Richard North Patterson's masterful portrayals of law and politics at the apex of power have made him one of our most important writers of popular fiction. Combining a compelling narrative, exhaustive research, and a sophisticated grasp of contemporary society, his bestselling novels bring explosive social problems to vivid life through characters who are richly imagined and intensely real. Now in Balance ofPower Patterson confronts one of America's most inflammatory issuesthe terrible toll of gun violence.
President Kerry Kilcannon and his fiancée, 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 crush the most powerful lobby in Washingtonthe Sons of the Second Amendment (SSA).
Allied with the President's most determined rival, the resourceful and relentless Senate Majority Leader Frank Fasano, the SSA declares all-out war on Kerry Kilcannon, deploying its arsenal of money, intimidation, and secret dealings to eviscerate Kilcannon's crusadeand, it hopes, destroy his presidency. This 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.
And others in the crossfire may also pay the price: the idealistic lawyer who has taken on the gun industry; the embattled CEO of America's leading gun maker; the war-hero senator caught between conflicting ambitions; the female senator whose career is at risk; and the grief-stricken young woman fighting to emerge from the shadow of her sister, the First Lady.
The insidious ways money corrodes democracy and corrupts elected officials . . . the visceral debate between gun-rights and gun-control advocates . . . the bitter legal conflict between gun companies and the victims of gun violence . . . a ratings-driven media that both manipulates and is manipulatedRichard North Patterson weaves these engrossing themes into an epic novel that moves us with its force, passion, and authority.
USA Today - Deirdre Donahue
Patterson combines serious contemporary issues -- domestic violence, presidential politics, late-term abortion -- with an accessible writing style that has resulted in seven consecutive international best sellers.
Readers seeking pure entertainment may be disappointed, but those with the patience to follow the involved plot will learn much about gun policy debate.
Booklist - Kristine Huntley
This complex novel has a fascinating debate at its heart. To his credit, Patterson has done his research, and though it's clear which side he's on, he does a good job of presenting all the arguments.
Longer than it need be and occasionally repetitious, but redeemed, scene after scene, by bare-knuckle, page-turning, political infighting. For ordinary folk, it's good enough stuff. For political junkies, think Harry Potter.
Senator Edward M. Kennedy
Balance of Power is a rip-roaring novel about guns, lawyers, and politics. Richard North Patterson has extraordinary insight into how Washington works, and a complex and heartfelt understanding of the effects of gun violence on our society. This is a great read by a masterful writer.
Balance of Power is a compelling story, fully worthy of Richard North Patterson, which is made even more intriguing by its detailed insight into the world of special-interests politics in Washington, D.C.
Former President Bill Clinton
Richard North Patterson has a keen eye for how Washington really works. His portrait of the gun lobby is right on–both in terms of its power and its political tactics. A must read for anyone interested in the gun debate.”
In this complex, ambitious, and gripping first novel, Kermit Roosevelt vividly illustrates the subtle and stark effects of the law on the lives of a group of lawyers, and also on communities and private citizens.
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