Peter Burton (John Cusack) manipulates himself, through the 'extorted' help of his longtime friend from lawschool in the Department of Justice, Tim Garrity (James Spader), his wife Diana (Imogen Stubbs), and his father-in-law senator Stiles (Richard Widmark), all the way to the congressional elections. First his transgressions don't seem so bad, like sleeping with the girlfriend of his best friend (Diana was Tim's girlfriend). But soon it gets worse. Under the influence of John Palmieri (Mandy Patinkin), who is connected to the mob, Burton agrees to getting Garrity fired from his job at the Justice Department by setting him up, feeding him bogus information on a case, which causes the JD to lose the case. After that he tries to blackmail his father-in-law into supporting his campaign for congress by threatening to tell the world about his medical condition, the onset of Alzheimer's disease. When the truth comes out about the bogus information and the attempted blackmail,
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they realize that he will stop at next to nothing to reach his goals. Garrity manages finally to bring to light the corruption of Burton and show the world his 'true colors'.
Best part of story, including ending:
The wheelings and dealings in politics are always unsettling to see.
Best scene in story:
Where Burton realizes it is all over.
Opinion about the main character:
The way he uses everybody around him, down to his own family and
friends, to reach his goals is alarming.