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Absolute Power [Mass Market Paperback]

David Baldacci
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (451 customer reviews)

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Mass Market Paperback, November 1, 1996 --  
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Book Description

November 1, 1996 0446603589 978-0446603584

In a heavily guarded mansion in a posh Virginia suburb, a man and a woman start to make love, trapping a burglar behind a secret wall. Then the passion turns deadly, and the witness is running into the night. Because what he has just seen is a brutal slaying involving the President of the United States.


Luther Whitney is the career break-in artist who's in the wrong place at the wrong time. Alan Richmond is the charming U.S. President with the power to commit any crime. And Jack Graham is the young attorney, caught in a vortex between the absolute truth -- and...


A tale of greed, sex, ambition, and murder, this is the novel everyone has been talking about...the shattering, relentlessly suspenseful thriller that will change the way you think about Washington -- and power -- forever.

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books (November 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446603589
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446603584
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.1 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (451 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,124,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
84 of 89 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great book for a summer vacation July 27, 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A David Baldacci novel is a great companion for a summer vacation, and Absolute Power is no exception. At the end of each chapter, I would convince myself that I could read "just one more chapter." It cost me some sleep but I was able to go through large chunks of the book in a sitting. Although not as good as Total Control, which I think was Baldacci's best effort, Absolute Power was still a page turner. Having seen the movie years ago, I was a bit skeptical to pick up the book but I am glad that I did. Although Baldacci has obviously tightened up his writing skills with his subsequent novels, Absolute Power is still packed with action, suspense, plot twists and good character development. I quickly found myself rooting for Luther Whitney, who although a career thief also has an abundance of courage, integrity and personal fortitude. If you are a Baldacci fan but have not yet read his first work, I strongly recommend picking up Absolute Power.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
We enjoyed the author's later work, "Simple Truth", so decided to catch up on this his first novel based on his lawyer-turned-writer's ability to craft a good plot and keep us in suspense. We were not to be disappointed! Baldacci has spun another fine tale, starting off hot with a rich man's trophy wife murdered by the Secret Service as her bedmate, U.S. President(!) Alan Richmond, was in danger of being stabbed to death during a kinky sex scene gone bad. Amazingly, a cat burglar is watching all this from a closet through a one-way mirror; and he escapes with a bloody letter opener as well as the money and other prizes for which he came originally! From there, it's a suspenseful cover-up as the thief's lawyer, Jack Graham (a young stud super-star attorney reminiscent of the hero in Grisham's "The Firm") and the G-agents race to find or eliminate the clues which will bring the truth to light.

Many rightly complain that the Clint Eastwood movie, not all that bad itself, made too many changes by eliminating the lawyer and having the burglar do all the detective work. We agree the book is better, and if you're in the mood for a legal/crime thriller, then we feel confident you'll find "Absolute Power" an entertaining page turner, with some ruthless politics thrown in for good measure!
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47 of 53 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good page turner but a bit unbelievable at times January 15, 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I bought this book primarily on the basis of reviews that I read here. Every year I try to stock up on mindless fiction that can keep me occupied on a flight or my commute and the reviews of David Baldacci's first novel seemed to fit that bill.
Baldacci has definitely crafted a page-turner here. I plowed through this book and was gripped by the plot and an interest in finding how the author would bring it all to a conclusion. The novel centres around Luther Whitney, a sophisticated but aging burglar who stumbles across an incident involving the President of the United States. Whitney is torn between fearing for the influence and power which the President can use against those he loves versus trying to do good.
Nevertheless, the plot almost goes too far at times and borders on the verge of incredulity. Baldacci has a very good knack of making a plot more complicated - finding a way to dispose of evidence or making life difficult for one of the book's numerous protagonists and yet still letting the good guys win in the end by some stroke of luck. This turns the book from a fairly taut political thriller into something a little too fantastical for my tastes (i.e. a Secret Service Agent turning into some crazed homicidal maniac).
Nevertheless, Baldacci's first novel shows a potential to weave a good, complex tale and I fully intend to read some of his later books to see if he can tone down the plots while maintaining the suspense.
If I had the choice, I would give the book 3 1/2 stars but for the time being, have to make do with a middle-of-the-road 3.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A-"STAY UP ALL NITE PAGE-TURNER" !! December 29, 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am an avid reader, and I have several favorite authors-of which
David Balducci is now on the top of the list. This was the first
of his books that I have read, and I loved it. I read it in 2 days, as I could not put it down. The story is engrossing, and leaves the reader with that "one more chapter" feeling. I am definately going to read more of his books!!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another good one November 6, 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was the only book by baldacci I had not read. I waited for some time after seeing the movie as I wanted to be ready to absorb and enjoy. We know the book is usually better than the movie. Well, for me it did turn out that way. I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys politics, law and above all action. I will look forward as many others to his next book published.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
An incredibly fun book to read. I rarely have the time to read a "fun" book and this one was worthy of that time....I couldn't put it down. Read more
Published 20 hours ago by R. Armstrong
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great book! Not crazy about the way the ending came together.
Published 21 hours ago by david d knowles
5.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing story. The plot draws you into the ...
An intriguing story. The plot draws you into the story so that the reader does not want to put the book down. My first Baldacci's novel to read, but definitely not my last!!
Published 1 day ago by Lynda Gayle Knight
3.0 out of 5 stars like his King and Maxwell much
little slow to start, chapters are very long. like his King and Maxwell much better
Published 5 days ago by carolyn kearby
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book.
Hard to put down. Great book.
Published 6 days ago by Ronald Werner
4.0 out of 5 stars Good storyline, teaches a valuable lesson regarding power and...
I thoroughly enjoyed the storyline and how the author tied the characters together. Baldacci did a fantastic job in developing the roles of Jack Graham, Luther Whitney, and Seth... Read more
Published 10 days ago by sarena0215
5.0 out of 5 stars His first effort lacks potency.
His first novel and it shows. Sometimes the dialogue drags along with unnecessary "fluff", but a great introduction to Baldacci. Read more
Published 10 days ago by j.r.r. token
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
This was not a 'who done it book' because you knew who did it straight away but it was still full of suspense and interesting to the end.
Published 12 days ago by Marie Antoinette
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I saw the movie and the book is better. Lots of action and I like his characters!
Published 12 days ago by Lynne Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting.
Really liked this book!
Published 13 days ago by ANA
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