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Absolute Power

4.13  ·  Rating Details  ·  67,308 Ratings  ·  1,088 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 560 pages
Published July 1st 2000 by Grand Central Publishing (first published October 4th 1995)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nov 06, 2008 Adam rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 14, 2008 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Mike French
Dec 04, 2012 Mike French rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
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
Lisa Temple
Dec 31, 2013 Lisa Temple rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 18+
"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
May 19, 2013 Justin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Asghar Abbas
Feb 16, 2016 Asghar Abbas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Pure power of a well executed idea.
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.
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
Aug 18, 2014 Stephan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: david-baldacci
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
Dec 27, 2014 B J rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The President of the country uses all his resources to cover up a murder blamed on a witness whose identity is unknown to him, but he knows he is out there. He has the loyalty of his protectors if not their respect. Mingled into the story is the witness's daughter and her ex fiancee , their relationship, and the relationship between the father and daughter. It is an easy read but I never identified with any of the characters which almost always prevents me from getting lost in a book.
Feb 15, 2016 Jaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I, like many others, saw the movie version before reading the book. I enjoyed the book more than the movie. I found it comical how the President shifted from a cowardly drunk to an arrogant, cold-hearted egotist. The action kept the book moving, for the most part, and I enjoyed the ending. My favorite part of the audiobook was David Baldacci's preface for this anniversary edition comparing pre-Clinton administration critiques to post-Clinton critiques. That was worth listening to all by itself.
Nov 19, 2014 Ioana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 24, 2013 Jordan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jordan by: Aunt Ret
I have never read a book by David Baldacci, nor have I seen the movie based on this book. The book was interesting enough to be enjoyable, but I didn’t love it.

The concept that the President of the United States is involved in murder and cover up was very intriguing. Perhaps my hopes were too high. Baldacci does a great job introducing a larger number of characters, but does not give you the feeling that there are too many characters to keep straight.

The story lines come together very well, but
Chris Matney
I listened to this book on audio CD while driving across country to a trade show. Having read some of Mr. Baldacci's later works, I was curious to go back a couple of decades to an earlier novel.

Overall, Absolute Power is a serviceable political thriller. As usual, Mr. Baldacci does an excellent job with character building - a strength of any good novel and certainly well done here. If you don't hate Alan Richmond by the end of this book, you haven't been paying attention. The supporting cast is
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.

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
Luther Whitney is a thief with a conscience. He's breaking into the home of a wealthy family in Washington D.C. when the woman of the house returns unexpectedly. He hides in the closet and she enters her room with her lover.

The two way mirror lets Luther see the action as the sex turns rough and when the man can't perform due to his alcoholic state, she ridicules him. A struggle ensues and the woman picks up a letter opener and is approaching the man when two other people come into the room. Wh
Feb 05, 2010 Bridget rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thief, Luther, got more than he bargained for when he visited a mansion in Virginia thinking he could make it out of there with a few prize pieces. He becomes trapped in the wall when two people being having an intimate moment. The shocking part is the murder that takes place and it has to do with the US president.

Jack is an attorney and he is determined to find out what really happened that night. Who is telling the truth, a burglar or the man entrusted with the most powerful job in America?

Jay Deb
Feb 03, 2013 Jay Deb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has an explosive start. A thief watched a president kill an young woman and she happens to be the wife of a super-rich Washington socialite. The killing event is detailed fine-grained and is broken into multiple scenes and introduced the lawyer characters. After reading 60-70 pages I thought I could give this book a 5-star. But then I felt there were too many characters, which by the way I noticed in other Baldacci books as well, and story focuses on lawyers and the thief kind of moves ...more
Dennis Fischman
This book starts out in Bernie Rhodenbarr territory: in order not to get caught in the middle of a burglary, the burglar hides and becomes a witness to a murder. Only, the man in question is not Bernie Rhodenbarr but Luther Whitney, whose conscience is much more well developed. And too: he has a daughter who has reacted to his life of crime by becoming a prosecutor and refusing ever to see him. Finally: the murder he has witnessed was committed by the President of the United States.

A slick thril
Mike (the Paladin)
Good read, and while the movie based on this one isn't as dismal as a lot of movie adaptions, the book is still better. The opening is accurate...a thief happens to be present when the President (of the US) is involved in an extramarital liaison that brings about the killing of his "prospective sexual partner". The thief escapes and the Secret Service protection detail are involved in laying the murder at said thief's feet.

From there on the story spins off in a more involved dirrection than the
Eric Kent
Nov 22, 2015 Eric Kent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julie Barrett
Jun 12, 2015 Julie Barrett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absolute Power by David Balducci
Book summary interested me and I rarely read this type of book but like to switch things up every now and then.
Luther has broken into houses and had served his time. Once he gets out he does it again a place where he was in before, with others.....
Interesting to learn of all the devices and technology for home security, but it's no barrier to Luther. he was there to get the diamond necklace but he found the mirror glass that looked into her bedroom.
Story also foll
Chad Sayban
David Baldacci is one of my favorite authors of thrillers and Absolute Power is certainly one of his very best. This story has a great concept, great storytelling and a fantastic ending. Honestly, I found the plot of the book better than the movie (even though the movie is great, too). If you don’t enjoy Absolute Power, then thrillers are probably not your cup of tea. They don’t get a lot better than this.
Linda Munro
This was a very long book, a very detailed book, a very slow read. It was a good book, it just seemed to take forever to read.

This is a novel of opposites. The good guy is the bad guy; the guy you hate the guy you want to be caught. The bad guy is the good guy, the guy you love, the guy you sympathize with, the guy you want to get away. In between, there are a slew of characters you love to hate, and in some cases, characters you hate to love.

On several occasions throughout the book, I saw adeq
May 14, 2016 Mick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5+++ Stars! I did NOT want this book to end. Take the title as a warning, because once you start reading, you're giving over all your self control, turning page after page until the last one's flipped, leaving you wanting more.

The characters are pretty standard fair: Good-guy lawyer, thief with a heart of gold and his estranged daughter, homicide detective whose questions lead to more questions rather than answers, and a gang of bad guys who literally sit in the seat of power. These are characte
Sep 30, 2011 Liz rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
YUCK!!!!!!! This book was AWFUL! At was extremely vulgar with many sexual descriptions that left nothing to the imagination. Also, the language was horrible!! Constant swearing. Apparently, I need to stop reading "best-sellers" because I don't care for what everyone else seems to think is good literature!
Even though I watched the movie years ago, I decided to given this audio a try. Although Clint was in my head, I still enjoyed this novel. The ideas of good vs. evil, a bit of a love story, good on America, danger, intrigue..... I'm glad I listened to this hefty book.
Jon Jervis
Apr 12, 2016 Jon Jervis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolutely cracking book – energetic, original storyline which is well told and full of surprises. As a debut novel this is absolutely first class, and I can see why it was made into a film only a year later. This is a must for anyone who like reading thriller or suspense novels.

Whilst this is a solid 5*s from me there are a few gripes, which others hand commented on – a little bit of clunky prose, characters called Seth Frank who are referred to as Seth of Frank leaving you to try to recall
Shivangi Yadav
The author starts the book running. It's a roller coaster ride from the get go. Loads of good things, especially the twists which keep you guessing how will this wrap up in the end. I know, it's a thriller and a stand alone so the good guys will eventually triumph. But still, if the author can manage to keep the reader guessing as to how it will eventually wrap up, then the story has done its job.

My only grouse is the character of the President is too wishy washy. He turns maniacal suddenly and
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Never, ever, ever start a sentence with "And" 3 24 Nov 17, 2015 06:24AM  
2015 Reading Chal...: Absolute Power by David Baldacci 1 12 Feb 28, 2015 05:45PM  
  • Degree of Guilt (Christopher Paget, #2)
  • The First Counsel
  • Separation of Power (Mitch Rapp, #5)
  • The List
  • The First Commandment (Scot Harvath, #6)
  • The General's Daughter
  • The Burden of Proof (Kindle County Legal Thriller, #2)
  • The 13th Juror (Dismas Hardy, #4)
  • The Mark of the Assassin (Michael Osbourne, #1)
  • The Chairman (Christian Gillette, #1)
  • The Matarese Circle (Matarese #1)
David Baldacci writes because he can't imagine not writing. He published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996; one year later, it was adapted for film, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. In total, David has published 30 novels for adults; all have been national and international bestsellers, and several have been adapted for film and television. His novels have been translated into ...more
More about David Baldacci...

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“Today might not be so good. But tomorrow, you got another chance to get it right.” 29 likes
“You know what kind of person it takes to run for President? Not normal. They could start out okay, but by the time they reach that level they've sold their soul to the devil so many times and stomped the guts out of enough people that they are definitely not like you and me, not even close.” 9 likes
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