless investigation by a northern Virginia career cop; the dilemma of government agents trapped in a moral catch-22; the amoral ambitions of a sexy White House Chief of Staff; and the old burglar's determination to bring down the ruthless president. Meanwhile, lurking at the novel's center like a venomous spider is the sociopathic president. Baldacci doesn't peer too deeply into his characters' souls, and his prose is merely functional?in both respects, he's much closer to Grisham than to, say, Forsyth; but he's also a first-rate storyteller who grabs readers by their lapels right away and won't let go until they've finished his enthralling yarn. Major ad/promo; BOMC alternate; film rights sold to Castle Rock; simultaneous Time Warner AudioBook.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A REAL PAGE-TURNER April 22 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the second David Baldacci book I have read-and it won't be the last. The plot seems improbable at first, but you quickly get caught up in the suspense. Jack Graham is an appealing hero, but his romantic interest, Kate Whitney, never quite seems believable. The other characters, notably Gloria Russell and Bill Burton, add nicely to the spine-tingling anticipation of wanting to know what happens next. I really enjoyed this book, to the point I will buy my own copy when I can (the one I read was from the library). David Baldacci has a new fan! One criticism, albeit minor: I would recommend that Mr. Baldacci study the work of Robert Ludlum to see how to improve his characterizations and narrative detail. Regardless, I intend to read everything he writes from now on. I am thrilled to encounter such a major new talent!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Absolute power corrupts absolutely June 27 2004
Here we have a book where the President of the United States is the bad guy.....and the criminal is the man of honor. This book is a thriller with political intrigue and takes place mostly around the Metro D.C. area.
The book starts with an aging burglar, Luther, breaking into a billionaire's well protected mansion. He is suprised, but not caught by none other than the President of the good ol'USA. Who happens to be with the billionaire's young wife. Luther who is hidden in a safe with a two-way mirror, watches as the President starts to beat on the young woman. The woman in an act of self preservation, grabs a letter opener and stabs the President. The ensuing struggle and yell from the President, brings the very effective Secret Service Agents into the room. Where they shoot and kill her.
The scheming Chief of Staff hatches a quick course of action to start a cover up. But no one is aware of Luther who has watched the whole horrid affair. The story begins to pick up speed when Luther decides he has do what is right and set things straight.
You can tell this is Mr. Baldacci's first book. But worth the read. I read Total Control first, and find that book of a much higher quality. I think he will only improve with each book he writes. There were parts in this book where I just had to read one more section before I put it down.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Negitive -10 stars April 26 2004
By A Customer
Here we have the president of the US screwing his mentor's, the richest man on earth, way too young wife. The Pres and the girl are stinking drunk. Turns out the Pres is a violent screw and starts to choke the girl. She fights back, the Pres's two body guards hear the noise, burst into the room and blow her head off. The Pres passes out on the bed. His Chief of Staff, a woman, is also there and when she enters the room decides they will clean up the mess and make it look like a burglary. So she tells the two body guards to go put on a pot of coffee cuz it's gonna be a long night. As soon as they leave she runs over, locks the door, jumps over the dead girl's body, stripes off her panty hose, straddles the naked, unconscious Pres and proceeds to rape(?) him till she gets her rocks off. Then puts herself back together and unlocks the door. IS THAT SICK OR WHAT!! What the heck was Baldacci and his editors thinking of when they left that Chief of Staff part in.
I never made it past that scene when first I tried reading this book a couple years ago. This go round I forced my self to read on. It gets better for a very little awhile....then falls apart when the eye witness (a burglar) to all the above , who's been arrested for the murder, refuses to talk to his lawyer (a long time friend) about what he saw. YEAH RIGHT. Give me a break. I don't know about you but if I witnessed the above murder I'd be talking my head off ASAP. And then the bodies start to drop, starting with the eye witness. Too many bodies are dropping with out any one making a fuss. I mean the richest man in the world is killed and nothing happens.
An utterly ridiculous book
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4.0 out of 5 stars Now I want to see the movie again April 16 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the second book that I've read by this author, and it was definitely a page-turner. However, there weren't any characters that were really likable. The only character that I warmed to somewhat was Luther, a lifelong burglar who had spent a good part of his life in prison. What does that tell you about the rest of the characters in the book?
Jennifer, Kate, and Jack, although not criminal in a legal sense, were devastatingly emotionally immature and stunted. Their tragic lack of insight and common sense despite their towering academic and professional achievements were incongruities that we have all witnessed over and over again of those in power. Jennifer, in particular, seemed to be an archetypal caricature of those in certain social classes who are chronically afflicted with a haughty lack of humanity.
On a technical note, Luther proclaims that he voted for the current president, yet he's a three-time felon who lost his voting privileges a long time ago.
Nonetheless, this book was a fun read, and I'm sure I will seek out this author again.
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1.0 out of 5 stars not what I was hoping for Oct. 22 2002
By Plaque
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I gave up on this novel on page 223. It simply didn't meet any of my expectations for a Baldacci novel. I enjoyed "The Winner" thoroughly, but "Absolute Power" falls flat for me.
I saw the movie when it was new, and I remembered it being well done. Thinking back, however, this was probably due to the performances of Clint Eastwood and Gene Hackman, two actors who can make ANY material interesting. Eastwood also directed the film (I think), and edited this story down to the bare essentials.
Thankfully, the movie was edited down. The subplots and goings-on which were not included in the film are trite and I did not find them compelling at all. I got halfway though and couldn't muster up one ounce of interest in anything the "Jack" character did. The Chief of Staff character was not drawn very well either... anyone who behaves in such an unthinking, "maverick" fashion would never be able to stage a cover-up so elaborate.
Maybe I have a low tolerance for the "thriller" genre. I have a great deal of respect for the works of Ludlum, Clancy, McBain, Spillane, and Wambaugh, but have a hard time with your average thriller since they all seem the same to me. "Absolute Power" is no exception. The above authors all seem to bring something unique to the table; Baldacci does not.
I have to conclude this by reiterating that "The Winner" was an excellent thriller, so Baldacci is 1-and-1 on my score sheet. We'll see the next time I try him if he redeems himself.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book.
Published 21 days ago by Wabbit
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommend this highly
Absolutely riveting and could not put the book down. Recommend this highly.
Published 1 month ago by Irene Majer
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it!
Great book. Captivating from the first page. Would definitely recommend it. ( but why does a review require minimum words?)
Published 7 months ago by ck022
4.0 out of 5 stars Suspense and Suspension of Disbelief
David Baldacci's first novel is a strong opener, enough like John Grisham's work to satisfy Grisham fans but more unique than a simple knock-off. Read more
Published 19 months ago by John M. Ford
5.0 out of 5 stars A riveting read for a holiday.
There are too many leaders who believe they are above the law and they are the most dangerous. I love when villans are held accountable but it can be a dark and dangerous process.
Published on July 22 2011 by M. D. Barnicke Belleghem
1.0 out of 5 stars Annoying
I am so annoyed with this book it took me a month to read it. I wanted so bad for the premise to be good. How often to you hear about an original story line. Read more
Published on Sept. 3 2010 by Nath Drouin
4.0 out of 5 stars The first of Baldacci's bestsellers....
I've been a fan of David Baldacci's political thrillers for a while now, but realized I had never read Absolute Power - the one that started his string of bestsellers. (17! Read more
Published on March 26 2010 by Luanne Ollivier
3.0 out of 5 stars Story is engaging
But the writing leaves a lot to be desired. The opening line tells you what you're in for: "He gripped the steering wheel loosely... Read more
Published on July 17 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Absolute Power is a fast paced,highly suspencful novel.When Luther goes to work, no one knows about it.For he would be arrested if they did. Read more
Published on May 19 2004 by Fred Black
1.0 out of 5 stars You've got to be kidding me
1. Great story...It's like The Simple Truth, but worse
2. The way was written could've been alot better
3. Read more
Published on Feb. 8 2004 by B.F.
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