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Absolute Power

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4.15  ·  Rating details ·  80,765 Ratings  ·  1,486 Reviews
In a heavily guarded mansion in a posh Virginia suburb, a man and a woman start to make love, trapping Luther Whitney, a career break-in artist, behind a secret wall. Then the passion turns deadly, and Luther is running into the night. Because what he has just seen is a brutal murder involving Alan Richmond, the president of the United States, the man with...Absolute Power ...more
Paperback, 560 pages
Published July 1st 2000 by Grand Central Publishing (first published October 4th 1995)
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Bibi
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this some 15 years ago and it's a must for all lovers of thriller and sinister suspense books.

It's an adrenaline filled read, starting from the first scene when 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.
Rebecca McNutt
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.
Adam
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
...more
Fred
Nov 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, movie, re-read
** my second read **

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 & Christine's killed by 2 Secret Service men, Tim Collin & Bill Burton. Gloria Russell(37), President Chief of Staff took the "bloo
...more
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.
Susan
Jan 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Lisa Temple
Aug 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Gary
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.
Miriam Smith
May 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nu-Jahat-Jabin
America এর পরেসিডেনট নিঃসনদেহে বরতমান দুনিয়াতে সবচেয়ে কষমতাধর বযকতি হিসাবে সবীকৃত সেটা আসল দুনিয়াতেই হোক আর ফিকশনের দুনিয়াতেই হোক।কষমতা এমন এক জিনিস যেটা যোগযা মানুষকে করে শকতিশালী কিনতু অযোগয মানুষকে দূরবল।
কষমতার অপবযবহার এর ফলাফল কি মূলত সেটাই এই বইতে দেখানো হয়েছে।
বইটার একটা সমসযা হল মনে রাখার মত কোন একশন নাই, একক কোন বীরতব নাই ।
কিনতু কাহিনী গতিশীল আবার খুব যে টেনে যে রেখেছে তেমন ও না। সব কিছু মিলিয়ে ২বার পড়ার পর মোটামুটি মানের থরিলার লেগেছে।
...more
Mike French
Oct 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Ioana
Apr 08, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
ElaineY
REVIEW OF AUDIOBOOK; DECEMBER 4, 2015
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
...more
Justin
Sep 14, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Judy 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.
...more
Corey
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
Asghar Abbas
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Pure power of a well executed idea.
David Highton
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I spotted a 20th Anniversary edition of Baldacci's first book in my local library and realised that I had never read it (although I had seen the Clint Eastwood film)
A well constructed plot idea in the first place and well written for a first novel, the book is probably a little too long and the ending does not really build to a crescendo, so 4 stars for me not quite 5
Karin Diricx
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Weer een nieuwe schrijver die op mijn lijst staat kende hem niet maar vond het boek goed.
Stephan
Jul 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: david-baldacci
I am not sure how I felt about ABSOLUTE POWER. I have read several books by Baldacci, but this one seemed different. I rated it 4 out 5. It definitely grabbed my attention right at the beginning and kept me engaged. However, strictly my opinion, the story dragged out longer than it had to. The story line was busy and there was a lot of different characters popping up. Also, there were scenes it the story that did not have a great deal of significance with the story line.

The book started out with
...more
Susie
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
...more
B J
Apr 11, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The President of the country uses all his resources to cover up a murder blamed on a witness whose identity is unknown to him, but he knows he is out there. He has the loyalty of his protectors if not their respect. Mingled into the story is the witness's daughter and her ex fiancee , their relationship, and the relationship between the father and daughter. It is an easy read but I never identified with any of the characters which almost always prevents me from getting lost in a book.
Anne-Marie
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first David Baldacci. I didn't realize, until after the first page, that it was a movie I'd seen several times - and loved! So it was difficult seeing the characters NOT as the actors - I failed. Rushed through the book as it is a page turner. Howeverrrrrr, strange for me to say this, but I preferred the movie *shock* *horror*!
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.

REVIEWER’S OPINION:
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
...more
Chris Matney
I listened to this book on audio CD while driving across country to a trade show. Having read some of Mr. Baldacci's later works, I was curious to go back a couple of decades to an earlier novel.

Overall, Absolute Power is a serviceable political thriller. As usual, Mr. Baldacci does an excellent job with character building - a strength of any good novel and certainly well done here. If you don't hate Alan Richmond by the end of this book, you haven't been paying attention. The supporting cast is
...more
Michael
Luther Whitney is a thief with a conscience. He's breaking into the home of a wealthy family in Washington D.C. when the woman of the house returns unexpectedly. He hides in the closet and she enters her room with her lover.

The two way mirror lets Luther see the action as the sex turns rough and when the man can't perform due to his alcoholic state, she ridicules him. A struggle ensues and the woman picks up a letter opener and is approaching the man when two other people come into the room. Wh
...more
Jordan
May 24, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jordan by: Aunt Ret
I have never read a book by David Baldacci, nor have I seen the movie based on this book. The book was interesting enough to be enjoyable, but I didn’t love it.

The concept that the President of the United States is involved in murder and cover up was very intriguing. Perhaps my hopes were too high. Baldacci does a great job introducing a larger number of characters, but does not give you the feeling that there are too many characters to keep straight.

The story lines come together very well, but
...more
Bridget
Feb 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thief, Luther, got more than he bargained for when he visited a mansion in Virginia thinking he could make it out of there with a few prize pieces. He becomes trapped in the wall when two people being having an intimate moment. The shocking part is the murder that takes place and it has to do with the US president.

Jack is an attorney and he is determined to find out what really happened that night. Who is telling the truth, a burglar or the man entrusted with the most powerful job in America?

P
...more
Soul longings
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This has been a very nicely woven thriller , involving the President .The Writing is very good it captures you attention from the first scene . The opening scene is very well written where the thief breaks in the house and sees the woman being killed by the president . But i found that the story dragged on a bit long and there were many sub plots and so many characters at one point it all felt so improperly balanced towards the wrong side . There should have been some confrontation of the centra ...more
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  • The List
  • The Tenth Justice
  • Degree of Guilt (Christopher Paget, #2)
  • Executive Power (Mitch Rapp, #6)
  • Pleading Guilty (Kindle County, #3)
  • The 13th Juror (Dismas Hardy, #4)
  • The Chairman (Christian Gillette, #1)
  • The First Commandment (Scot Harvath, #6)
  • The Charm School
  • The Fifth Witness (Mickey Haller, #4; Harry Bosch Universe, #22)
  • After Dark
  • The Day After Tomorrow
100,096 followers
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; one year later ...more
More about David Baldacci

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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.” 13 likes
More quotes…