Title:                      Absolute Power

Author:                David Baldacci

Baldacci, David (1996, 2016). Absolute Power. New York : Grand Central Publishing

LCCN:    2016591009

PS3552.A446 A63 2016


Date Posted:      January 3, 2017

Review by Jonathan Kirsch[1]

Most mysteries are set in the mean streets of urban America, where the dicks are down at the heel, the prose is hard-boiled, and the most memorable characters tend to be lowlifes.

David Baldacci, on the other hand, takes the high road in his tale of murder among the rich and famous. Absolute Power starts at the very top–the White–and stays there. Only a few of the men and women who skulk and skuldugger their way through the pages of his bestseller are not certified members of the power elite.

One lowlife who does show up in Absolute Power is Luther Whitney, an aging career criminal who is described as “a card-carrying member of AARP.” While burglarizing a mansion outside Washington, D.C., Luther happens to see the lady of the house in the arms of a stranger–”a view from behind that should have been reserved for her gynecologist and husband”–and that’s what sets the unlikely plot of Absolute Power in motion.

At risk of giving away the key conceit of, I must disclose that the stranger is the president of the United States and that the lady in his arms meets an unfortunate fate. The rest of the book is devoted to the making and breaking of Absolute Power a wildly implausible cover-up that G. Gordon Liddy might have dreamed up but could not have carried out.

[1] Jonathan Kirsch, BOOK REVIEW / FICTION “Not the Usual Suspects You Find in Murder Mysteries : Absolute Power, Los Angeles Times (May 1, 1996).


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