Balance of Power
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Balance of Power (Kerry Kilcannon #3)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  1,437 ratings  ·  79 reviews
Richard North Patterson’s masterful portrayals of law and politics at the apex of power have made him one of our most important writers of popular fiction. Combining a compelling narrative, exhaustive research, and a sophisticated grasp of contemporary society, his bestselling novels bring explosive social problems to vivid life through characters who are richly imagined a...more
ebook, 423 pages
Published October 14th 2003 by Ballantine Books (first published 2003)
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Keith
Kerry Kilcannon, President of the United States is the quintessential fictional image of a Kennedy like president—had he of course, come from a poor background with an Irish American cop for a father that beat his mother with some regularity. Kilcannon is, however, handsome, extremely intelligent, politically astute and unshakable in the pursuit of his ideals. Although divorced he pursues and marries a beautiful Hispanic TV reporter and then is immediately confronted with a family tragedy as his...more
Charles
This book is agit-prop for gun control. Loaded with startling fact about gun violence. It falls somewhat short on the story side, but still better than 75% of political thriller nonsense available. I believe we all need to express our views on the outrageous amount of gun violence in America. As a young man I grew up in a hunting family and owned several guns. I was a member of the NRA. I volunteered for the Army. My godfather was a gunsmith and a member of the Presidents 100. I have forsaken al...more
Mikki
Although a novel this is a powerful portrait of the gun lobby, the world of special interests, and politics. When the president tries to put forth gun controls he is unsuccessful until a tragedy in his family forces a legal decision about responsibility. Close to the truth.. note latest Supreme Court decision.
Ginny
Once again Patterson takes on a current issue and makes one evaluate their own stand. This time it is the gun lobby and the second amendment. What exactly was meant by the "right to bear arms' and how does that fit in with 200 years of technologic growth.
Laurie Dougherty
As someone who is generally opposed to guns and in favor of tighter gun control, this story was excellent, contrasting the tale of Joan Bowden and her abusive husband against that of President Kilcannon, who had lost his brother to an assassin. The climactic shooting of Joan, her mother and daughter, and the subsequent struggle in Congress to enact stricter gun laws was truly compelling. Add to that the story of the lawsuit by Mary Costello and the efforts of several forces to keep that lawsuit...more
Aries
Richard North Patterson è un autore che ho citato parecchie volte su queste pagine virtuali: è innegabile che sia uno dei miei autori di thriller preferiti, così può sembrare che il mio parere su quanto scrive sia un po' di parte; basta però leggere un volume come Scelta Obbligata per rendersi conto di quanto in realtà dovrei elogiarlo ancora di più.Il romanzo è il terzo con protagonista Kerry Kilcannon, uno dei suoi personaggi più tridimensionali e più ben riusciti.Kilcannon, presidente degli S...more
Carin
I accidentally read book #3 in the Kerry Kilkannon series first. Oops! And, it definitely spoiled a few things from earlier books, although I might still try book #1 down the road. Luckily, with my terrible memory, if I give it some time, those spoilers will have leaked right out my ears.

Kerry Kilcannon has recently been elected President, and is pushing his biggest agenda item, gun control. His annulment is finalized, and so Lara is now officially his fiance, and the White House is happy to be...more
Ed
Mar 09, 2013 Ed rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Political thriller fans
I wanted to like this book more than I did. Richard North Patterson is one of my favorite authors and generally brings a fresh approach to the legal or political thriller genre. Unfortunately, this one reads like a soap opera and while the topic, gun regulation, is hot, Patterson's handling of it is not.

President Kerry Kilcannon finally marries television journalist Lara Costello however the event becomes overshadowed when his new wife’s brother-in-law shoots and kills his estranged wife as well...more
Amanda Patterson
Richard North Patterson is the Edgar award-winning author of multiple best-selling novels. He could be called the thinking man’s John Grisham.
Our hero, Kerry Kilcannon is a familiar character. He won the Democratic Party's nomination for president in "No Safe Place". He found himself at the centre of a debate on late-term abortion in the follow-up, "Protect and Defend."
In "Balance of Power", he marries his fiancée, Lara Costello – a first for the White House. More importantly, he’s trying to ma...more
Roberta
Jan 12, 2008 Roberta rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes political fiction but won't be offended by pro gun control viewpoints
There are spoilers for previous books in this review.

If you get past the book written from the point of view of someone who wants to staunchly control guns (assuming you are pro guns if you are pro gun control then you'll be saying preach it brother or something to that effect), it is a pretty good book. If you are a card carrying member of the NRA or a staunch Libertarian, you won't like this book.

That all being said, this book concludes the Kerry Kilcannon trilogy. Kerry finally gets married a...more
T. Edmund
Balance of Power is a large novel length tirade about gun policy in America. First off I guess it’s important to say that if you like gun ownership and have strong views about freedom and guns in America than you probably won’t like this book.


The novel while being fictional is essentially a description of the political and legal process that would likely need to occur to increase gun control in the United States.


In saying that the characters are OK, many of the minor ones are skilful half-real...more
Bobbi
The problem I have with this author's books is that I can't put them down - I feel lucky when I have another one waiting for me to read - however this is the last of the series with these characters - I am sad that the saga won't continue...

This one is about gun reform which I feel is totally necessary in this country and again the workings of Congress or is it working? Certainly doubt that it works for us "we the people." It clearly shows the political games played and how special interests rea...more
Luis Larrea
It is a really thrilling novel, which describes in a very realistic way the role played by the gun lobby in the USA. Every aspect of the problem related to gun rights is shown in a very graphical way, and besides the storyline is really exciting and you can't leave reading.

Joy
Five months into his term, President Kilcannon and his fiancee, television journalist Lara Costello, have decided to marry. But the occasion is followed by a terrible tragedy: a massacre of innocents in a lethal burst of gunfire. It is a shattering event that consumes Kilcannon and his wife, challenging both their marriage, and his Presidency in such a personal way that Kilcannon vows to eradicate gun violence throughout the US.

In a high-stakes game of politics and legal manoeuvring where ideal...more
Evelyn
Couldn't get into this one at all, had to give up after the first 100 pages. I don't know where this series went wrong for me or whether I just exhausted myself in the process, but it's time to move onto something else.
Donald L
Great book. I loved the exposure of the American gun lobby for what it is. The American people are insanely in love with guns. I doubt if in my life time they will change.
Jeffery Lee Radatz
I really did not like this book. Reading it was like going through mud. I wanted to like it, but I just found myself slogging through it! I have never read any of Richard North Patterson's books before and thought I would try with this one. It looks like I will not read any more of his works.
Amber
Patterson's novels often blur the line between fiction and reality, and with the election still fresh in my mind, I can't help but think this book is no exception. The story provides an interesting up-close look inside a presidency and amongst political power players, including the influence of lobbies, special interests and personal relationships. At over 600 pages, this is a long one, and while I was ready to be done by page 400, I don't think you could've done the story justice in fewer pages...more
Peter
(read this before Goodreads, added this review years after reading the book)

Probably enjoyed it.
Murray
Apr 27, 2009 Murray rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like political good reads
Shelves: novel, politics
Why didn't Clinton tackle the gun lobby - or indeed any US President before (or since?) with an ounce of sense?

This book makes the reason crystal clear with its exploration of power and politics in America. The premise is clever: a President who has suffered from the actions of crazy killers with access to lethal weapons. Surely he, popular as he is, can at least limit the excesses of the gun toting brigade? Patterson shows why things are not as simple as they may appear - and does so with a lo...more
Ida
If you are interested in a taste of how government works regarding the enactment of laws and the lobbying and manipulation that ensues, this book will keep you turning the pages. It is filled with legalese, particularly concerning gun control. As other readers have stated, you will not like this novel if you unconditionally support the right to bear arms, but for all others it will make your blood boil. There is so much corruption within Congress...manipulation, deceit, buying of votes, threats,...more
Audrey
I liked this one. The treatment of gun control made sense to me and I wish we could get a president willing to tackle it. But besides that portion of the content of the novel, which I liked a lot - this is a good novel, full of political intrique that is a combination of fascinating and appalling. The internal maneuvering, trading favors, threats and even downright blackmail is pretty scary and it seems very realistically portrayed to me. the book bogs down a bit in the middle with the depositio...more
Joan Cobb
This is Patterson's third novel involving Kerry Kilcannon, who is now president of the US.The four page list of characters is useful in keeping the entire cast straight! The issue is gun control and (to me) takes on all the sides of this issue, but mostly the power of the gun lobby. It is a good lesson in how the government runs, how bills are passed and how political influence is bought/sold/bartered. This is a long book and despite a number of weakly drawn characters and situations, it was a f...more
Michael
Enjoyable political thriller. In this, the last installment of the trilogy, President Killcannon takes on the gun industry. I've enjoyed these books, although I eventually found the painful earnestness of main character a bit grating by the end. Likewise, the SSA (Sons of the Second Amendment, a.k.a. the NRA) were, essentially, sociopaths hellbent on arming four year olds with RPGs. The whole series was very Lefty, but still a fun read. I liked this one the least of the three.
Bill Spears
I discovered Richard North Patterson by change on the bookshelf in the library in Austin and read one of the books. I was hooked and read several. The characters are interesting with real problems. The plots are well developed following legal cases and more often than not the lawyer is more involved than I expect happens in life. The plot twists are not just contrived to throw the reader off and implausible. I enjoy the political aspect of several of the books.
Heather Perreault
Same character, but now he's President. Again, a cast of thousands to keep track of... there's even a list at the front of the book, which is never a good sign! A bit contrived for the major plot line (how many tragedies can one family have?), but fascinating portrayal of power politics, special interest groups, and the judicial system. After all of the long drawn out drama of the book, the ending felt a bit abrupt. Overall, an enjoyable read.
Lahina99
Absolutely awesome. This was a novel my brother had been assigned to read for a school project, so I decided to give it a shot. I immediately found myself sympathetic with Kilcannon. Patterson's interplay between law, politics, and personal relationships was gripping and real. Overall, the initially dense prose gave way to an easy to read story I could not put down.
Clifford
An intense and well researched story of Washington politics and a battle of the 2nd Amendment to the constitution.
Julie
Like other Richard North Patterson books, this one was very dense (anytime, you need a list of characters to keep them straight...). The story written over ten years ago is so so relevant today. The intricacies of the gun law debate, the tragedies... it's surreal how prescient this book is and so important.
Sheryl Valentine
I have read other political novels by Richard North Patterson and for the most part, I have enjoyed them. This one takes on the whole gun issue. I like it when authors delve deeply into current issues and wrap them in a good story. If you like that too, then you will enjoy this book.
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Richard North Patterson is the author of fourteen previous bestselling and critically acclaimed novels. Formerly a trial lawyer, Patterson served as the SEC’s liaison to the Watergate special prosecutor and has served on the boards of several Washington advocacy groups dealing with gun violence, political reform, and women’s rights. He lives in San Francisco and on Martha’s Vineyard.
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