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Balance of Power by Richard North Patterson
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This one took me a while to read, mostly because I couldn't get my
concentration going because life kept getting in the way and also because
this is one of those books that you have to pay close attention to from
beginning to end.

It's a political novel, fiction, but acclaimed by folks like Bill Clinton
and Ted Kennedy as being very close to the way things really get done in
Washington. It was rather daunting to see that the first three pages
consisted of a cast of characters. Trying to keep them all straight was a
real chore until I got into the story enough to put personalities behind all
the names. This is a novel of gun violence and the mucky political waters
that surround trying to pass laws for gun control.

I found some flaws in this book, not the least of which is
that there is just too damn many people in it to have to keep straight. It
also all takes place over the course of only a few months, and as we all
know, nothing happens that quickly in Washington. I was also fascinated
trying to plug real politicos into the slots created by Patterson. It was
an interesting book, getting much more engrossing and gripping towards the
end. And all of the loose ends weren't wrapped up neatly and tied with a
bow, which struck me as much more realistic than fictional. ( )
  madamejeanie | Sep 21, 2008 |
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 long page turner. Well worth reading. ( )
  firebird013 | Aug 25, 2008 |
A Powerful Tale of Advocacy

Be prepared for the slow start; hang on for the strong finish. In Balance of Power, Richard North Patterson weaves a political tale of intrigue, guns, money, tort reform, backroom deals and ethically-challenged lawyers.

Painstaking research, personal experience as a trial lawyer and a detailed understanding of the contemporary Washington scene arm the author with enough ammunition to create a compelling, believable tale of special-interests politics in Washington, D. C.

Do not pick this novel up unless you are willing to experience the reasons our elected representatives often fail to legislate the general public’s bidding. ( )
  PointedPundit | Mar 31, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345450183, Mass Market Paperback)

An epic story that moves with force, passion, and authority, Balance of Power begins when President Kerry Kilcannon and television journalist Lara Costello at last decide to marry. But the momentous occasion is followed by an unspeakable tragedy—a massacre of innocents by gunfire—that ignites a high-stakes game of politics and legal maneuvering in the Senate, the courtroom, and across the country, which the charismatic but untested young President is determined to win at any cost. But in the incendiary clash over gun violence and gun rights, the cost to both Kilcannons may be even higher than he imagined.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:22:52 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

President Kerry Kilcannon and his fiancee, television journalist Lara Costello, have at last decided to marry. But their wedding is followed by a massacre of innocents in a lethal burst of gunfire, challenging their marriage and his presidency in ways so shattering and indelibly personal that Kilcannon vows to eradicate gun violence and the crush the most powerful lobby in Washington- the Son's of the Second Amendment (SSA).… (more)

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