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Balance of Power Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook


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Product Details

  • Audio CD: 5 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Audio; Abridged edition (Oct. 14 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0739301292
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739301296
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 2.5 x 12.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 222 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,227,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

Balance of Power, the third of Richard North Patterson's political thrillers about the election and Presidency of Kerry Kilcannon, is as gripping and savvy as its predecessors. Kilcannon's second marriage, to his long-term fiancée Lara, is marred by the shooting of most of her family by her deranged and abusive brother-in-law who bought an automatic weapon and gut-shredding bullets from an anonymous dealer at a gun fair. Kilcannon had always intended to take on the gun lobby--and this high-profile massacre of his wife's relations gives him an opportunity. What follows is a nightmare of political chicanery, as his opponents are persuaded to ever lower tactics by their gun lobby contributors.

The personal injury suit his surviving sister-in-law brings against manufacturers and lobbyists runs aground on perjury and a politically ambitious judge. His opponents are even prepared to use blackmail--a document surfaces proving that the relationship between Kilcannon and Lara preceded his divorce. This is a terrifying novel, which pictures the currency of American political life as bribery, threats and the grossest of intrusions into private life; it is a vision of how vilely things can perhaps sometimes work, and how intelligence, will and the application of sound legal principles might make them otherwise. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Gun control and tort reform are the thorny issues tackled in this political drama, with Patterson hero Kerry Kilcannon ensconced in the White House and planning his marriage to former television journalist Lara Costello. Kilcannon (last glimpsed in Protect and Defend) has been president for less than a year when he is caught up in a potentially disastrous domestic crisis. Lara's sister, Joan, is brutally beaten by her husband, John Bowden, and Kerry, who rescued his own mother from his violent father, lets emotion get the better of him, asking the California DA to intervene. Meanwhile, in the political arena, Kerry is battling an NRA-type group called Sons of the Second Amendment (SSA). When the fuse Kerry lit under John Bowden explodes predictably (Bowden goes on a killing spree in an airport while the Kilcannons are away on their honeymoon), Kerry sees red and goes after the manufacturer of the gun Bowden used. The gun lobby circles wagons around the SSA and pushes a tort-reform bill called the Civil Justice Reform Act, which protects the manufacturers of any "products" from litigation by victims of criminals. Congress kowtows to America's captains of industry, with guns as the focal point: "gun immunity hung in the balance of power between the President and the senator who intended to displace him." This is a Democratic nightmare scenario, and the novel paints a grim picture of the challenges facing gun-control advocates. Patterson is known for his intricate law-and-politics-laced crime fiction, but lawmaking trumps suspense in this novel and may leave his fans wanting for more. Patterson is a strong supporter of gun control-as he notes in an afterword-and his passion is evident here. Readers seeking pure entertainment may be disappointed, but those with the patience to follow the involved plot will learn much about gun policy debate.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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FEELING THE GUN AGAINST THE NAPE OF HER NECK, Joan Bowden froze. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
Richard North Patterson's "Balance of Power" continues his series featuring the young Democratic President Kerry Kilcannon. As with the other entries in this series, it contains a plot almost guaranteed to fire political controversy.
Kilcannon, you see, is written as a man driven by principle. Earlier, it was this principle that made him force through the confirmation of Caroline Masters to the US Supreme Court even though she decided in favour of abortion in a landmark case. This time around, the issue is gun control.
As Patterson frequently reminds his readers, Kilcannon believes in this cause passionately - having lost his elder brother to gun violence and been wounded himself during his Presidential campaign (all similarities between Patterson's characters and real-life ones are of course wholly intentional). It is, however, the First Lady who gives impetus to the debate when her family is shot.
Most of the old characters from the Kilcannon series make repeat appearances here. Kerry and Lara (who marries him early in the book), Chad and Allie Palmer, even Macdonald Gage - the Republican Majority Leader who Kilcannon previously destroyed politically - appears as an "elder statesman" for the new Majority Leader, Frank Fasano. Another welcome returnee is Sarah Dash, the lawyer in the Tierney case which gave Justice Masters such headaches. Dash now, conveniently, works for the Kilcannon Center - an anti-gun violence group - and attempts to sue an arms manufacturer and the Sons of the Second Amendment (Patterson's thinly-disguised NRA) in a case which forms the backbone of the novel.
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By W. Marshall on Feb. 13 2004
Format: Hardcover
Several scenarios in this book did not ring true nor make any sense (unless you were living in cuckoo land) and yet were presented with some authority as fact. Not possible I thought and further reading revealed the background of this nasty book and its agenda. Patterson may well be passionate about gun control, but why the need to tell lies? Forget the plot, this book is just a blatant attack on the NRA by a member of the Brady bunch. When you have to rely on distortion and lies to support a position then your position must be seriously flawed and desperate. This attempt to dress up propaganda as faction is an insult to our intelligence and the author has badly misjudged his self importance and influence. How fitting that two other well known liars endorse the contents of this book. If you have been a fan of the author's previous fiction by all means read it, but avoid financing this type of nonsense by getting a library copy and only if you want a hard slog and if you really really have nothing better to read.
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Format: Hardcover
While the book may have some merit as an adventure-suspense novel, it comes across as a thinly veiled radical liberal political propaganda vehicle designed only to convince readers that private gun ownership is bad and must be totally banned. There are many half truths and false statements in the book that distort the factual reality of gun possession. For example, Patterson says that violent crime felons "can go into a gun show and buy enough handguns to arm the whole Al Quyeda network." This is a gross lie and Patterson should know better. There are adequate safeguards and procedures in Federal and state laws that effectively prevent that. As well, gun possession by felons is a Federal crime punishable by a long prison term and hefty fine. There are a number of other lies and false statements in the book, all designed to convince the American Public to give up one of its most important and powerful civil rights--private gun ownership. This, of course, is what the promoters of a totalitarian system of government want for this country, rule by "what we say the law is," not law written in absolute terms that protect the freedoms of the people. Private gun ownership has been the cornerstone of our system of civil liberties, individual freedoms and security since the founding of this country, and it attests that there is no other country in the world that comes close to our freedoms. Patterson obviously wants to change all that. You can tell where the book is coming from from its dustcover ratings by such discredited national radical liberal figures as Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy. Save your money and buy Tom Clancy or another responsible author.
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By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER on Jan. 23 2004
Format: Audio CD
With numerous stage, television, and film roles to her credit you'd expect Patricia Kalember to deliver a first-rate reading - she does and raises the bar with her rendering of Richard North Patterson's latest D.C. based thriller.
With "Balance of Power" Patterson once more focuses on fictional Democratic politician Kerry Kilcannon. Recently elected to the presidency Kerry is set to marry his fiancé, television journalist Lara Costello. When Lara' sister is again brutalized by her abusive husband, John Bowden, Kerry intervenes. Then, the horrific: shortly after the wedding Bowden goes on a wild rampage shooting the innocent, including his wife and their daughter.
Kerry is so affected by this carnage that he promises to battle gun violence which means turning over Washington's most powerful lobby, the SSA or Sons of the Second Amendment.
It's at this point that Patterson's knowledge of Washington, its politics and power brokers really comes to the fore as Kerry becomes involved in a no-holds-barred battle with his nemesis, Senate Majority Leader Frank Fasano.
There is enough political intrigue and legal maneuvers in "Balance of Power" to keep everyone listening from rapid-fire start to boffo finish.
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