Absolute Power

Absolute Power

by David Baldacci

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Overview

When burglar Luther Whitney breaks into a Virginia mansion, he witnesses a brutal crime involving the president—a man who believes he can get away with anything—and now, Luther may be the only one who can stop him in this #1 New York Times bestselling thriller.

In a heavily guarded mansion in the Virginia countryside, professional burglar and break-in artist Luther Whitney is trapped behind a two-way mirror. What he witnesses destroys his faith not only in justice, but in all he holds dear.

What follows is an unthinkable abuse of power and criminal conspiracy, as a breathtaking cover-up is set in motion by those appointed to work for one of the most important people in the world—the President of the United States.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446566568
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 01/01/2010
Pages: 704
Sales rank: 46,563
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

David Baldacci is a global #1 bestselling author, and one of the world's favorite storytellers. His books are published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries, with over 130 million worldwide sales. His works have been adapted for both feature film and television. David Baldacci is also the cofounder, along with his wife, of the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America. Still a resident of his native Virginia, he invites you to visit him at DavidBaldacci.com and his foundation at WishYouWellFoundation.org.

Hometown:

Northern Virginia

Date of Birth:

August 5, 1960

Place of Birth:

Richmond, VIrginia

Education:

B.A. in Political Science, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1982; J.D., University of Virginia, 1986

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Absolute Power 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 153 reviews.
GregS_Tucson More than 1 year ago
I hesitated to purchase the book because I saw the movie several years ago. Like most books turned into movies, the movie doesnt' do the book justice but the movie changed the story ending significantly. If you haven't read this book it's worth it! I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Janet Taylor More than 1 year ago
Suspense on every page! Could NOT put it down..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hard book to put down!
Twink More than 1 year ago
I've been a fan of David Baldacci's political thrillers for a while now, but realized I had never read Absolute Power - the one that started his string of bestsellers. (17!) Luther Whitney is a master burglar. For the last twenty years, he's tried to keep his nose clean. But he pulls one last job for an old friend. He breaks in without incident, but is suddenly forced to hide when the owner and some others come home. He is stunned when the unthinkable happens - even more unbelievable is the perpetrator - the President of the United States. Luther turns to lawyer Jack Graham - the ex boyfriend of his estranged daughter. What a great premise for a story! And Baldacci does it masterfully. The plotting is tight and the action non stop. I enjoyed discovering Baldacci's 'beginning.' He has made the secret service/White House thriller genre his own. But the reader in this case was fantastic. Scott Brick is an award winning audio book narrator. His voice is rich and resonant, conveying the suspense of this novel, keeping me on the edge of my chair. His voice conveys so much, from the malevolence of the bad guys to the uncertainty of a bewildered daughter. There was a bonus short story included on the last disc (17!) of this set. I didn't realize that this book had been made into a movie starring Clint Eastwood and Gene Hackman in 1997.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not my usualcupof tea but i enjoyed emmencely
Katie1010 More than 1 year ago
Very good book. I could not put it down. Without a doubt, the best book I have read in a number of years. I would recommend this book to my friends.
ritaCA More than 1 year ago
David Baldacci rivets you to the chair! It is nearly impossible to set the book down once started. Characters have life-like attributes, no fairytale prefection or super strength endurance, just real people caught up into an incredible adventure. The storyline is a swift current that whips you down the course, periodically snagging and tossing you into a whirlpool! Just when you think you know what will happen, the course changes and a new surprise twist is revealed. I really enjoy ready Baldacci's novels, it is a guaranteed roller coaster ride!
Guest More than 1 year ago
WOW!!! is the only explation i can give u for this book, it is just absolutely amazing and so intresting to read. The author did a great job planing every detail, he did it so carefully and so perfectly so that everything added up. Also the fact that he never failed to suprise you not for one minute through out the entire book made it even better. One of the things i enjoyed in this book was the way who the autor showed us the different points of view, such as the view of a lawyer,detective, and the bad guys. The Dramatic Irony was also very powerfull in the book and the way the author played with it was just amazing. Another one of my faviorte things about this book was the ending, i was just in shock i think for a moment there i actually thought that President would get a way with murder i mean the more i thought about the more the question 'why not' came to mind. This book is ment for readers who enjoy criminal fiction and dont mind following up with a lot of facts, if your not that type of person your probably not gonna injoy this book. It Is just absolutly wonderfull and i highly recomend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the best suspense-laden novels I¿ve ever read, 'Absolute Power' will make the slowest of readers tear through its pages with reckless abandon. The story begins in a lavish Virginia suburb, where a career burglar named Luther Whitney has been casing a particular house for weeks on end. The night he finally makes his move on the house, everything goes perfectly, until some unexpected visitors arrive. One of them is the President of the United States, and when he murders his mistress, Luther witnesses everything. From that moment on, he finds himself immersed in a web of cover-ups, lies, and murder that rise to the highest echelons of government. This is one of those rare thrillers that will truly keep you riveted to your seat as you wonder whether or not your favorite character will be seen, caught, or who knows what! Definitely give this book a read. You won¿t be disappointed... >>>> Britt Gillette, Author of 'Conquest of Paradise'
Guest More than 1 year ago
Baldacci's first novel is a well-crafted suspense thriller featuring a superb plot, a protagonist who is both real and likeable, and secondary characters that come alive. As with most good novelists, Baldacci writes a strong beginning. Elderly burglar Luther Whitney, while engaged in his criminal occupation, is caught in the web of a poweful spider as he sets out to burglarize a home but instead becomes a reluctant witness to a brutal murder in which Alan Richmond, President of the U.S. is involved. Too late, the reader will realize he's hooked, and there's no way out for him but to read on to the exciting finish. Protagonist Jack Graham, a young, hard-working lawyer and former lover of Whitney's beautiful daughter, Kate, is inexorably drawn into this web by his desire to help them, and if possible, rekindle the relationship he once enjoyed with Kate. Seth Frank, chief homicide detective for the rural Virginia county in which the murder occurs, is propelled by his sense of duty as he attempts to piece together clues that will unravel the mystery and reveal what really happened to the wife of Walter Sullivan, wealthy friend of the President. But, it's through the character of President Richmond and those around him that we are shown what this novel is really about. Richmond and his staff are moral relativists. They do not believe in any objective standards, nor do they believe that truth exists. This is a dangerous combination in anyone, but particulalrly so when present in politicians and others in positions of power and authority; it can easily lead to a belief that one is above the law. Richomnd is a man corrupted by the power of his office, who mistakenly feels that the most important person in the world is himself. He also thinks that moral standards are for the bourgoise, not him, that he is above the law, and therefore, can do anything he pleases. Attributes such as these, combined with a ruthless pragmatism, lead him to the ultimate vices; betrayal of his best friend, and worse. Gloria Russell, Richmond's top assistant, driven by lust for Richmond and an unbridled quest for shared power, orchestrates a cover-up to protect Richmond. She tries to conceal his wrongdoing and help him retain power, using a piece of commandeered evidence to accomplish that and to obtain her personal goal. Secret Service Agent Bill Burton, victim of a misdirected sense of loyalty, does the expedient thing again and again in the service of his boss, until finally he understands that he has destroyed his own integrity and self-respect, and a life without these is a life not worth living. Lord Acton is often quoted as saying, "Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely." It's from this famous quote that Baldacci's title is drawn. But what Acton may not have understood is that power, no matter how absolute, will only corrupt if its possessor is devoid of sound moral values. Freed from the healthy restraining influence of high moral standards, a person can and will exercise power badly. The result is usually the creation of strife and turmoil in his own life and in the lives of those around him. This is an adult novel for adult readers. It's more than just "a good read." It's an intense, fascinating, absorbing novel. I heartily recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From the first page to the end you do not lose interest. Characters were realistic and plot excellent. A much enjoyed book as are all of his.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Twink on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've been a fan of David Baldacci's political thrillers for a while now, but realized I had never read Absolute Power - the one that started his string of bestsellers. (17!)Luther Whitney is a master burglar. For the last twenty years, he's tried to keep his nose clean. But he pulls one last job for an old friend. He breaks in without incident, but is suddenly forced to hide when the owner and some others come home. He is stunned when the unthinkable happens - even more unbelievable is the perpetrator - the President of the United States.Luther turns to lawyer Jack Graham - the ex boyfriend of his estranged daughter.What a great premise for a story! And Baldacci does it masterfully. The plotting is tight and the action non stop. I enjoyed discovering Baldacci's 'beginning.' He has made the secret service/White House thriller genre his own.But the reader in this case was fantastic. Scott Brick is an award winning audio book narrator. His voice is rich and resonant, conveying the suspense of this novel, keeping me on the edge of my chair. His voice conveys so much, from the malevolence of the bad guys to the uncertainty of a bewildered daughter.There was a bonus short story included on the last disc (17!) of this set. I didn't realize that this book had been made into a movie starring Clint Eastwood and Gene Hackman in 1997.
nyiper on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Baldacci's books, along with John Grisham, are my legal fix books---his books just flow along. I love the audios---perfect when you're doing something boring that needs a good story. For once I determined ahead of time a solution that one of the main characters "discovered" later. I like the way you think there is no way to work through the multitude of problems that arise and yet Baldacci gets you there. I don't mind in the least a little too much coincidence---an excellent story! I have read or listened to most of his books and I'm not sure how I missed this---his first. I need him to pick up his writing speed---I need more of his books!!
dspoon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A riveting debut novel of murder, honor, loyalty, and betrayal that reaches all the way to the Oval Office. A vicious murder involving the president and his mistress results in a coverup orchestrated by the zealously loyal chief of security and the Secret Service. But, unbeknownst to the president and his lackeys, one unlikely witness saw everything. Will Americans learn the truth?
dbhutch on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another of those books where I am glad I read it before I saw the movie. Absolute Power follows the abuse of power of the Office of the President when it comes to cover-ups, and the lengths the Secret Service will go to in order to protect their charge. One mistake leads to another and another, and of course, a witness to murder is the biggest mistake of all. Staff members, agents, lawyers, and creative police work make this novel a page turner that is hard to put down. Having grown up and worked near DC for years,the detail in the novel made me feel as if I was right there for all of it.
mikedraper on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Luther Whitney is a thief with a conscience. He's robbing the home of a wealthy family in Washington, D.C. when the woman of the house returns. Luther hides in the closet and can see what is happening.The woman is with her lover and the sex begins to get rough. The man cannot perform due to his intoxication and when the woman ridicules him, there is a struggle. She picks up a letter opener and as she approaches the man, two other men break into the room. When the Secret Service men see she's about to stab the President, they shoot and kill her.They attempt to sanatize the room but overlook the letter opener which Luther noticed, the President had touched so has his prints on it. Luther takes this and escapes.The Secret Service realize they don't have the letter opener and they rush back to the room to get it and see it's gone.David Baldacci ratches up the mood as the Secret Service tries to cover their tracks and Luther attempts to set something in motion that will expose the President's hand in the murder and the political corruption.We follow the hunted and await the death knell as the realistic characters collide in their attempt to hide, or for others, to unearth the truth.
mausergem on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A professional burglar is in the process of burgling a rich man's house when in walk the man's wife and the President of United States. What follows is a murder and a cat and mouse chase.Thrillers like these will always keep you turning the pages. Pure and simple entertainment.
LisaMaria_C on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As popular thrillers go, this isn't badly written. Baldacci is a better writer judging from what I've read than a James Patterson or Dan Brown. Not high praise--just means he's not obviously eye-bleeding, but this is still reads as a generic pot-boiler. Nevertheless even Brown and Patterson have held me to the end of a couple of their books. Baldacci didn't here. The thing is, I couldn't wrap my head around the basic premise. A cat burglar, Luther Whitney, is trapped in a vault with a one-way mirror when people unexpectedly arrive at a mansion he was robbing. Two people enter the bedroom--and one is the charismatic president of the United States, Alan J. Richmond. Whitney watches as the married president begins to have sex with a woman not his wife. Sex that turns into an assault that turns into an attack on the president that ends with his calling for help bringing in two Secret Service agents who shoot and kill the woman. Do they call the police in? No, both agents participate in a cover up. And you know what? I don't buy it. Do I buy the Secret Service would kill to protect the life of the United States President. Sure. It's their job. Do I buy an American president could be involved in an extra-marital affair and the Secret Service stays silent? Sure. They're supposed to keep the president's private life private. Do I buy his Chief of Staff and other political hangers on might cover up anything including murder? Sure. Just look at recent history and headlines about American presidents and candidates and aspirants to the office such as President Richard Nixon, President Bill Clinton, Presidential candidate John Edwards and president wannabe and ex-governor Eliot Spitzer. But Secret Service agents aren't political hacks. They don't work for the man, they work for the office. They'll take a bullet for the president--they train to make it muscle memory. But would they risk covering up a killing? Not just one, but two on the scene? (And would they really not check out every single place a potential assassin could be hiding like that vault?) Well, a better writer might have sold me on it, but as a premise for what's otherwise routine potboiler? Well, two hours watching the movie with a Clint Eastwood is one thing. But I didn't want to devote over 12 hours to a book where the premise from the start just struck me as screwy and the writing was less than stellar.
jo-jo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had no idea what to expect when listening to this book, but before I knew it I was caught up in the political suspense that was bound to entrap Jack Graham. I have a few friends that have read many Baldacci books and rave about them, so I decided to try the audioversion of this author. Maybe some of you that listen to audiobooks have found what I did-that I enjoy listening to genres that I don't usually enjoy reading. Suspense thrillers would be one of those genres that I don't enjoy reading but always find myself drawn to in the audio form.A crime takes place in the beginning of this novel that involves the President, the Secret Service, and the Chief of Staff. As the story unfolds these people will do anything and stop anyone that would jeapordize the presidency. Since Luther Whitney somehow is the only witness to the unfortunate event he finds himself not sure who to confide in. His daughter Kate is an attorney for the Commonwealth, but since their relationship has been strained for so long he wouldn't know where to begin explaining what happened. Kate was engaged to a nice young man named Jack Graham who was also a lawyer. Luther found a respect for Jack that gave him the courage to leave a trail for Jack to learn about the President's actions.Before Luther and Kate are dropped back into Jack's life, everything seems to be going perfect for him. He is engaged to Jennifer, who happens to be the daughter of one of the most powerful and wealthiest families in Washington. When Jack sees his future father-in-law rubbing elbows with the President of the United States he somehow knows deep down that he will never fit into the same social circle that Jennifer is a part of. When Jack starts to help Luther Whitney with his dilemma he finds himself drawn to the simple, but yet happy life that he led when he was with Kate. We learn a lot about the many characters within this story. The Secret Service men involved in the crime both seem to be good men, but victims of political circumstances. Burton is the family man that has been married for over twenty years and has two kids at home. When he finds himself having to take control of the situation he doesn't know how he can ever face his family again. Collins is an agent who has put his life on the line before and will not hesitate to do it again. He somehow loses sight of his goals as he becomes entwined in a passionate affair.There were so many unpredictable twists and turns in this audiobook that I really was unsure of how it could possibly end. If you are interested in listening to an action packed political thriller then this book would be a great choice for you! I've also just started paying attention to who is narrating audiobooks, and I have heard many bloggers mention Scott Brick as being a fabulous reader. Well you can add my name to that list of bloggers because while I was listening to this book I found his voice very engaging and WOW, does he build suspense! Please keep in mind that this rating is for the audioversion.
ponder on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I could not make it past the halfway mark. I wanted to enjoy it but it never drew me in.
Livana on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great read.Baldacci doesn't let the pace up in this crime novel about the President and Secret Services trying to cover up a murder.
rarelibri on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book when looking for a new author to read. Out of all of Mr. Baldacci books this is still one of my favorites. By now most people if they have not heard of the book are familiar with the movie of the same title played by Clint Eastwood as the main character. The story starts off with a suspenseful beginning with a thief who is inside the home of political powerhouse sees a murder while hidden in a closet safe with through a two way mirror.The story unfolds as the thief who it turns out has a good heart if not a bad habit tries to bring to justice the individual who committed the murder. The subplots of the thief's life and the personal relationships that unfold hold together fairly well and become a story unto themselves and not just page filler. The turn of events that lead to the conclusion will leave you wanting more after the final page is turned.The author has not in my opinion captured the suspense and excellent writing he developed in this story. If there is just one book from this author to read I would highly suggest this title.
edwardsgt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had previously seen the Clint Eastwood movie of the same name some time ago but couldn't recall much of the plot except the opening (turned out the movie had cut one of the principal characters). This has all the usual Baldacci ingredients of a fast-paced plot which keeps you turning the page. It revolves around a corrupt President, Alan Richmond, who house-breaker Luther Whitney unwittingly catches en flagrante, during a robbery, albeit from one side of a secret one-way mirror. Things develop even worse and Whitney finds himself hunted down by Richmond's secret service minders and struggles to stay one step ahead. As usual most of the action takes place in and around Washington and Baldacci's eye for political detail, as far as I could tell, is as good as ever.
mramos on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Here we have a book where the President of the United States is the bad guy.....and the criminal is the man of honor. This book is a thriller with political intrigue and takes place mostly around the Metro D.C. area. The book starts with an aging burglar, Luther, breaking into a billionaire's well protected mansion. He is suprised, but not caught by none other than the President of the good ol'USA. Who happens to be with the billionaire's young wife. Luther who is hidden in a safe with a two-way mirror, watches as the President starts to beat on the young woman. The woman in an act of self preservation, grabs a letter opener and stabs the President. The ensuing struggle and yell from the President, brings the very effective Secret Service Agents into the room. Where they shoot and kill her.The scheming Chief of Staff hatches a quick course of action to start a cover up. But no one is aware of Luther who has watched the whole horrid affair. The story begins to pick up speed when Luther decides he has do what is right and set things straight.You can tell this is Mr. Baldacci's first book. But worth the read. I read Total Control first, and find that book of a much higher quality. I think he will only improve with each book he writes. There were parts in this book where I just had to read one more section before I put it down.