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Absolute Power

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  93,934 ratings  ·  1,924 reviews
A grizzled professional cat burglar gets trapped inside the bedroom closet of one of the world's richest men, only to witness, through a one-way mirror, two Secret Service agents kill the billionaire's trampy young wife as she tries to fight off the drunken sexual advances of the nation's chief executive. Running for his life, but not before he picks up a bloodstained lett ...more
Paperback, 550 pages
Published 2003 by Pan Publishing (first published October 4th 1995)
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Average rating 4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  93,934 ratings  ·  1,924 reviews

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Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
*Spoiler Alert*

I read this some 15 years ago
and it's a must for all lovers of thriller and sinister suspense books.

It really is an adrenaline filled read, starting from the first chapter where Luther, a petty thief, witnesses the POTUS committing murder. Thereon, it's a race to ensure he does not become the next victim.

Absolute Power and The Winner are, undoubtedly, some of Baldacci's best work.
Oct 13, 2008 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
Rebecca McNutt
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is probably my favourite of Baldacci's novels. Absolute Power is slick, swift and daring in its plot of corruption, murder, litigious attorneys and the dark side to wealth and cash.
Jun 01, 2008 rated it liked it
Loved the movie, apparently the book a little less. Still entertaining read.
Nov 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
IMDb - credit to Baldacci book used for movie
YouTube - Official Movie trailer

Movie with Clint Eastwood
Ending song (5:00) - added March 1, 2019

A Virginia Burglar, Luther Whitney(66 - Clint Eastwood in the movie) made a surveillance & break into the Sullivan family's rich home. US President, Alan Richmond(40 - Gene Hackman in the movie) takes drunk Christine Sullivan to her house for sex. From a closet in her house, Luther watches them fight, Alan's slashed with letter opener & Christin
Jan 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
kartik narayanan
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Welp, I finally got around to reading the book that started it all. I remember seeing the movie back in '95 and seeing it because it had Clint Eastwood in it. After roughly 25(?) years, I read this book and it didn't disappoint.

The story is a bit dull by today's standards but given its context, it came out during the Clinton era, I think it is quite courageous and interesting. Of course, this has been reused multiple times; even by Baldacci himself (First Family comes to mind). The characters ar
Lisa Temple
Aug 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book, it grabbed me from the start and made me want to continue reading.
A well-crafted story, strong characters that are believable and easy to visualise. An interesting story line that is different to the usual thrillers. Lots of twists and turns and worth the read.
Joey Woolfardis
Meh. Relatively quick-paced action, clichéd kind of mystery thriller crime guns Yank stuff. The distraction I needed but nothing more substantial. For what it is it is pretty much a 5-star thing, but in my opinion it is hardly that.
Jim C
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the author's first book and also my introduction to this author. I do know that he is popular and an accomplished author as I have seen his books thru my Goodreads feed. In this one, Luther is a career burglar and has planned rather meticulously a high stakes job. All his forethought could not have predicted what actually happens and he soon finds himself on the run from an unbelievable opponent.

This book is a thriller book and the opening act opens with a bang. Immediately I was engross
Miriam Smith
May 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a real page turner I couldn't put it down, as with all political thrillers they can be difficult to follow at times and this was no exception but the story was brilliant and I really enjoyed it. I'd seen the film many years before and could only remember bits of it so not sure how much it ties to the book but I know I did enjoy watching it. I would recommend this book, it is quite long but powerful and a real eye opener into the world of Americal presidential politics.
Mike French
Oct 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
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!
Apr 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
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
S.P. Aruna
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Considering this book came out over 25 years ago, and was Baldacci's first novel, I was impressed. The originality of the plot is the key to this book's success: a cat burglar inadvertently witnesses the shooting of the president's mistress by the Secret Service, a situation ripe for a cover up, a cover up that puts the hapless burglar's life in jeopardy. I, like so many others, have seen the Clint Eastwood movie, which I enjoyed, but the book is more complicated with more twists and turns.

Nov 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is the book that got David Baldacci started in his writing career and for a first book I thought it was his best. I'd seen the movie Absolute Power with Clint Eastwood then I'd decided to read the book and I thought the book was a lot better. It follows the same plot line as the movie but it has many differences in it. It's about a long time thief named Luther Whitney who is in the middle of robbing a rich couple's home and he witnesses a murder and the man involved with it is the President ...more
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
Judy D 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.
Sep 14, 2012 rated it liked it
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
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
Jack Heath
5 Stars. Most enjoyable. More complicated, but a bit like a Columbo TV movie in that the reader soon knows the premise and who's ultimately responsible for the horrible crime. Which is? The murder of Christine Sullivan, the young and attractive wife of an elderly billionaire, in the bedroom of their Virginia mansion. She had remained behind as her husband and staff went to Barbados for a relaxing week of sun and rum punch. Her reason? Ostensibly she felt ill; in reality she planned an assignatio ...more
Emilie Haney
I have read a lot of Baldacci’s books. Like I’ve come to expect from him, the plot was fast paced and ever expanding. The evil characters are very very bad. The scope and, dare I say depravity, of the lengths to which people will go to in the book is fantastical, yet in line with the plot.

While I didn’t like it as much as his later novels, I still feel like his writing is engagingly descriptive and entertaining.

What I did not like, however, was the crass sexual content and language. I’ve come
Aug 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I haven't read anything by Mr Balducci for quite some time and I must say that I selected the right novel to get back to this author's style. It was exciting, thrilling, and had more than a touch of believability. A real page turner as the author kept the reader engrossed in the lives of each and every character from the power seekers in DC, including the president, to the the common man. It does make one think of what power lies in the office of the president and Mr Balducci makes you think a l ...more
Feb 01, 2013 rated it liked it
While this is interesting throughout, I wish Baldacci would have moved in different directions as it pertains to the victims. If he had, my rating would have been higher and his story would have been better. 6 of 10 stars
Asghar Abbas
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Pure power of a well executed idea.
Lee Gimenez
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is another good mystery/thriller novel from David Baldacci. A good balance of suspense and action. Fans of Baldacci's books will enjoy it.
Nov 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In David Baldacci's Absolute Power, this political thriller is so intense, it cuts straight through with a knife. It all started when the President, Alan Richmond, got over his head with an affair with a younger woman who got rough with him. He ordered two of his Secret Service Men to take out the hit, while an old-time cat burglar watched everything unfold behind the scenes. Though they covered up all the tracks to make it like a burglary, they kept everything on the down low from the police. T ...more
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
Sharon Clark
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the first David Baldacci book that I've read and it won't be my last. I can see why it was made into a movie. The premise for the story was unique with Luther Whitney, a career burglar, inadvertently witnessing the president of the United States sleeping with, then beating the wife of a friend. The woman was shot by the president's secret service agents when it appeared that the woman might kill the president. The president's aides made every effort to cover their tracks and they felt th ...more
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David Baldacci has been writing since childhood, when his mother gave him a lined notebook in which to write down his stories. (Much later, when David thanked her for being the spark that ignited his writing career, she revealed that she’d given him the notebook to keep him quiet, "because every mom needs a break now and then.”) He published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996; it was subsequ ...more

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“Today might not be so good. But tomorrow, you got another chance to get it right.” 34 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.” 16 likes
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