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Plot Summary: America's first African American President, a Liberal, declares martial law to prevent a "Right Wing" takeover of government. To ensure security, he rounds up many "Partriotic" Americans including Jake Grafton and attempts to coerce them into admitting their part in the conspiracy. In response, Texas secedes, and Tommy Carmelini walks away from the CIA, and hatches a plot to spring Grafton. As the book unfolds the Patriots attempt to take back the country.
As a loyal Grafton/Carmelini reader from the days of "Flight of the Intruder", I tried to hang in there but eventually the implausibility of the plot overwhelmed my "suspension of disbelief". Perhaps I am a naive conservative.
While it is interesting to see a major fiction writer attempt to mainstream several right wing conspiracy theories, the book suffers from the same plot problems as left wing conspiracy theory based novels: A heavy dependence on the ideas that:
1. The other side is not just wrong but evil. This is an important distinction because ignorance and evil require very different types of responses.
2. The other side is out to subjugate us: take away our freedom of speech and association; take away our liberty (autonomy), and take away our guns (more right than left for this one).
3. It is up to us and our fellow patriots - meaning those who agree with us - to fight to hold/ take back/ restore the true vision of America. This presumes "our" vision is the only true and accurate vision.
Perhaps I am just exhausted from the mutual commitment to hyperbole and hysteria of the current political climate but I think the set up could have been more skillfully executed with some evidence-based plot development. Instead we dive headlong into the conspiracy-realized. If I agreed with more of the underlying conspiracy theories, perhaps I might have gotten farther along into the book. However, with the weak set-up, this plot just doesn't fly for me. Our point of departure feels more like an angry rehash of the Clinton/Obama/Fox conspiracies. Too bad. I usually enjoy Carmelini. Returned this one for credit.