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Absolute Power

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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 lett 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.

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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 lett 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.

30 review for Absolute Power

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bibi

    *Spoiler Alert* I read this some 15 years ago and it's a must for all lovers of thriller and sinister suspense books. It really is an adrenaline filled read, starting from the first chapter where Luther, a petty thief, witnesses the POTUS committing murder. Thereon, it's a race to ensure he does not become the next victim. Absolute Power and The Winner are, undoubtedly, some of Baldacci's best work.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    David Baldacci's Absolute Power has a decent story, but it was hard for me to enjoy because I found the writing so hackneyed that it distracted me from the plot. Here's a representative descriptive passage: At the sound of the explosion, the playing stopped as three pairs of eyes turned as one toward the house. In another minute they were inside. It only took one more minute for the screams to be heard. The quiet neighborhood was no more. Forget, for a moment, the clumsy use of the passive voice i David Baldacci's Absolute Power has a decent story, but it was hard for me to enjoy because I found the writing so hackneyed that it distracted me from the plot. Here's a representative descriptive passage: At the sound of the explosion, the playing stopped as three pairs of eyes turned as one toward the house. In another minute they were inside. It only took one more minute for the screams to be heard. The quiet neighborhood was no more. Forget, for a moment, the clumsy use of the passive voice in the first sentence, and focus instead on the bizarre description of three people as "three pairs of eyes." Not only is this unnecessary, it leads to the possibility of unintentional humor in the second sentence--"In another minute they were inside"--since one can interpret this as six disembodied eyes floating into the house. And the final sentence is terrible. Not only is it an unnecessary addition to the paragraph, it doesn't make logical sense. The quiet of the neighborhood may be disturbed, but the neighborhood itself still exists. Saying that "The quiet neighborhood was no more" makes it sounds as if the neighborhood has been incinerated by a hydrogen bomb. Baldacci's dialogue is bad, too. Here's an example: "Jack, do you have any idea who's behind all this?" Jack shook his head, a small groan escaping his lips. "I've got a bunch of loose threads sliding around in my head but none of them have added up to spit so far. I'm hoping that status will change. Soon." If there is any English-speaking person in the world who speaks that way while under duress, I have yet to meet them. And here's one final example of exactly what I don't like about Baldacci's prose: She still stood there several minutes after he left. A series of emotions competed for space across her face, none, in the end, winning out. The unintentional rhyming of "space" with "face" is distracting. Also, Baldacci uses a lot of words to essentially tell the reader nothing. A character seems to experience a number of emotions--none of which are specifically described--before eventually experiencing none. Is that the idea Baldacci wishes to convey? Does he even know what idea he wishes to convey about his characters or the situations in which they find themselves most of the time? It didn't seem to me as if he did. If you've seen previews for the film version of Absolute Power or read the flap copy, you know what it's about. I suppose it could be an enjoyable potboiler if you're able to turn off the critical part of your mind that notices clumsy writing and consume the story in the fashion one consumes an entire bag of chips in one sitting, but for me, the writing was so bad it was distracting. And trust me. I read some pretty bad books.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca McNutt

    This is probably my favourite of Baldacci's novels. Absolute Power is slick, swift and daring in its plot of corruption, murder, litigious attorneys and the dark side to wealth and cash.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Annet

    Loved the movie, apparently the book a little less. Still entertaining read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Fred

    IMDb - credit to Baldacci book used for movie YouTube - Official Movie trailer Movie with Clint Eastwood Ending song (5:00) - added March 1, 2019 A Virginia Burglar, Luther Whitney(66 - Clint Eastwood in the movie) made a surveillance & break into the Sullivan family's rich home. US President, Alan Richmond(40 - Gene Hackman in the movie) takes drunk Christine Sullivan to her house for sex. From a closet in her house, Luther watches them fight, Alan's slashed with letter opener & Chri IMDb - credit to Baldacci book used for movie YouTube - Official Movie trailer Movie with Clint Eastwood Ending song (5:00) - added March 1, 2019 A Virginia Burglar, Luther Whitney(66 - Clint Eastwood in the movie) made a surveillance & break into the Sullivan family's rich home. US President, Alan Richmond(40 - Gene Hackman in the movie) takes drunk Christine Sullivan to her house for sex. From a closet in her house, Luther watches them fight, Alan's slashed with letter opener & Christine's killed by 2 Secret Service men, Tim Collin & Bill Burton. Gloria Russell(37), President Chief of Staff took the "bloodstained" letter opener, Luther escaped with evidence. Could Luther get evidence to Walter Sullivan(husband)? Can Agent Burton & Colin be considered "subordinate" ordered killers against Luther & Walter? Can Gloria testify against president? Does presidential power - stop impeachment & death penality options? FYI: Major characters above are in the movie but the book's end is different than the movie with Clint Eastwood.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I think this may not be a 'great' novel and has probably been panned by those far more astute than I, but I loved it. I was about 100 pages into in when I started on my trip of 1 one hour flight, 1 one hour layover and 1 five hour flight. It totally kept my interest until I finished the last page as we landed at my home airport. A veteran burglar chooses the wrong mansion to rob on the wrong night and witnesses the President of the United States trying to kill his sex partner and his secret ser I think this may not be a 'great' novel and has probably been panned by those far more astute than I, but I loved it. I was about 100 pages into in when I started on my trip of 1 one hour flight, 1 one hour layover and 1 five hour flight. It totally kept my interest until I finished the last page as we landed at my home airport. A veteran burglar chooses the wrong mansion to rob on the wrong night and witnesses the President of the United States trying to kill his sex partner and his secret service agents finishing the job. The story gathers much moss from there and it's a really good story.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    I loved this book, it grabbed me from the start and made me want to continue reading. A well-crafted story, strong characters that are believable and easy to visualise. An interesting story line that is different to the usual thrillers. Lots of twists and turns and worth the read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Joey Woolfardis

    Meh. Relatively quick-paced action, clichéd kind of mystery thriller crime guns Yank stuff. The distraction I needed but nothing more substantial. For what it is it is pretty much a 5-star thing, but in my opinion it is hardly that.

  9. 5 out of 5

    kartik narayanan

    Welp, I finally got around to reading the book that started it all. I remember seeing the movie back in '95 and seeing it because it had Clint Eastwood in it. After roughly 25(?) years, I read this book and it didn't disappoint. The story is a bit dull by today's standards but given its context, it came out during the Clinton era, I think it is quite courageous and interesting. Of course, this has been reused multiple times; even by Baldacci himself (First Family comes to mind). The characters ar Welp, I finally got around to reading the book that started it all. I remember seeing the movie back in '95 and seeing it because it had Clint Eastwood in it. After roughly 25(?) years, I read this book and it didn't disappoint. The story is a bit dull by today's standards but given its context, it came out during the Clinton era, I think it is quite courageous and interesting. Of course, this has been reused multiple times; even by Baldacci himself (First Family comes to mind). The characters are good and almost all of them have their arc, which is excellent writing. I felt a bit let down by the ending though. I am not getting into spoilers but let's just say that when you read it, you will be wondering what the purpose of the third act was. Anyway, it is the journey that matters and Absolute Power does not disappoint.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Temple

    "Absolute Power" illustrates what it is I like best about David Baldacci's books: the perfect balance and blend of action and storyline. Rare is the storyteller that can capture the attention of my military fiction loving - action-craving husband, and at the same time provide enough compelling plot and character development to have me turning pages long into the night. With the exception of his "Camel Club" series (if you haven't read them - run - go - find them now), "Absolute Power" is my favor "Absolute Power" illustrates what it is I like best about David Baldacci's books: the perfect balance and blend of action and storyline. Rare is the storyteller that can capture the attention of my military fiction loving - action-craving husband, and at the same time provide enough compelling plot and character development to have me turning pages long into the night. With the exception of his "Camel Club" series (if you haven't read them - run - go - find them now), "Absolute Power" is my favorite Baldacci book. Set in our nation's capitol, the story begins with an unspeakable act committed by a man at the pinnacle of Washington power. His entourage thinks - if only briefly - that they have matters under control. Only moments pass before they come to the horrendous conclusion that a silent witness to the crime now has in his possession the means to destroy them all. As always, Baldacci's characters are complicated. The traditional "bad guy" turns out not to be so bad after all; and, the one looked up to by millions, lacks even the most basic modicum of decency,morality and conscience. There is a little love story thrown in, perhaps to provide a moment or two for a reader to catch a quick breath. "Absolute Power" was made into a movie starring Clint Eastwood. Seldom does a movie live up to the book and this one was no exception. However, I paid to see it years ago, and I felt like it was worth the money. You can catch it now - every once in awhile - on late night cable.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Miriam Smith

    This was a real page turner I couldn't put it down, as with all political thrillers they can be difficult to follow at times and this was no exception but the story was brilliant and I really enjoyed it. I'd seen the film many years before and could only remember bits of it so not sure how much it ties to the book but I know I did enjoy watching it. I would recommend this book, it is quite long but powerful and a real eye opener into the world of Americal presidential politics.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ioana

    I've enjoyed books by Baldacci in the past, but this one is awful. First, the writing is garbage: it reads at a fifth-grade level, uses fifth grade vocabulary (+ cussing), is frequently grammatically incorrect, and consists of cliched, trite, unoriginal phrasings. Second, Baldacci comes off as arrogant, misogynistic, morbidly fascinated by violence, especially against women, and overall like a person I would definitely NOT want to know; yes, his characters are detestable, but his *enjoyment* in I've enjoyed books by Baldacci in the past, but this one is awful. First, the writing is garbage: it reads at a fifth-grade level, uses fifth grade vocabulary (+ cussing), is frequently grammatically incorrect, and consists of cliched, trite, unoriginal phrasings. Second, Baldacci comes off as arrogant, misogynistic, morbidly fascinated by violence, especially against women, and overall like a person I would definitely NOT want to know; yes, his characters are detestable, but his *enjoyment* in recounting their flaws and failings in such a dramatic story-line only (to me) serves to put the author himself on display as someone who salivates over either the misfortune of others, or in general is a vengeful person who wants a certain type of person taken down as violently as possible, or is someone who is a sadist himself. Third, the story-line has so many holes--which demonstrates Baldacci's lack of knowledge on the topics he's writing about; I didn't buy so many of the story elements; for example, in describing the way Jack the lawyer got a big deal at his law firm, his explanations were entirely superficial and could have been written by anyone who was not a lawyer, or a business person, and who had not done ANY research on the topic. In ALL the details he provided, about law, the White House, police procedure, etc, Baldacci tried to obfuscate his lack of expertise in opaque and fuzzy dialogue, but in the end, I was left feeling that I learned nothing from his descriptions. Rarely do I feel less literate after reading a book, but that's how I feel after Absolute Power...

  13. 4 out of 5

    ElaineY

    REVIEW OF AUDIOBOOK; DECEMBER 4, 2015 Narrator: Scott Brick I was thrilled by this book right up to 70%. Then I began to tire, then wilt, then couldn't wait for it to end. The problem I have with Baldacci's first book is that it didn't have enough - or any! "hero" moments - those scenes where the hero comes to the rescue and the audience claps (at least, in Asia back in the 60s) or the US cavalry finally came. There was none of that here. The evil POTUS had the upper hand all the way and the good REVIEW OF AUDIOBOOK; DECEMBER 4, 2015 Narrator: Scott Brick I was thrilled by this book right up to 70%. Then I began to tire, then wilt, then couldn't wait for it to end. The problem I have with Baldacci's first book is that it didn't have enough - or any! "hero" moments - those scenes where the hero comes to the rescue and the audience claps (at least, in Asia back in the 60s) or the US cavalry finally came. There was none of that here. The evil POTUS had the upper hand all the way and the good guys limped their way to the finishing line. I hope this uneven treatment is only because it's the author's debut work and that in his later books, he manages to strike that magic balance between reality and entertaining fiction. As a member of the audience, I must feel as if the hero is winning, even if bad things happen to him or the villain looks like he's winning. In Absolute Power, I felt (in the last 25%) let down by the fact that there were no clap-worthy hero moments and the book whimpered to its ending in the pedestrian epilogue.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mike French

    Somehow I missed this book when I started reading Baldacci. I am glad I saw it on Goodreads! It was a page turner from the start to the end. If you haven't read it,put it on top of your "to read" list!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emilie Hendryx

    I have read a lot of Baldacci’s books. Like I’ve come to expect from him, the plot was fast paced and ever expanding. The evil characters are very very bad. The scope and, dare I say depravity, of the lengths to which people will go to in the book is fantastical, yet in line with the plot. While I didn’t like it as much as his later novels, I still feel like his writing is engagingly descriptive and entertaining. What I did not like, however, was the crass sexual content and language. I’ve come I have read a lot of Baldacci’s books. Like I’ve come to expect from him, the plot was fast paced and ever expanding. The evil characters are very very bad. The scope and, dare I say depravity, of the lengths to which people will go to in the book is fantastical, yet in line with the plot. While I didn’t like it as much as his later novels, I still feel like his writing is engagingly descriptive and entertaining. What I did not like, however, was the crass sexual content and language. I’ve come to expect language from Baldacci (sadly) but I felt like this book was much more descriptive (content wise) than his later books. And needlessly so. For the plot and writing alone I rate it 3.5* but solely for the “other content” I’d say it’s 2*. ——- This was an audiobook read for me.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Judy Collins

    Not sure how I missed David Baldacci's first book, ABSOLUTE POWER! However, have seen the movie several times over the years with, Gene Hackman, Clint Eastwood, and Ed Harris (1997). A career thief witnesses a horrific crime involving the U.S. President. From the mansion in Virginia, the sexual scandal, passion turned violent, a burglar behind a wall. Passion turns deadly involving the President of US. A witness. New meaning to the wrong place, at the wrong time. Corruption, conspiracy, scandal. Not sure how I missed David Baldacci's first book, ABSOLUTE POWER! However, have seen the movie several times over the years with, Gene Hackman, Clint Eastwood, and Ed Harris (1997). A career thief witnesses a horrific crime involving the U.S. President. From the mansion in Virginia, the sexual scandal, passion turned violent, a burglar behind a wall. Passion turns deadly involving the President of US. A witness. New meaning to the wrong place, at the wrong time. Corruption, conspiracy, scandal. An attorney. A wife. a Mistress. A thief. An estranged daughter. Secret Service. Homicide Cop. The media. Power. Danger. Why was the President here and the circumstances leading him here? Suspense, Mystery. Crime. Intrigue. A Coverup. A Political Crime Thriller! Many of you are aware I am a huge David Baldacci fan; however, I began my reading, with his newer, more recent books-- always anxiously awaiting the next in the series. Over the years, I typically choose audiobook format, in order to further enhance my reading experience with his books. While my book blog focuses on new and upcoming releases--currently read 95% advanced reading copies and upcoming new releases. However, when I find an author I enjoy, I will use Audible as a great resource to get my fix- to catch up with older books, I have missed along the way. Here I am going from the 30th, back to the first. Having recently finished two of New York Times best-selling author's latest thrillers, landing on my top Books for 2015, MEMORY MAN, and THE GUILTY, (both 5 stars), I ran across a posting: To celebrate the release of David Baldacci’s latest novel The Guilty, we find out more about the American thriller writer whose 30 adult novels have sold more than 110 million copies in more than 80 countries worldwide. Learn which of the author’s books are his personal favorites, and find out what it takes to master the depth of research that sets his works apart from the competition. “Thriller writer David Baldacci selects his own personal favorites out of his 30 bestsellers”: The Telegraph Nov 15, 2015 by David Baldacci: “My Best Five Novels”. When reading the posting, I was quite intrigued and fascinated. These are the books I want to read! ABSOLUTE POWER (1996) First Novel THE WINNER (1998) WISH YOU WELL (2001) THE CAMEL CLUB (2005) MEMORY MAN (2015) When reviewing my own reading list, I had not read and purchased the audible books. ABSOLUTE POWER, offers a new recording (Jan 1, 2010) and cover—the first of the blockbuster thrillers by Baldacci---a book which changes the way you think about Washington. Of course since then, we have seen plenty of scandals; however, all this was prior to. Bonus: What really makes this edition special, David tells his story at the beginning of the audio. We all think of him as the successful, talented author he is, and the place he has earned in the literary world, as an award- winning author. However, it was refreshing to hear how he transitioned from lawyer to writer. His hopes, childhood dreams, aspirations, and determination, despite his rejections. His writing passion and inspiration behind his first novel, ABSOLUTE POWER. Very moving and inspirational. He has a truly remarkable gift, a talent. On behalf of all the Baldacci fans, bloggers, reviewers, and readers-- A special, thank you for your dedication and tenacity. Providing readers hours of reading, listening, and viewing entertainment. If you have missed his first novel, highly recommend the audio, narrated by Scott Brick. The book is even better than the movie. Check out the list. Happy 30th Anniversary! JDCMustReadBooks

  17. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    This book had a great premise and overall was good. I felt like there were too many subplots and it didn't get all wrapped and tied together neatly like in some other authors' books. I also didn't care of all of the bad language in it. I know that is lame to some and that sometimes that type of language is used to define a character, but it shouldn't be every character. Spoiler alert: The part of this book I disliked the most is the lack of Luther being in it. He had next to no dialogue, other tha This book had a great premise and overall was good. I felt like there were too many subplots and it didn't get all wrapped and tied together neatly like in some other authors' books. I also didn't care of all of the bad language in it. I know that is lame to some and that sometimes that type of language is used to define a character, but it shouldn't be every character. Spoiler alert: The part of this book I disliked the most is the lack of Luther being in it. He had next to no dialogue, other than internal. After the initial break in, we don't know much about what is going on in his head. It switches mainly to Jack. And then, about half way through, Luther gets taken out. This isn't necessarily bad, but it just seemed anticlimactic in its portrayal. One minute he's mad, the next he is dead. What if Luther had escaped to save his life or if the assassin had been caught, or at least ALMOST caught? I did enjoy though. I'll be trying some other of his books and checking out the movie for this one.

  18. 5 out of 5

    S.P. Aruna

    Considering this book came out over 25 years ago, and was Baldacci's first novel, I was impressed. The originality of the plot is the key to this book's success: a cat burglar inadvertently witnesses the shooting of the president's mistress by the Secret Service, a situation ripe for a cover up, a cover up that puts the hapless burglar's life in jeopardy. I, like so many others, have seen the Clint Eastwood movie, which I enjoyed, but the book is more complicated with more twists and turns. What Considering this book came out over 25 years ago, and was Baldacci's first novel, I was impressed. The originality of the plot is the key to this book's success: a cat burglar inadvertently witnesses the shooting of the president's mistress by the Secret Service, a situation ripe for a cover up, a cover up that puts the hapless burglar's life in jeopardy. I, like so many others, have seen the Clint Eastwood movie, which I enjoyed, but the book is more complicated with more twists and turns. What I didn't like about it was the overly wordy backgrounds of the characters expressed by the omniscient narrator, and if this had been trimmed it would have made the book a bit shorter than it was. However, this was the style of the mid-nineties, and one could hardly fault Balducci's ambitious attempt in his debut novel. Worth reading.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jack Heath

    5 Stars. Most enjoyable. More complicated, but a bit like a Columbo TV movie in that the reader soon knows the premise and who's ultimately responsible for the horrible crime. Which is? The murder of Christine Sullivan, the young and attractive wife of an elderly billionaire, in the bedroom of their Virginia mansion. She had remained behind as her husband and staff went to Barbados for a relaxing week of sun and rum punch. Her reason? Ostensibly she felt ill; in reality she planned an assignatio 5 Stars. Most enjoyable. More complicated, but a bit like a Columbo TV movie in that the reader soon knows the premise and who's ultimately responsible for the horrible crime. Which is? The murder of Christine Sullivan, the young and attractive wife of an elderly billionaire, in the bedroom of their Virginia mansion. She had remained behind as her husband and staff went to Barbados for a relaxing week of sun and rum punch. Her reason? Ostensibly she felt ill; in reality she planned an assignation at the mansion with the most powerful man in the world, President Alan Richmond who, so her husband believed, was their close friend. Unbeknownst to the young woman, life-long burglar Luther Whitney had also chosen that evening to relieve the Sullivan's of millions of dollars of valuable jewels, coins, stamps, and the like. The house was empty - so he thought. Through a one-way mirror he watched the brutality leading up to her murder and the start of an immense political cover-up. Clint Eastwood played the role so well in the movie. The book has important differences, but it's just as good! PS: when you finish, give some thought to the title. (June 2019)

  20. 4 out of 5

    Marialyce

    I haven't read anything by Mr Balducci for quite some time and I must say that I selected the right novel to get back to this author's style. It was exciting, thrilling, and had more than a touch of believability. A real page turner as the author kept the reader engrossed in the lives of each and every character from the power seekers in DC, including the president, to the the common man. It does make one think of what power lies in the office of the president and Mr Balducci makes you think a l I haven't read anything by Mr Balducci for quite some time and I must say that I selected the right novel to get back to this author's style. It was exciting, thrilling, and had more than a touch of believability. A real page turner as the author kept the reader engrossed in the lives of each and every character from the power seekers in DC, including the president, to the the common man. It does make one think of what power lies in the office of the president and Mr Balducci makes you think a lot about that absolute power. Suffice to say, this was a thriller and one that I would recommend most highly to anyone who enjoys suspense and the allure of the power seekers.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Corey

    This is the book that got David Baldacci started in his writing career and for a first book I thought it was his best. I'd seen the movie Absolute Power with Clint Eastwood then I'd decided to read the book and I thought the book was a lot better. It follows the same plot line as the movie but it has many differences in it. It's about a long time thief named Luther Whitney who is in the middle of robbing a rich couple's home and he witnesses a murder and the man involved with it is the President This is the book that got David Baldacci started in his writing career and for a first book I thought it was his best. I'd seen the movie Absolute Power with Clint Eastwood then I'd decided to read the book and I thought the book was a lot better. It follows the same plot line as the movie but it has many differences in it. It's about a long time thief named Luther Whitney who is in the middle of robbing a rich couple's home and he witnesses a murder and the man involved with it is the President of the United States. The book was very hard to put down and full of many twists and turns.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Susie

    This was my first audio book. I had a long car ride (14ish hours each way) for the Thanksgiving holiday, and found this at a great used bookstore, reasonably priced and 19 hours in duration. Having heard good things about Baldacci but never read him, this seemed promising... It was disappointing. This is a novel without any mystery or suspense. The reader watches the crime occur and then endures 900 pages of characters stumbling to figure out what we already know. The characters are flat and ster This was my first audio book. I had a long car ride (14ish hours each way) for the Thanksgiving holiday, and found this at a great used bookstore, reasonably priced and 19 hours in duration. Having heard good things about Baldacci but never read him, this seemed promising... It was disappointing. This is a novel without any mystery or suspense. The reader watches the crime occur and then endures 900 pages of characters stumbling to figure out what we already know. The characters are flat and stereotypical. No one evidently taught the author the writing trick of "show, don't tell" because he tells everything, from breast size to car interior to what dishes are in the sink. Dialogue goes on and on - I'd zone out and come back, surprised that they were on the same conversation and that I had missed nothing of import. There's a kernel of a good story here. The presentation ruined it, and I can't understand the acclaim. Curious about the Clint Eastwood movie though. Edit: And there's one other thing. No personal offense meant to anyone, but a pet peeve of mine is a mild distaste for when someone has two first names. For instance, a character in this novel is Seth Frank. And quite a few others share the predicament, including women with men's first names as their last names, causing confusion regarding who on earth might be speaking. Authors especially should be more creative. Sheesh.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Asghar Abbas

    Pure power of a well executed idea.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

    If you looked on my read books list you would see I read and rated this book in a different format and I rated it 5 stars. I first read this when it was first released and I loved it so much. But that was then and honestly now I found myself rather bored. I love the Clint Eastwood movie version of the story where he, wisely, chops out the entire law firm subplot and makes it an adventure / mystery set in the halls of power. While to story is compelling; the fiction account of a immoral US Presid If you looked on my read books list you would see I read and rated this book in a different format and I rated it 5 stars. I first read this when it was first released and I loved it so much. But that was then and honestly now I found myself rather bored. I love the Clint Eastwood movie version of the story where he, wisely, chops out the entire law firm subplot and makes it an adventure / mystery set in the halls of power. While to story is compelling; the fiction account of a immoral US President, the people who aide and abet him and their selfish motivations, it has too many gotcha moments that get outrageous. It is in essentials a tale of an any man opposing the very rich, the very powerful and coming out on top. It is a rejection of what we today call 'The Swamp" of DC where power and prestige and access are the only things that matter. It brings out themes that were all but unknown when it was originally published like private citizens being 'suicided'. But at 500+ pages it just drags on and on. This is the only book I have read by this rather prolific author and upon my reread I now see why.

  25. 4 out of 5

    David Highton

    I spotted a 20th Anniversary edition of Baldacci's first book in my local library and realised that I had never read it (although I had seen the Clint Eastwood film) A well constructed plot idea in the first place and well written for a first novel, the book is probably a little too long and the ending does not really build to a crescendo, so 4 stars for me not quite 5

  26. 4 out of 5

    James Glass

    Baldacci has a gift for writing ans this story delivered. Right off the start we have, Luther Whitney, a career break-in-artist trapped inside a secret room, watching as the President of the United States and a woman start to make love. While Whitney waits for an opportunity to escape, the passion turns deadly between the two lovers. Witnessing a brutal murder, Whitney finds himself running for his life as the president of the United States, a man with Absolute Power, will stop at nothing to kee Baldacci has a gift for writing ans this story delivered. Right off the start we have, Luther Whitney, a career break-in-artist trapped inside a secret room, watching as the President of the United States and a woman start to make love. While Whitney waits for an opportunity to escape, the passion turns deadly between the two lovers. Witnessing a brutal murder, Whitney finds himself running for his life as the president of the United States, a man with Absolute Power, will stop at nothing to keep his secret hidden from the world.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lee Gimenez

    This is another good mystery/thriller novel from David Baldacci. A good balance of suspense and action. Fans of Baldacci's books will enjoy it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jane Stewart

    I did not enjoy the hopeless, helpless, anxious, unlucky, victim feel for most of the book. I also had problems with the narrator. REVIEWER’S OPINION: Bad things keep happening to good guys. I didn’t have anybody to root for or to be excited for. No good guy was smart enough. The bad guys kept outsmarting the good guys. And luck was on the side of the bad guys. I never smiled while reading this book. My feelings were unpleasant. One night I had trouble sleeping because I was anxious and worried ab I did not enjoy the hopeless, helpless, anxious, unlucky, victim feel for most of the book. I also had problems with the narrator. REVIEWER’S OPINION: Bad things keep happening to good guys. I didn’t have anybody to root for or to be excited for. No good guy was smart enough. The bad guys kept outsmarting the good guys. And luck was on the side of the bad guys. I never smiled while reading this book. My feelings were unpleasant. One night I had trouble sleeping because I was anxious and worried about things in the book. The bottom line is that I did not enjoy the experience. I kept thinking about The Firm by John Grisham which was so different. Mitch the good guy in The Firm was a victim against powerful people. Yet he did smart things and I was rooting for him. I was excited watching him. I enjoyed that experience. Absolute Power creates anxiety. I wanted it to be over. One guy who was supposed to be very smart guessed who the bad guy was. So why does he do something stupid, go off by himself and get killed? Also the detective was not smart enough and trusted the wrong people which caused more bad things to happen. The author used a plot device I don’t like. Sometimes it’s ok, usually if the victim outsmarts the bad guy. But here, it was annoying. The bad guy says to a good guy, if you do this, I’ll kill your daughter. So this good guy turned wimpy, meek, and compliant. It would have been so much better if he did something cool to outwit the bad guy. And then I was annoyed at the vague ending. A loves B and misses B. All of a sudden the door opens, and A sees someone enter. A “slowly got up and moved toward the door.” That’s the end. We don’t know who entered. We are supposed to believe it was B (I think), but the author doesn’t say. I prefer things spelled out. STORY BRIEF: Luther is a career burglar breaking into someone’s safe in a closet. Before he can leave, the wife comes home into the bedroom with a lover Alan, who happens to be the President of the United States. Alan is beating her. She attacks back. Alan calls for help and his secret service guys rush in and kill her. Luther is a witness and is on the run. Other characters connected to Luther become involved and end up in danger. They are Luther’s estranged daughter Kate and Kate’s former boyfriend Jack who is now engaged to a wealthy woman Jennifer. Others end up dead as well during the cover up. NARRATOR: I had problems with the narrator Scott Brick. I was frequently unhappy with his tone of voice. I’m not sure how to describe it, but I came up with the following words: sarcastic, sneering, smart-alecky, jaded, bored, cynical, condescending, arrogant, and angry. He did not express all of them all of the time, but he used them when I felt they did not fit the character or mood. Some characters were less sympathetic to me because of the tone of voice. Frank Muller narrated some of the Grisham books, and had a wonderful style and tone of voice. Scott was unpleasant. He reminded me of a hard nosed jaded detective from the 50s. DATA: Unabridged audiobook reading time: 19 hrs and 7 mins. Swearing language: strong, including religious swear words. Sexual language: strong. Number of sex scenes: about 10. They are mostly referred to with no details shown. Setting: 1995 mostly Middleton, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Book copyright: 1996. Genre: mystery suspense thriller. Ending: Bad guys get caught. Things are resolved satisfactorily, but I did not feel good. OTHER BOOKS: I read one other book by David Baldacci. I gave 4 stars to The Winner copyright 1997. SHORT STORY AT THE END OF THE AUDIOBOOK: “No Time Left” is a 34 minute short story by the same author. It was ok, but nothing special. It was about a hit man hired to kill someone.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stephan

    I am not sure how I felt about ABSOLUTE POWER. I have read several books by Baldacci, but this one seemed different. I rated it 4 out 5. It definitely grabbed my attention right at the beginning and kept me engaged. However, strictly my opinion, the story dragged out longer than it had to. The story line was busy and there was a lot of different characters popping up. Also, there were scenes it the story that did not have a great deal of significance with the story line. The book started out with I am not sure how I felt about ABSOLUTE POWER. I have read several books by Baldacci, but this one seemed different. I rated it 4 out 5. It definitely grabbed my attention right at the beginning and kept me engaged. However, strictly my opinion, the story dragged out longer than it had to. The story line was busy and there was a lot of different characters popping up. Also, there were scenes it the story that did not have a great deal of significance with the story line. The book started out with a long time thief, Luther Witney, robbing the mansion of a wealthy billionaire. During the robbery, he witnesses the murder of the billionaire's wife while involved in an affair with the President. He contacts an old friend, Jack Graham, who is a successful attorney and tells him he "may" need his services in the future, but tells him nothing about what he saw. Of course, Jack has an flame burning for Luther's daughter Kate, who was Jack's ex-girlfriend. In short, Luther is killed and Jack teams up with a homicide detective to clear Luther's name and find out who killed the billionaire's wife. But, because the secret service is involved, he keeps running into brick walls and the plot thickens. I enjoyed the book. It kept me engulfed, I did not want to put it down. I would recommend it to others to read. I was just a little disappointed with how he brought it all together in the end. The ending was somewhat predictable - I guessed about 3/4 of the way through who the hero was going to be. The way Jack figured out the crime was pretty far-fetched. In my opinion, the book is enjoyable and worth reading. To me, it was not up to the standard that I am use to with Baldacci. Again, my opinion only, it was not his best work.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Clark

    This is the first David Baldacci book that I've read and it won't be my last. I can see why it was made into a movie. The premise for the story was unique with Luther Whitney, a career burglar, inadvertently witnessing the president of the United States sleeping with, then beating the wife of a friend. The woman was shot by the president's secret service agents when it appeared that the woman might kill the president. The president's aides made every effort to cover their tracks and they felt th This is the first David Baldacci book that I've read and it won't be my last. I can see why it was made into a movie. The premise for the story was unique with Luther Whitney, a career burglar, inadvertently witnessing the president of the United States sleeping with, then beating the wife of a friend. The woman was shot by the president's secret service agents when it appeared that the woman might kill the president. The president's aides made every effort to cover their tracks and they felt that the president of the United States would be beyond suspicion.. Each time that it looked as though the criminals were about to be brought to justice, the plot took a new unexpected turn. Eventually, lack of evidence against the president and his inner circle seemed to indicate that they would not be caught. The situation seemed hopeless for Seth Frank, the detective in charge and for Jack Graham, the lawyer caught in the middle. Yet, David Baldacci provided clever and plausible new evidence that made sense once it was revealed. This book was long and some reviewers claimed that the story dragged. I did not feel that it did. I appreciated the in depth character development and Baldacci's unique descriptive voice. This book held my interest from start to finish and I had a hard time putting it down.

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