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Imagine that Ralph Nader and Bob Woodward got together and wrote a 90's meld of Seven Days in May and The Day of the Jackal and you can picture this book in your mind's eye.  It adds up to an exciting, though politically obtuse, thriller and ideal airplane or beach reading.

It's October of a presidential election year and the incumbent is in trouble.  This is bad news for the born-again billionaire defense contractor (whoop! whoop! whoop!  pure evil alert!) who has bankrolled his career and has been losing business due to defense cuts.  Luckily, he is a member of a malevolent secret cartel of industrialists and rogue intelligence agents, so he hires a terrorist group to down a US airliner with a Stinger missile and an assassin to whack the terrorists.  Then the President exploits the tragedy to get reelected and Congress passes funding for a Star Wars missile shield, with his company as the main beneficiary.  Will he get away with it?  Hell, no.  An intrepid CIA agent, his barren lawyer wife, her HIV positive male secretary and her journalist  best friend will stop him and husband and wife will also manage to deal with their infertility problem along the way!

As an aid to denser readers, I've assembled the following chart, to help you determine how the author thinks that you should view the characters and issues in the book:

Good                                               Evil             Ambivalent

journalists                                       industrialists                                    lawyers

liberal Democrat Senator                  Republican president

low level CIA employee                    high level CIA employee                   ex-KGB Assassin

infertile parents                                                                                     orphaned assassin

HIV positive man                             Christian man

husband's communist ex-lover           Republican First Lady

Campaign Finance reform                  Missile Defense
 

Yes, the political-moral vision of the book is that simplistic.  No, it won't bother you much.  It's a quick & entertaining ride that won't command too much attention nor leave much impression.

(Reviewed:)

Grade: (C)

  

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Thrillers
Book-related and General Links:
    -Bio, etc. (Ann Online)
    -REVIEW: from The Mystery Reader
    -REVIEW: from Real Books
    -REVIEW: JAMES NEAL WEBB (Book Page)
    -REVIEW: Silva misses the mark in latest novel (James S. Howard, The Fresno Bee)
    -First Chapter
    -INTERVIEW: The Silva Lining (Amazon.com)

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