ABSOLUTE POWER DAVID BALDACCI PDF

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The mother of all presidential cover-ups is the centerpiece gimmick in this far-fetched thriller from first-novelist Baldacci, a Washington-based attorney.

In the dead of night, while burgling an exurban Virginia mansion, career criminal Luther Whitney is forced to conceal himself in a walk-in closet when Christine Sullivan, the lady of the house, arrives in the bedroom he's ransacking with none other than Alan Richmond, President of the US.

Through the one-way mirror, Luther watches the drunken couple engage in a bout of rough sex that gets out of hand, ending only when two Secret Service men respond to the Chief Executive's cries of distress and gun down the letter-opener-wielding Christy. Gloria Russell, Richmond's vaultingly ambitious chief of staff, orders the scene rigged to look like a break-in and departs with the still befuddled President, leaving Christy's corpse to be discovered at another time. Luther makes tracks as well, though not before being spotted on the run by agents from the bodyguard detail.

Aware that he's shortened his life expectancy, Luther retains trusted friend Jack Graham, a former public defender, but doesn't tell him the whole story. When Luther's slain before he can be arraigned for Christy's murder, Jack concludes he's the designated fall guy in a major scandal. Meanwhile, little Gloria together with two Secret Service shooters hopes to erase all tracks that might lead to the White House.

But the late Luther seems to have outsmarted her in advance with recurrent demands for hush money. The body count rises as Gloria's attack dogs and Jack search for the evidence cunning Luther's left to incriminate not only a venal Alan Richmond but his homicidal deputies. The not-with-a-bang-but-a-whimper climax provides an unsurprising answer to the question of whether a US president can get away with murder. For all its arresting premise, an overblown and tedious tale of capital sins.

Film rights to Castle Rock; Book-of-the-Month selection. With humor and insight, Straub creates a family worth rooting for. When Astrid Strick witnesses a school bus run over a longtime acquaintance of hers—Barbara Baker, a woman she doesn't like very much—it's only the beginning of the shake-ups to come in her life and the lives of those she loves. Astrid has been tootling along contentedly in the Hudson Valley town of Clapham, New York, a year-old widow with three grown children.

After many years of singlehood since her husband died, she's been quietly seeing Birdie Gonzalez, her hairdresser, for the past two years, and after Barbara's death she determines to tell her children about the relationship: "There was no time to waste, not in this life. There were always more school buses. Nicky, the youngest Strick, is disconcertingly famous for having appeared in an era-defining movie when he was younger and now lives in Brooklyn with his French wife, Juliette, and their daughter, Cecelia, who's being shipped up to live with Astrid for a while after her friend got mixed up with a pedophile she met online.

As always, Straub Modern Lovers , , etc. The cast is realistically diverse, though in most ways it's fairly superficial; the fact that Birdie is Latina or Porter's obstetrician is African American doesn't have much impact on the story or their characters. Cecelia's new friend, August, wants to make the transition to Robin; that storyline gets more attention, with the two middle schoolers supporting each other through challenging times.

The Stricks worry about work, money, sex, and gossip; Straub has a sharp eye for her characters' foibles and the details of their liberal, upper-middle-class milieu.

A daring concept not so daringly developed. Ana is the daughter of Matthias, head scribe to Herod Antipas, tetrarch of Galilee. She demonstrates an exceptional aptitude for writing, and Matthias, for a time, indulges her with reed pens, papyri, and other 16 C.

Her mother disapproves, but her aunt, Yaltha, mentors Ana in the ways of the enlightened women of Alexandria, from whence Yaltha, suspected of murdering her brutal husband, was exiled years before. Yaltha was also forced to give up her daughter, Chaya, for adoption. As Ana reaches puberty, parental tolerance of her nonconformity wanes, outweighed by the imperative to marry her off. Her adopted brother, Judas—yes, that Judas—is soon disowned for his nonconformity—plotting against Antipas.

Their connection deepens after she encounters Jesus in the cave where she is concealing her writings about oppressed women. There, poverty, not sexism, prohibits her from continuing her writing—office supplies are expensive. Problem avoided when, notified by Judas that Antipas is seeking her arrest, she and Yaltha journey to Alexandria in search of Chaya.

Already have an account? Log in. Trouble signing in? Retrieve credentials. Sign Up. Pub Date: Jan. No Comments Yet. More by David Baldacci. Page Count: Publisher: Riverhead. Review Posted Online: Feb. More by Emma Straub. Page Count: Publisher: Viking. Review Posted Online: Jan. Show all comments. More by Sue Monk Kidd. More About This Book. Please sign up to continue. Almost there! Reader Writer Industry Professional. Send me weekly book recommendations and inside scoop.

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Absolute Power

Absolute Power is a book by David Baldacci. An experienced burglar, Luther Whitney, breaks into a billionaire's house with the intent of robbing it. While there, he witnesses the President of the United States and the billionaire's wife having sex. However, their lovemaking turns violent and Secret Service agents burst in and kill the woman, which Whitney also sees. The reason Whitney was able to witness the murder was because he was behind a large one-way mirror that was a secret door into a large closet where the billionaire would sit and watch when his wife had sex with another man. Whitney escapes, but not before the Secret Service learns of his presence; they blame the wife's murder on Whitney.

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