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This is a timely thriller full of interesting political tidbits and a clear message: Don’t mess with Texas! My rating 4.25.
A liberal President, running for re-election on a platform that includes restriction of gun rights and redistribution of wealth, survives a late race assassination attempt. The investigation reveals that the assassin, of Muslim decent, was a student from Texas who was writing a thesis on the Tea Party. Washington leaders, spear-headed by the Attorney General, cover-up the Muslim connection and declare the assassination attempt was a conspiracy by Tea Party members. Federal enforcers move in to disarm Texas citizens and to capture and imprison Tea Party members without arrest warrants, phone calls or hearings. The federal authorities justify their actions claiming the Tea Party members are “terrorists” under The Patriot Act and therefore have no rights.
The Texas Governor takes issue with the violation of the rights of his state citizens. The Texas Rangers are called in to rescue a Tea Party member who was arrested in the presence of his wife and children and whose house was bulldozed to get to a gun safe he refused to open. The rescue triggers escalating hostilities between the Federal Government and Texas that result in Texas voting on secession.
The public masses are divided in their loyalties with several states sympathizing with Texas and others rallying behind the federal restrictions. One man, with inside knowledge of the facts hidden by the Justice department, strives to find a way to get the true facts out to the public to stop the unbridled corruption and chain of violence based on lies.
This story moves at a good pace with a lot of suspense and tension. Not so long ago this scenario might have seemed unlikely, but with increasing federal controls and intrusion into state rights this doesn’t look so fictional. Texas seems to be the perfect state to set in this confrontation as it maintains a state militia (the Texas State Guard) under the governor’s direct command. And, of course, the Texas Rangers are bigger than life. Some of the state resources were exaggerated but it made for exciting reading/listening.
I did question why the student’s friend didn’t speak up and why no independent journalist researched the young man’s background. However, this fit with the nature of media outlets these days that highlight biased tidbits twisted from some facts and make no effort to portray the full truth objectively.
I liked the fitting quotes at the beginning of each chapter. When I reached the end of this book, I was ready to listen to book two. I realized I hadn’t picked it up at Audible yet and would have to wait. I recommend this to readers who like constitutional discussions and political intrigue interesting, especially set in an action story.
Audio Notes: I’m sorry to say that I wasn’t impressed by the narration which I found to be rather dry. Although there is some inflection, Kelly Klaas seemed to deliver this like a documentary rather than an exciting thriller. Fortunately the storyline took precedence about midway so that the narration was not such a distraction.
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