Balance of Power by Richard North Patterson
(Kerry Kilcannon)

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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 of Power Patterson confronts one of America’s most inflammatory issues–the 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 Washington–the 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 crusade–and, 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 manipulated–Richard North Patterson weaves these engrossing themes into an epic novel that moves us with its force, passion, and authority.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Richard North Patterson

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Richard North Patterson studied fiction writing with Jesse Hill Ford at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He has written ten novels, including the international bestsellers Degree of Guilt, Eyes of a Child, The Final Judgment, Silent Witness, and No Safe Place. Patterson lives with his wife, Laurie, and their family in San Francisco and on Martha's Vineyard.
Published January 1, 2003 by New York, NY, U.S.A.: Ballantine Books, 2003. 500 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Balance of Power

The Guardian

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Balance of Power by Richard North Patterson 612pp, Macmillan, £17.99 Lawyers are trained to argue hard cases and Richard North Patterson, a trial attorney turned bestselling thriller writer, has continued to pursue positions to which the average American juror would be hostile.

Nov 22 2003 | Read Full Review of Balance of Power (Kerry Kilca...

Publishers Weekly

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Gun control and tort reform are the thorny issues tackled in this political drama, with Patterson hero Kerry Kilcannon ensconced in the White House and planning his marriage to former television journalist Lara Costello.

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Book Reporter

Richard North Patterson says that BALANCE OF POWER marks the end of his Kerry Kilcannon trilogy, which began with NO SAFE PLACE and continued with PROTECT AND DEFEND.

Jun 29 2004 | Read Full Review of Balance of Power (Kerry Kilca...

Entertainment Weekly

It's been five years since the best-selling lawyer-author first introduced political junkies to brazenly liberal President Kerry Kilcannon with ''No Safe Place.'' In this installment, Kilcannon presses for strict gun-control measures after the First Lady's family is murdered.

Oct 17 2003 | Read Full Review of Balance of Power (Kerry Kilca...

Reviewing the Evidence

In the third part of the Kerry Kilcannon trilogy, Richard North Patterson creates another huge fight for his President.

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The Best Reviews

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.

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Me, I'm a liberal and this book was WONDERFUL.

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