Onyx, Jan 2004, 7.50, 400 pp.
California Senator Charles Boyd is gaining momentum as he makes a run for the White House that concerns international interests that want the incumbent reelected. Rumors suddenly surface that Charles conducted some shaky business ventures. Spin doctors further tell tales that are intended to derail Charles' bid though he denies everything even in private to his campaign manger Taylor Ferrari. She believes him and persuades him to stay the course even as the US Assistant District Attorney for the District of Columbia C.J. Cady begins investigating Charles based on a document containing specific accusations that was left mysteriously on his desk.
The pressure on Charles to quit the race leads to him commit suicide. Taylor refuses to believe Charles killed himself. She makes inquiries into the spin of taint that surfaced. Suspicious of what has happened, C.J. joins Taylor and soon they uncover a foreign effort trying to influence the election, but will they live long enough to save a dead man's reputation by proving their case.
Though the concept seems farfetched, some of the recent fund raising activities and shadow supporters of the last two presidents and their opponents make this tale feasible. The story line grips the audience once the negative spin starts as a ripple and soon turns into a tidal wave as truth is not important with the stakes so high. Charles seems almost Shakespearean in nature while Taylor and C.J. are a delightful duo learning how far one will go to win. This is a strong tale that political CONSPIRACY buffs from the left or right will enjoy and believe as reasonable as much as centrist thriller fans will too.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner