Review: Absolute Power by David Baldacci

Absolute Power Title: Absolute Power (Het recht van de macht)
Author: David Baldacci
Genre: thriller
Publisher: A.W. Bruna Uitgevers, Utrecht
Pages: 468
Date of Publishing: 2012 (first published in 1996)
Stars: 3/5

When Luther witnesses a murder from his hiding spot while on a job, he is horrified to notice who is involved. He decides to get as far away as possible but not without taking a souvenir from the crime scene with him first. Once he’s sorted out his first panic, he starts blackmailing a woman who plays an important part in covering up who’s responsible for the murder. Soon, the fight for justice has begun. But who will have the absolute power? Will Luther succeed to out the killer’s true identity or will he be shut up for eternity?

I’ve heard so many good things about David Badacci’s books so by the time I picked up his first thriller; I was excited to say the least. As the story began, it had all the ingredients to become everything I’d been looking for in a thriller. The tension was building up rapidly from the start and all parties involved were clear from the first moment. However, after that the adrenalin disappeared. One hundred unnecessary pages about an affair that began and ended before it truly began, felt completely pointless within the story. Sometimes, the background information of characters (as how they ended up doing what they did) went on way too long for the story to be fluent and again, without any purpose. I struggled to continue reading this bit and by the time I was halfway through the book, I was literally begging for something to happen. Soon!

And it did. Did I expect it? Not at all! I was shocked, confused and wondered how the story would continue and with the rolling of the ball (finally!), it picked up my interest again. The next thing I knew, the book was finished and I was jumping with satisfaction.

Now, having sobered up from the excitement – in which I nearly forgot about the painful hundred pages – I’ve come to realise that although it wasn’t the worse thriller I have ever read, it’s not particularly the best one either. His characters somewhat bored me and in my opinion, he may have laid down the wrong accents while trying to make the reader empathise with the main characters. I wasn’t interested in Jack’s relationship with a pointless woman. I understand her (little) meaning in the story but was it needed for him to get there in order to help Luther? I’m sure that didn’t make any difference. To me it felt like a way to fill up the pages.

Since this was his first thriller, and he’s sort of big now compared to when this came out, I’ve decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. I’m a true believer that writers grow with each book and learn from their mistakes. So for that, he will receive three stars and I might pick up his next book.

If you’ve read Absolute Power, please let me know your thoughts. Were you somewhat disappointed too? Did you like it? Have you read any of his other books? Are they better? Any recommendations?

Until the next review!



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