Absolute Power Mass Market Paperback – Jan 1 2010
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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
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
I can say now I am very glad I decided to give Baldacci a go. As much as I hate using cliches, this one is a real page turner. After finishing my first Neil Gaiman novel, comparatively, I was not expecting much in the way of elegant or intelligent writing. I was pleasantly surprised to discover Baldacci to be a capable writer who has a tight but elegant way of expressing his setting, plot, and characters. His words effortlessly set the scene and describe the action so well it flows much like a film right before your eyes. His use of action and the way he writes dialogue is almost as if this was a screenplay before it was an novel. He certainly knows a great deal about the world of lawyers, politics, and law enforcement. It was not until after I was two thirds through this book that I found he practiced law which would explain this intimate knowledge of these subjects. This really brings an expert point of view to the story and adds to the reader's understanding while they immerse themselves deeper into the plot.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Often the simplest plots provide the most value. In this novel we see someone witness a murder. That is the simple part. It gets more complex. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jeffrey Swystun
An action packed thriller that was very entertaining - good story plot that kept you on the edge and awake at nightPublished 8 months ago by Glen A Phillips
David Baldacci really knows how to write a book. I could not put it down.Published 11 months ago by lynnie
Good read. Characters well developed. Author did a good job creating a meaty story.Published 13 months ago by Anita Smart
Baldacci at his best. The endless twists and turns kept one glued to the book, and made for late nights. Excellent character descriptions. Could not hope for a better plot.Published 14 months ago by emannep