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Publisher's Summary

President Kerry Kilcannon and his fiancie, 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.
©2003 Richard North Patterson; (P)2003 Random House Inc., Random House Audio, A Division of Random House, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Gun control and tort reform are the thorny issues tackled in this political drama." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Janet on 02-10-04

Balance of Power

I should have listened . . . Because I have enjoyed previous books by this author, I purchased it even though the reviews weren't overly positive. I should have listened to them! This book is not up to the author's usual standards. It's boring -- skip this one!

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful


By A. Wright on 10-29-03

Same as the last book only not as good

I have listened to Richard North Patterson's other Kerry Kilcannon books and enjoyed them. I can't bring myself to listen to even the first half of this one. Really, I don't have high standards but a) his themes borrow SO heavily from his previous books that it is boring; and b)it also seems MUCH more melodramatic; --it may be the reader; I find her very annoying. Lastly, if you haven't read this series before; start with the earlier ones; at the beginning of this one he gives away the endings of the others.

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78 of 84 people found this review helpful

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