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Political reporter Jack Sharpe is logging time at the tail end of a disappointing career - jaded about politics and stung by personal hard knocks. But after an odd election result in the Ohio Congressional district he covers, Sharpe stumbles across irregularities that spur him to dig deeper. The story takes him far beyond his corner of Ohio as he discovers an international plot one that strikes at the heart of American democracy by taking advantage of weaknesses in today's political architecture. His reporting leads to a showdown with a philandering Congressman and Presidential contender, and an eccentric but deadly Russian energy baron. In order to save himself and the country, Sharpe must rekindle his old fire to navigate a treacherous journey through danger, betrayal, and atonement.
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By Aaron on 05-26-18
A Gripping Political Drama with a Unique Concept
This is a fabulous story with a unique premise. Americans have long known the ills of gerrymandering, but helpless to do anything about while those in power take advantage if it to stay in power, the average American just accepts it as a fact of life. But David Pepper expands in that showing us how control if the House of Representatives can be manipulated, and far more easily than you might think. What follows is an electoral drama that weaves other current issues into the story from #metoo sexual abuse, to fights over usage of fossil fuels and mining rights, to Russian melding in the American political process. The result is a fabulous story that may well be its own genre.
I read reviews that it started too slowly with a lecture about the electoral process. While I concede that there is substantial background information up front in how the system can be rigged, I felt that it was presented very well as part if the story itself. It was fascinating, and it flowed; and it was necessary to build a story to which the reader can relate.
The narration was excellent and the book was written to make it eaay to do. The characters are very three dimensional, everyone has a role. it even ended with a surprising twist on loyalties -- you really don't always know who us working for who. My one complaint. and it is miner, is that a book with an all too realistic premise and problem ends with a simple bipartisan agreement to get together to fix the system. We all know it doesn't work that way. In the last two years, every major piece of legislation and every major cabinet or juducial appointment has passed on party lines, and partisanship has been nasty. The Kumbaya post climax is so short and unrealistic as to be flippant. Still, this is a five star story that you can't put down.