Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Balance of Power (Kerry Kilcannon, #3)” as Want to Read:
Balance of Power (Kerry Kilcannon, #3)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Balance of Power (Kerry Kilcannon #3)

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  1,869 Ratings  ·  101 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
Audio, 0 pages
Published October 14th 2003 by Random House Audio (first published October 2003)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Balance of Power, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Balance of Power

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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
Jan 07, 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
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
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.
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.
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
Janet E. Rash
Mar 06, 2017 Janet E. Rash rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Balance of power

Very good introduction and insight into the issues around gun ownership and use. The characters and situations are highly believable. I recommend this book.
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
Dec 19, 2007 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
Oct 02, 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
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
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
Jan 19, 2009 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
Donna Frasor
A real insight into the workings of Washington, D.C. A 600+ well researched book that examines the controversial topics of the 2nd amendment, gun violence, and gun regulation. It describes in a fictional story the political & legal processes that would likely incur to increase gun control in the U.S. It is definitely pro gun control and an NRA card carrying member would probably find it biased. I learned a lot about political games, lobbying, & the world of special interests, but found i ...more
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
Jul 25, 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
Sep 30, 2015 ReBecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely LOVED this book! It brought up so many emotions and 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
Jun 22, 2016 Marianne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a very difficult book to read, not because its long, not because it is terribly written, it is superbly crafted, but because not much of it is fiction. IMO, probably the only fiction is that good wins, and evil loses. All through the book, I kept telling myself, no, our representatives don't act like this, no the lobbyists arent this evil. Wake up and smell the coffee, I told myself.

I'm so deeply saddened by the corruption. We don have representatives in congress anymore, we have whores
Oct 13, 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
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
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
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
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
May 13, 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
Bill Spears
Sep 01, 2012 Bill Spears rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Kris - My Novelesque Life

"Five months into his term in office, President Kilcannon and his fiancee have decided to marry. The day of the ceremony the nation is plunged into mourning following a massacre of innocents in a lethal burst of gunfire. Kilcannon vows to curb gun crime but the cost to him and his wife is going to be high." (From Amazon)

A great political thriller. I did not know this novel was part of a series so will have to start with book one.
Oct 25, 2012 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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.
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.
Richard Bowen
Dec 17, 2015 Richard Bowen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing to think that Patterson wrote this book in 2002/3 and yet gun violence continues to be an issue in the US as we enter 2016.

Whilst the Kilcannons are a bit hard to believe I think they're a great vehicle to canvas the twin issues of guns and the corruption of the political system by lobbyists and special interest groups with money. A great read that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Jan 28, 2013 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Eureka
  • Writ of Execution (Nina Reilly #7)
  • Parallel Lies
  • Double Tap (Paul Madriani, #8)
  • Reversible Errors (Kindle County Legal Thriller, #6)
  • The Fourth Assassin (Omar Yussef Mystery #4)
  • Double Jeopardy
  • Blue Blood: Duke-Carolina: Inside the Most Storied Rivalry in College Hoops
  • My Prison Without Bars
  • Something Special: A Story
  • Forced Out
  • Russell Rules: 11 Lessons on Leadership from the Twentieth Century's Greatest Winner
  • Pretty Girl in Crimson Rose (8)
  • Ruffians
  • The Book Stops Here (Mobile Library Mystery, #3)
  • The Cairo Diary
  • Rise and Walk: The Trial and Triumph of Dennis Byrd
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.
More about Richard North Patterson...

Other Books in the Series

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

Share This Book