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Absolute Power [Mass Market Paperback]

David Baldacci
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 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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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
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it! Feb. 8 2014
By ck022
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great book. Captivating from the first page. Would definitely recommend it. ( but why does a review require minimum words?)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Suspense and Suspension of Disbelief Feb. 20 2013
By John M. Ford TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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. Luther Whitney is a crime story cliché: the career burglar who steals things "only from those who can afford to lose them." He avoids violence toward himself and others. As Luther burgles a Virginia mansion, he demonstrates an expected facility with electronic surveillance systems, locks and assorted tools and techniques of his trade. But it all goes wrong.

Fleeing from unexpected visitors, Luther hides in a room-sized vault with a one-way mirror view of the master bedroom. There he watches Christie Sullivan begin an adulterous affair with the philandering President of the United States, Alan Richmond. Their night goes badly, too. Rough sex turns to anger, then violence. He hits her; she slaps him, he beats and tries to strangle her. When Christie defends herself with a letter opener, Richmond screams. His Secret Service detail rushes in and shoot her dead. Now everyone's evening is ruined.

The rest of the story plays out as the President, his Chief of Staff Gloria Russell, and his two trusted Secret Service agents, Bill Burton and Tim Collin, try to cover up their involvement. Luther escapes immediate detection, but his burglary provides a convenient trail for the investigation. Along the way we meet a well-developed cast of characters. Luther's daughter Kate has been estranged from him for years, but returns to his life in the middle of its current crisis. Jack Graham, who Kate once intended to marry, turns from his lucrative law practices and ludicrous, high maintenance fiancé to help his lost love and her father.
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars A riveting read for a holiday. July 22 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Annoying Sept. 3 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
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. This book is way to long. At best there is about 150 pages worth of material. All of the characters have to much useless background which doesn't move the story along. I fond myself skipping hold section about lawyers and firms which made me less mad at this rag.

I also notice how Jack makes me thing he is the same guy as Sean in the King and Maxwell serie. Keep your money, buy something else.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The first of Baldacci's bestsellers.... March 26 2010
By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
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!)

Luther Whitney is a master burglar. For the last twenty years, he's tried to keep his nose clean. But he pulls one last job for an old friend. He breaks in without incident, but is suddenly forced to hide when the owner and some others come home. He is stunned when the unthinkable happens - even more unbelievable is the perpetrator - the President of the United States.

Luther turns to lawyer Jack Graham - the ex boyfriend of his estranged daughter.

What a great premise for a story! And Baldacci does it masterfully. The plotting is tight and the action non stop. I enjoyed discovering Baldacci's 'beginning.' He has made the secret service/White House thriller genre his own.

But the reader in this case was fantastic. Scott Brick is an award winning audio book narrator. His voice is rich and resonant, conveying the suspense of this novel, keeping me on the edge of my chair. His voice conveys so much, from the malevolence of the bad guys to the uncertainty of a bewildered daughter.

There was a bonus short story included on the last disc (17!) of this set. I didn't realize that this book had been made into a movie starring Clint Eastwood and Gene Hackman in 1997.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Story is engaging July 17 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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..." According to Webster's, grip means to seize or hold firmly, so by definition, gripping cannot be done loosely. This is the sort of annoying, unprofessional writing you have to look forward to throughout the novel. If you're just looking for an engaging story, you will have to suspend quite a lot of disbelief, but you may find the idea of this novel intriguing. If you consider quality of writing to be important, don't get this one. It was bad enough that I have not been willing to spend my money on another Baldacci novel.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Absolute power corrupts absolutely
Here we have a book where the President of the United States is the bad guy.....and the criminal is the man of honor. Read more
Published on June 27 2004 by M. A. Ramos
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 Negitive -10 stars
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. Read more
Published on April 26 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Now I want to see the movie again
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. Read more
Published on April 16 2004 by Vanessa Larkspur
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.
4.0 out of 5 stars A great book, Baldacci is great
This was a compelling, intriguing story that had me on the edge of my seat the whole way through. The movie ruined the story--but that's Clint for you.
Published on Nov. 16 2003 by Alicia Walker
2.0 out of 5 stars Absoulte Garbage
Absolute Power starts off very strongly, but degenerates into a series of improbabilities that made me start skipping pages three at a time toward the end. Read more
Published on Sept. 29 2003 by Jeffrey Williams
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