Customer Reviews for

Balance of Power (Kerry Kilcannon Series #3)

Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Strong thriller

Desperate and frightened Joan Bowden, sister of the First Lady, calls her brother in law, President Kerry Kilcannon because he once promised to help her. A repeat physical abuse victim, she tells Kerry that her husband John held a gun to her head, placing not only Joan...
Desperate and frightened Joan Bowden, sister of the First Lady, calls her brother in law, President Kerry Kilcannon because he once promised to help her. A repeat physical abuse victim, she tells Kerry that her husband John held a gun to her head, placing not only Joan in danger, but their six-year-old daughter Marie as well. From his days as a prosecutor Kerry knows first hand the consequences of battered wife syndrome so he and Lara try to help.

Tragedy occurs anyway. In DC sides on the gun control issue begin to form for another war. The Sons of the Second Amendment (SSA) have gun lobbyists with senators spouting apple pie challenge the bloody pulpit of the President and his congressional supporters, sick of massacres and innocent children dying. The Congress is bitter and divided by party lines as the debate turns ugly, personal, and acrimonious.

The third Kilcannon tale (see NO SAFE PLACE and PROTECT AND DEFEND) is a powerful, in your face, condemnation of the American political system that abets gun violence. Author Richard North Patterson makes no apologies as he denounces a system in which money buys Congressional votes, ethics mean nothing, and the second amendment is used as a convenient wrapper though the political infighting on the hill seems to simple. Fans on the side of seat belts on guns will appreciate this strong chiding of the American way while those who oppose any restriction will detest the novel.

Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on December 9, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

This author unfair to normal sleep patterns

Before I started this - the 3rd installment of Kerry Kilcannon¿s rise to and use of the awesome powers of POTUS - I knew I would once again be catapulted into a rich world few of us every get to know beyond what we read or view in the media. What I did not know is that ...
Before I started this - the 3rd installment of Kerry Kilcannon¿s rise to and use of the awesome powers of POTUS - I knew I would once again be catapulted into a rich world few of us every get to know beyond what we read or view in the media. What I did not know is that it would take days for me to restore my body to the benefits of the regularity of sleeping and eating. Patterson develops the character of Kerry Kilcannon to a level of benevolent power and charisma that if he could only possibly exist, would surely be the reincarnate of JFK with stronger personal morals ¿ a thought Patterson shamelessly to alludes to. So credible and so tight is the plot and character development, this reader could not possibly believe that the real world wasn't actually inside the book until the toothpicks holding up my eyes finally snapped from the weight only to reveal the sun about to rise. There is no doubt that after finishing this book, your every cocktail party conversation involving the issues raised by Patterson will be affected by his portrayals of those subjects that in one way or another, impact our society nearly on a daily basis. Too often, we develop our ideals based upon events in our lives we¿ve buried deep within our subconscious and as such, take them more or less for granted. This, much easier and less painful than re-examining them each time the issues surface via some extraordinary event in the news. While we can enjoy a magical mystery tour when reading a science fiction by Arthur Clark or a hair-raising, sensory assault by Stephen King, we know that the story is just that. In Balance of Power, one cannot help but to believe that much of it is true and what of it is not, hopefully can be again one day soon. Reading this book will only cost you the price on the cover¿ and a few night¿s sleep.

posted by Anonymous on February 20, 2005

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2005

    Fantastic book!!! One of Patterson's best

    I absolutely loved this book. I am not sure whether I've read the previous Kilcannon books but I will definitely read them if I haven't. Let me say that if you are an NRA member who believes, as the NRA appears to, that everyone, regardless of criminal history has a right to own a gun, then this book will probably tick you off. That being said, the book is very detailed and I believe realistic regarding the politics surrounding gun control. The plot is what you might expect for a story focusing on gun control: the brother-in-law of the President kills his wife, daughter, mother-in-law and several other innocent civilians at an airport in California. The gun he used was a 'P-2,' a very deadly weapon when combined with 'Eagle's Claw' bullets, which literally shred the inside of one's target. The remainder of the book focuses on Kilcannon trying to get a law passed to require background checks for gun show customers, while the Sons of the Second Amendment (read 'NRA') are lobbying for 'gun immunity,' which would prevent victims and their families from suing a gun manufacturer for wrongful death. That's all I'll say so that I won't ruin the book for you. Again, I highly recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2005

    This author unfair to normal sleep patterns

    Before I started this - the 3rd installment of Kerry Kilcannon¿s rise to and use of the awesome powers of POTUS - I knew I would once again be catapulted into a rich world few of us every get to know beyond what we read or view in the media. What I did not know is that it would take days for me to restore my body to the benefits of the regularity of sleeping and eating. Patterson develops the character of Kerry Kilcannon to a level of benevolent power and charisma that if he could only possibly exist, would surely be the reincarnate of JFK with stronger personal morals ¿ a thought Patterson shamelessly to alludes to. So credible and so tight is the plot and character development, this reader could not possibly believe that the real world wasn't actually inside the book until the toothpicks holding up my eyes finally snapped from the weight only to reveal the sun about to rise. There is no doubt that after finishing this book, your every cocktail party conversation involving the issues raised by Patterson will be affected by his portrayals of those subjects that in one way or another, impact our society nearly on a daily basis. Too often, we develop our ideals based upon events in our lives we¿ve buried deep within our subconscious and as such, take them more or less for granted. This, much easier and less painful than re-examining them each time the issues surface via some extraordinary event in the news. While we can enjoy a magical mystery tour when reading a science fiction by Arthur Clark or a hair-raising, sensory assault by Stephen King, we know that the story is just that. In Balance of Power, one cannot help but to believe that much of it is true and what of it is not, hopefully can be again one day soon. Reading this book will only cost you the price on the cover¿ and a few night¿s sleep.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2004

    Kilcannon or Clinton?

    I have read all of R.N. Patterson's books and loved them. While I was reading this one I felt like I wasn't reading about Kerry Kilcannon anymore. It felt like I was actually reading about the Clinton administration. I read the book through and then read the author's notes. Sure enough, it appears that he wrapped the gun control aspect of the Clinton presidency around the story of Kerry Kilcannon. I really didn't have a problem with the whole thing. It was more or less of a surprise. I felt that I was being educated into an issue that I had previously only glanced the surface of and for that I am eternally grateful to the author. Indeed, he actually changed my right-winged brain on the way that the issue of guns is handled in this country. I have conducted some research and found that he is not altogether incorrect. To sum it up, I applaud the effort.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2003

    A Gripping, Powerful Treatise on 21st Century American Politics

    Like a hot chilli pepper that I couldn't stop eating, it was as if I couldn't resist the lure of being a fly on the wall witnessing a great socio-political debate enmeshed with an ugly lawsuit. This story illuminates the grip of powerful interests on both parties and the difficulties that the human beings in our legislatures encounter when trying to juggle personal beliefs, self-interest, and their various supporters with the greater good of the people. To make it a great story, the author had to choose which side to take on the issue but did admit to his own beliefs. A fabulous read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2003

    Tremendous political statement

    I've read all Richard North Patterson's novels and looked forward to Balance of Power. Now, of course, I'm waiting for his next novel. I regard Patterson's talent right up there with all the other top notch mystery writers. As for Balance of Power,it didn't take long before I saw this was not a mystery per se but a political spin on the NRA, however, he writes so well I was intrigued, and followed the novel to its conclusion. I am a moderate and my vote has always gone to the person not the party on both sides of the aisle. Having said that, let me say this novel made me see the issue of guns in a different light. I still believe that the choice to own a weapon is a person's constitutional right, but the time has come for restrictions and strong safeguards because our society has become so volatile. I can equate this to the abortion issue, where I believe in free choice but also the restrictions/ban of partial birth abortion. There will always be those greedy parasites and evil doers who take advantage of our system for their own agenda regardless of how society suffers. Thank you Richard North Patterson for your ability to write so well you educated and changed my thoughts on the gun issue in America. It's not as simple as I used to think it was. Americans have the right to bear arms true, but with a common sense approch, contrary to what gun makers and/or lobbyists would have us believe, especially in light of our volatile society. Although in your credits you name some people I wouldn't invite to my house...Still, you managed to convey to me the topic as an objective study of the problem and changed my thinking on the matter. I now have a different perspective of the weapon issue and the NRA. Similar to my belief in Pro-abortion rights. I believe in a women's right to choose but also on a ban on late term horrors. American is going through a evolutionary change and we all have to rethink many issues, staying in the same political mindset of either party is not the way to go and is not progress any longer, it's going backwards not ahead We are akin to being puppets while our strings are being pulled by puppeteers in Washington, mostly on the 'left' but also on the 'right'... As for this book it's a must read!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Strong thriller

    Desperate and frightened Joan Bowden, sister of the First Lady, calls her brother in law, President Kerry Kilcannon because he once promised to help her. A repeat physical abuse victim, she tells Kerry that her husband John held a gun to her head, placing not only Joan in danger, but their six-year-old daughter Marie as well. From his days as a prosecutor Kerry knows first hand the consequences of battered wife syndrome so he and Lara try to help. <P>Tragedy occurs anyway. In DC sides on the gun control issue begin to form for another war. The Sons of the Second Amendment (SSA) have gun lobbyists with senators spouting apple pie challenge the bloody pulpit of the President and his congressional supporters, sick of massacres and innocent children dying. The Congress is bitter and divided by party lines as the debate turns ugly, personal, and acrimonious. <P>The third Kilcannon tale (see NO SAFE PLACE and PROTECT AND DEFEND) is a powerful, in your face, condemnation of the American political system that abets gun violence. Author Richard North Patterson makes no apologies as he denounces a system in which money buys Congressional votes, ethics mean nothing, and the second amendment is used as a convenient wrapper though the political infighting on the hill seems to simple. Fans on the side of seat belts on guns will appreciate this strong chiding of the American way while those who oppose any restriction will detest the novel. <P>Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2012

    Have not had time to read yet.

    Like his writing; will probably enjoy.
    Title of Kerry Kilcannon Series #2 book?
    Don't want to skip one I should have read!

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  • Posted July 27, 2010

    Can't get through it

    OK I admit I haven't read this. At least not all of it. Why? I'm on page 200 and NOTHING HAS HAPPENED YET. At least I know with Clancy that I often need to invest a hundred pages or so before it gets terrific, but I honestly don't know if I can plow through this!

    I have found the dialog uninteresting and the characters are not riveting. And what does this president actually do for a living? He certainly doesn't seem to be busy running the country.

    Maybe I'll give it a couple more nights. It better pick up.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2004

    Not very interesting

    This is only the second book I have started and not been able to finish. Patterson is so busy preaching his gospel that it is just not very interesting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2004

    Pharmacy Tech, avid crossworder and reader

    I found this book tiring, as did I his last one, too much political grandstanding. He gets a 'cause' and beats it to death, so much so that whatever side you are on you couldn't care less by the end of the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2004

    More wrongheaded political thinking

    This is a supposed work of fiction based on fact, but it is not. It is a thinly veiled radical liberal political diatribe against the Second Amendment to the US Bill of Rights, and the lawful private ownership of firearms. Mr. Patterson seems to think he is smarter than the framers of the Bill of Rights. Virtually all he says about guns is a bald faced lie, a half truth, or a dishonest omission, apparently tongue in cheek, hoping you poor readers will be suckered into agreeing with him. One has to wonder why radical liberals like him want to eliminate private gun ownership in the US. Perhaps for the same reason that the Nazis, Chinese, Russians, and other dictatorships did. Criminals will always be able to procure weapons in any society, just as they did beer and whiskey in the 30's and drugs today--thus rendering the law abiding defenseless. Save your money and buy a tank of gas with it. This country owes its politcal freedoms significantly to private gun ownership, believe it or not. Mr. Patterson apparently does not understand history. Never believe a person who does not understand reality.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2004

    A FIRST RATE READING OF POLITICAL INTRIGUE

    With numerous stage, television, and film roles to her credit you'd expect Patricia Kalember to deliver a first-rate reading - she does and raises the bar with her rendering of Richard North Patterson's latest D.C. based thriller. With 'Balance of Power' Patterson once more focuses on fictional Democratic politician Kerry Kilcannon. Recently elected to the presidency Kerry is set to marry his fiancé, television journalist Lara Costello. When Lara' sister is again brutalized by her abusive husband, John Bowden, Kerry intervenes. Then, the horrific: shortly after the wedding Bowden goes on a wild rampage shooting the innocent, including his wife and their daughter. Kerry is so affected by this carnage that he promises to battle gun violence which means turning over Washington's most powerful lobby, the SSA or Sons of the Second Amendment. It's at this point that Patterson's knowledge of Washington, its politics and power brokers really comes to the fore as Kerry becomes involved in a no-holds-barred battle with his nemesis, Senate Majority Leader Frank Fasano. There is enough political intrigue and legal maneuvers in 'Balance of Power' to keep everyone listening from rapid-fire start to boffo finish.

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    Posted March 13, 2010

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    Posted August 27, 2010

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    Posted January 13, 2010

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    Posted October 4, 2010

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    Posted August 17, 2013

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    Posted August 10, 2012

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    Posted January 23, 2010

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