Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “No Safe Place (Kerry Kilcannon, #1)” as Want to Read:
No Safe Place (Kerry Kilcannon, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

No Safe Place

(Kerry Kilcannon #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  2,756 ratings  ·  139 reviews
In the high-stakes, high-pressure world of Presidential politics, where predators carry microphones and one misstep can savage a lifetime of achievement, Kerry Kilcannon is the rarest player of all. Kilcannon believes he can make the system work. And he just may die trying. Driven by the violent nightmare of his childhood, fueled by forces that few could understand, and bu ...more
Paperback, 585 pages
Published June 3rd 1999 by Arrow (first published 1998)
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 No Safe Place, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about No Safe Place

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,756 ratings  ·  139 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Aug 23, 2014 rated it liked it
I usually steer clear of the political thriller genre because more often than not, they're simply thinly veiled propaganda machines for a certain particular agenda. Oh and US politics generally makes me feel nauseous at the best of times. However, this book was chosen by a book club I'm in, and not wanting to be a party pooper, I reluctantly joined in.

No Safe Place was actually a fun, fast paced suspense thriller that hooked me in from the first chapter. There is some agenda pushing of course (i
Bev Taylor
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
you can run - but you cannot hide ......

kerry is a us senator and now running an election campaign hoping to be nominated for president

he is up against the vice president mason and the gloves r off in this and rules can easily be broken

kerry's past rises to haunt him and he has to decide what he should sacrifice - everything or nothing

he rose to his current position thru the murder of his brother who was also a senator. but all the people who formed his life - both for the good and the bad -
In the tense final days of his Presidential campaign, a charismatic young senator is closing in on his party's nomination, but a past love affair is catching up with him, and a would-be assassin is moving in to fulfill his own crusade.

3.5 stars - Two suspenseful plot lines and fascinating behind-the-scenes moments of a political campaign made this an enjoyable read but, at just under 500 pages, I thought it was way too long and I could've done without many of the detailed flashbacks.
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
atterson, Richard North: No Safe Place ****
Kerry Kilcannon's brother is assassinated when he was running for president. Now Kerry is running and a scandal lurks in the background as well as an assassin looking for him. Patterson's characters are multidimensional and intriguing. Well written. Recommended
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good read, it's not difficult to see where it's going but it's enjoyable joining the story on its journey to get there
Jan 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: politics
The main character of this book, Presidential candidate Kerry Kilcannon, is analogous to the high-cheek boned, overly-endowed, wish-fulfillment women one often sees in fantasy novels or risque comics. A JFK by way of Martin Sheen's character in The West Wing, his politics are too incorruptible, honest and unpractical to be believed. It's as if Richard North Patterson threw every idealist trait he could find in him.

I'm not necessarily complaining about this, but when one has such an unvarnished c
Oct 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Overall - a good political intrigue book that was informative and thought provoking.

I was looking for a thriller and a page turner but it took me a while to get into the book which was disappointing and surprising because I like books involving politics. It was always intriguing but the real page turner, thrilling part didn't really happen for me until the last half of the book. Then I didn't want to book the book down.

However, I rated it a 4 rather than a 3 because I very much enjoyed 1) the c
Jan 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
I was under the impression that Richard North Patterson wrote thrillers, this read more like a romance. The story follows Senator Kerry Kilcannon's final week of candidacy for the democrat nomination for president. He is pro-life, pro-gun control, and a champion of women, gays, minorities, and the downtrodden. This man is so perfect that even his opponent's wife appears to respect him more than her own husband. The only thing unsaintly that this man has done was have an affair with a reporter,La ...more
Jun 05, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
First of all, I think the book was much too drawn out....a 500 page story that, IMO, could have been captured in about 300 (I found the repetition of his beliefs to be annoying - state them, and move on with the storyline!)

Although I found the politics behind the politics interesting enough, the rather liberal bent of the main character (and perhaps the author?) was a bit too much for my particular taste (gun control, affirmative action, social
And, I found it difficult to "get b
Carl Alves
Oct 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
No Safe Place is a political thriller that has no interest in realism or believability. In this convoluted story line, Kerry Kilcannon is a senator whose brother is killed while running for the White House. He decides on his own run, even though he has an affair with a reporter that can bring him down. Also, in his past, he saved a boy from his father who wanted to kill him. Now the same boy wants to kill Kilcannon for his position on abortion. Yes, the plot is as ridiculous as that sounds.

May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Kerry Kilcannon is the name of the presidential candidate in this political fiction thriller set in the 2000’s. He chooses the name of the would be commander in chief of the United States to be similar to the name of real president Kennedy. Some members of the right wing are upset with this left wing politics. The plot is quite similar to what goes on in Washington D.C. today with different politicians fighting it out to promote their ideas.
Feb 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
This novel lacks true excitement. Sure the stories behind Kilcannon are well flushed, however, an important relationship lacks enough fire to draw much of this reader's empathy. 4 of 10 stars
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
I actually love to read Richard North Patterson books, but this one I was not thrilled with. This does not mean this book was not well written, it was. Why was I not thrilled with it? Maybe because I have worked as a volunteer since the 1960's on different political campaigns. Also a National Convention and maybe because he is too close to the truth, of how sleazy our journalists get, and when one puts down the book, one ends up with a bad taste in ones mouth.

However, Mr. Patterson is too close
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I rarely read political novels, but I enjoyed this one. I read this from a Reader's Digest SelectEditions, so they may have cleaned it up a bit. It shows the complexities and stresses of a presidential candidate's life, and no matter how clean he tries to keep his life or how likable he tries to be, there is always something going to come up like a friendship with a journalist that turned into an affair and someone trying to kill him because of a personal promise he was unable to keep.
Ke Yu
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
So if there is this politician, perfect in almost every way (smart, straightforward, grounded, caring, daring, energetic...) except one (fatal) flaw (had an affair), is he still a good candidate worth voting for? Would we (more than) accepting if he is just a normal person? Or politicians are essentially a different spices: having to be flawless and potentially boring?
Robert Burger
Good Story

Seemed somewhat predictable at the end, but only because it had to have an ending. Fairly good characterization. Good plot flow.
Martha A. McCarthy
Very Relevant in 2018

This book feels as though it could have been written today as opposed to 20 years ago. Richard North Patterson writes a very strong story.
Edward Cook
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Read this first in 2002, now seems slightly dated given how warped the world is. A good read but not quite as brilliant as I first remember it.
Aug 07, 2019 rated it liked it
didn't inspire me to read any more Patterson
Apr 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Kerry Kilcannon, a candidate in the presidential primaries whose brother was assassinated right after winning the California primary 12 years before. Then he adds the fact that Kilcannon seems unable to run clear of a two-year-old affair. Sound familiar so far? Add to the mix the fact that Kilcannon is himself being hunted by a right-to-life activist who has already killed three people in a women's clinic, and you have a real thriller.
Patterson has the reputation for being a writer of courtroom
Kathleen Hagen
No Safe Place, by Richard North Patterson, A-minus.
downloaded from

The publisher’s note states:

Richard North Patterson gives us an extraordinary novel of presidential politics.
Senator Kerry Kilcannon's insurgent campaign against Vice President Dick Mason has come down to the last seven days. Whoever wins the California presidential
primary is likely to win the Democratic nomination. And for all the votes his passions and magnetism have gained him, Kerry's problems are formidable.
Dec 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
I don’t usually enjoy political campaign stories but No Safe Place by Richard North Patterson was so enriched with back story that I loved it. Knowing that Kerry Kilcannon, Presidential candidate had an abusive father and a brother so handsome that he was jealous makes you understand his actions. Knowing about his loveless marriage and feeling of isolation helps you know why he started an affair with Lara Costello. Kerry Kilcannon despite his poor background reminded me of JFK with all his ideal ...more
Oct 15, 2012 rated it liked it
This book is connected with 'A Private Screening', which I read before it. In that book, a politician is shot and killed and is this one his brother (Kerry) decides to become a follow the same career path. Prior to this, he himself is shot by a grumpy father in a domestic violence case he has prosecuted. He survives this, and while lesser men might have considered this a bit of a bad omen, he presses on regardless and is soon on the campaign trail. He is going along quite well, until a story com ...more
Richard Bowen
Dec 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this book at the same time as I've been watching The West Wing (series 4). It's a US political system crash-course!

No Safe Place tracks Kerry Kilcannon as he attempts to win the Democratic candidacy for the upcoming US Presidential Election. Whereas in my opinion The West Wing is more about the issues and process than the people and their personalities, No Safe Place is more about the people. It is the stories of the people that become the issues. Specifically, abortion and gun control. A
Nov 28, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started reading this author when our book club read 'Exile' in anticipation of his giving a talk locally. The talk was interesting and I found it helpful that RNP didn't seem to have all of the answers. His writing is a way for the author (as well as his readers) to consider and explore the many sides of the issues facing government within the context of 'a good yarn'. I'm reading the Kerry Kilcannon trilogy out of order, reading 'No Safe Place' second - due basically to lack of availability o ...more
Venkatraman Ramachandran
Nov 15, 2015 rated it did not like it
Took a long time to get through this one and complete reading it. Story never seemed to gather momentum at the start and looked like taking an unbelievably long time to be able to understand. Numerous characters and names adding to the confusion and complexity. Second half progressed on a better note, though the pace and passion was still lacking.

Book actually constituted or finally ended up as a mixture of a man's professional and personal life. Passage from a tough childhood, graduating as an
Dylan T
Apr 30, 2015 rated it liked it
I don’t usually enjoy political campaign stories but No Safe Place by Richard North Patterson was so enriched with back story that I loved it. Knowing that Kerry Kilcannon, Presidential candidate had an abusive father and a brother so handsome that he was jealous makes you understand his actions. Knowing about his loveless marriage and feeling of isolation helps you know why he started an affair with Lara Costello. Kerry Kilcannon despite his poor background reminded me of JFK with all his ideal ...more
Freda Malone
Jun 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
I found this novel to be long winded, politically. A realistic guide to becoming a president and what comes with it. It gave me some insight to the process of election and how vindictive professionals can get when digging into someone's past. Though I have to say, Kilcannon showed true meaning of what the people need and want in terms of power and presidency. It also reminds us that the president must have a heart, much like JFK. There is no safe place in any election. The media in itself is jus ...more
Jul 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics, fiction
A true page turner. Political fiction centered on a do or die Democratic primary contest in California, circa 2000. The candidate--a Robert Kennedy-esque liberal--is locked in battle with a corrupt Vice President for the party's nomination. The author uses long flashbacks to fill in the blanks about the main character's life, including a hardscrabble upbringing in New Jersey, and a torrid love affair with an NBC reporter. Mixed into all of this are the issues that always flair up in a POTUS race ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Common Carnage
  • Family Values
  • Latitude Zero
  • Good Enough to Dream
  • Revolution #9
  • The Crater
  • Men in Black
  • Furnace
  • Waiting
  • The Illusionist
  • In the Night Season
  • Survivor
  • The Dick Gibson Show
  • The Devil's Own Work
  • Joe Hill
  • A Firing Offense
  • The Intruder
  • Right to Life
See similar books…
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.

Other books in the series

Kerry Kilcannon (3 books)
  • Protect and Defend (Kerry Kilcannon, #2)
  • Balance of Power (Kerry Kilcannon, #3)