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Balance of Power (Kerry Kilcannon #3)

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,714 Ratings  ·  94 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 October 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,704)
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Keith
Sep 03, 2011 Keith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Thomas 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
Charles
Jan 16, 2013 Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
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
Carolyn Browne
Jan 23, 2016 Carolyn Browne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is no way that Richard North Patterson could have known about Newtown, Connecticut when he wrote this book. Yet, anyone that wants to fully appreciate the political struggle that goes hand in glove with gun control, should read this book. Only true political animals will stick with it from beginning to end, but for those truly interested in dealing with the issue of military style guns, and bullets that no one can survive should read this book. The numerous moving parts that kick into high ...more
Jak60
Oct 13, 2015 Jak60 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This is another great novel based on the Kilcannon character, and it is another great political/legal thriller; re-reading some of its books today, the Kilcannon series is House of Cards 15 years earlier and a better, more subtle and sophisticated version than the "original".
But what I like more of RNP - over and above his superior storytelling skills - is his capacity to represent the societal issue at centre of each of his novels with all their inherent complexity, avoiding to fall into shortc
...more
Mikki
Jun 28, 2008 Mikki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 26, 2008 Ginny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pre-2005, own
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
Jul 31, 2014 Laurie Dougherty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 01, 2012 Aries rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
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 liked it  ·  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
Nov 16, 2010 Amanda Patterson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 liked it  ·  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
Bobbi
Sep 06, 2010 Bobbi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 04, 2014 Luis Larrea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-in-english
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
Apr 07, 2012 Joy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
ReBecca
Jan 07, 2016 ReBecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely LOVED this book! It brought up so many emotions and feelings...at time I was so frustrated at members of Congress. I know that this novel is not true by any means, but there is no way that you can't tell me there isn't corruption (w both parties) when it comes to bills being passed or even brought to the congress! As someone who does not care for guns, this book brings up a lot of how I feel. People manipulate what is said and always twist it around to think the government wants to ...more
Ed
Aug 20, 2015 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#3 in the Kerry Kilcannon series.

President Kerry Kilcannon, in the 3rd of a trilogy, marries Lara Costello. After her family is gunned down by a vengeful, abusive spouse, Kerry takes on the gunmakers and the NRA.
Donald L
May 05, 2014 Donald L rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Patricia
Jan 16, 2016 Patricia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written but very frustrating to know what actually happens in real life. I am not a fan of the NRA and this book shows politics at its worse.
Amber
Nov 30, 2008 Amber rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Walt Trizna
Sep 23, 2014 Walt Trizna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A compelling and frightening look at politics in this country in relation to gun control.
A must read with the current culture of rampant violence.
Joanne
Sep 20, 2015 Joanne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I like the politics but the character development and relationships were shallow. It felt like going from political speech to political speech, the characters only serving the cause of giving speeches about gun control, lobbying, etc.
Peter
Jul 24, 2014 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(read this before Goodreads, added this review years after reading the book)

Probably enjoyed it.
Murray
Apr 27, 2009 Murray rated it really liked it  ·  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
May 22, 2013 Ida rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 20, 2009 Audrey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Cev
Oct 27, 2015 Cev rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Corny! ....and painfully dull.
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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.
Macmillan.com
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Other Books in the Series

Kerry Kilcannon (3 books)
  • No Safe Place (Kerry Kilcannon, #1)
  • Protect and Defend (Kerry Kilcannon, #2)

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