By Charles Robbins
Henry Hatten, politico, is hired by the staff of presidential hopeful, Tom Peele, a Nebraskan Senator as a communications director. Even before he begins his duties, he knows Peele is not the clean cut farm boy, ex actor that is too be portrayed to the country. Ensconced mostly in Iowa, Hatten faces not only keeping Peele’s dirty secrets and extra marital affairs, but a dangerous foe in a campaign manager. Hatten falls for a staffer while still battling his feelings for an ex lover who is currently in the enemy camp. As the weeks and months pass, Hatten is pulled deeper into the underworld of political campaigning, but when the situation turns murderous, he’ll have to use some slick spinning of the facts to come out on top.
Yes, it’s another dirty game of politics. I was hoping for something special here and I was mildly satisfied. Nothing new here but a solid plot
Henry Hatten: 31, attended Trinity Prep School, wrestled in high school, communications director for Senator Peele’s campaign, English major at Dartmouth, father works as a warehouseman, former press secretary, knows aikido, thick brown hair, owns a cat, mom dead.
Thomas Pritchard Peele, Jr: moderate republican Senator from Nebraska, cleft chin, thick graying hair, blue eyes, just under six foot tall, 190 pounds, wears reading glasses, attended but didn’t graduate Columbia, former Nebraskan governor, has asthma, former television actor, troubled marriage, has a daughter
Fran: cobalt eyes, chestnut hair, Henry’s former lover, political campaign researcher
Some standard characters. You knew going in Peele was going to be dirty up to his armpits, but the campaign manager, Gill Cass is the real dirt bag sleaze. Cass constantly calls everyone Comrade and a Communist and spouts ‘Freedom and prosperity’ as his farewell line. I wanted to see him taken down a little bit more forcefully.
Good distinctive voices. Conversations don’t run on, but stay on track.
Everything runs just a little above the surface without too many highs and lows. The chapters vary in length and are titled. A little profanity. Slow moving with surface tension until the murder when it picks up a little. Not a big rollercoaster ride into the climax and a typical happy ending.