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3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2 out of 5 stars
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on 17 February 2012
I've read and enjoyed Parker's previous seven novels. He never writes to a formula, so you don't get variations on the same story. This latest book is his best yet. Boldly, he has stepped into the world of American politics, which has to be topical this US election year.

There are several threads to the story.

It begins in a New Jersey correctional facility with Babs Mason being interviewed by a young journalist. Back in 1994, her husband Gus Mason seemed to be making all the right moves to be elected to Congress, with the prospect of becoming President. He needed the support of a state senator, Ann Robbins. Unfortunately, she wasn't willing to endorse Gus. A short while later, Ann Robbins ended up in a body bag (see the cover).

The investigating detective for the Robbins death was Lieutenant Amos. The more he dug, the more convinced he became that the bits didn't seem to fit. But he soon found that he couldn't trust his superiors: they wanted the truth buried. Amos must decide to risk all - even wife and daughter - to cut deep into the corrupt underbelly of his beloved country's politics.

More deaths will follow, and there will be blackmail, kidnap and betrayal, too. In the quest for the ultimate political power, nothing must be allowed to get in the way - whether that's people or the truth.

Indeed, it would be churlish to reveal the shocking facts that Haman and Demski uncover. Suffice it to say that it all seems plausible, particularly as the financially fractured western world seesaws between socialist and rightwing politics. It wouldn't take much for extremists to crawl out of the woodwork, as Parker's gripping, fast-paced novel asserts.

This novel deserves a wide readership. It should certainly win Parker loads of new fans.
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on 10 January 2013
This is the first time I've written a review on a book which I haven't even finished yet (currently nearly 2/3rds of the way through it), but this is an absolutely smashing book and I'm speeding my way through it because I can't wait to find out what happens. It is a really gripping story and really makes you think and wonder about the whole corrupt political system and how easy it would be for all of this to come true. Well written with just the right amount of detail (I hate "padding")and it's very easy to get right inside the heads of some of the characters (especially L. Amos - I can feel myself cheering him on as he gets closer and closer to the truth, but at the same time feeling very apprehensive about what could possibly happen to him and his family). I cannot wait to finish this and I will update on conclusion. Read this book - you will not be disappointed. This would make a brilliant film and I hope it gets picked up. Three cheers to the author!

Update ... just finished this evening. Loved the ending and the twist which I only got just before the end. Absolutely brilliant book - one of the best I've ever read.
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on 1 April 2012
This was bought as a gift for my elderly, but still very active minded neighbour. He thoroughly enjoyed the tale as it unfolded and was impressed by the content and story-line.
As the author lives here in Spain, my neighbour has expressed a desire to meet with Mike and share some experiences of life in the forces as well as their joint love of music. So impressed was my neighbour by this Mike's 8th book I have now bought a copy of his first book too. If it's as good a read then it will have been another excellent purchase.
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on 7 February 2013
The central premise of the plot is intriguing, and there are exciting scenes leading to the point where it is revealed. However, the idea that the majority of American voters could be duped and manipulated to the point where such an obviously unsuitable presidential candidate is seen as a dead cert for the job, is not believable. This is a decent read, but you need to suspend belief.
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on 9 April 2013
I got the impression from his biography and other reviews that Michael Parker might be a bit of a journeyman author, but the book looked worth buying as a cut price offer and certainly it was. I was able to get through it quickly since it's full of pace and intrigue, though certainly tinted with unreality. There also seems to be a bit of a muddle about Police Departments (Trenton, Newark and even New York City). But don't let that put you off: it's a good read.
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on 24 April 2013
A really nice idea that deserved more suspenseful writing and MUCH better editing.

The biggest fault is in the editing (or lack of it): apart from the almost word-for-word duplication that others have mentioned, the book is littered with minor inconsistencies that an editor should have picked up. In one case, someone was "...on his way to see [xxx] when [something unfortunate happened]", implying the two never met; a page or two later, it turns out they had met. Later, a gun "slipped out of an evening bag"; in the very next paragraph, the person "pulled the gun from the drawer"! None of them are major, but there are a lot of them and they all serve to jolt you out of the story and make you think "hang on, that's not right..."

My other grumble is that the reader is "spoon-fed" too much: plot points are too obvious, too soon, and their explanations are often repeated in case the reader missed them the first time. At the risk of stereotyping, it's too much a Hollywood film than European cinema (if you've seen them both, think "Vanilla Sky" vs. "Abre Los Ojos (Open Your Eyes)"; the original Spanish film works much better because it's happy to leave the viewer somewhat puzzled throughout, whereas the Hollywood version lays it on a plate too much).

These faults don't ruin the book, and there are some well judged/written "I wasn't expecting that" points here and there. But it could have been so much better.
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on 17 February 2013
I bought this book on Kindle's 99p daily deal offer, as the synopsis sounded interesting. Unfortunately the synopsis writer was better with words than the author is. The writing is at the level of a boy's action comic - I started using the highlight feature on my Kindle to count the number of times 'Nazi thugs' was used, then became aware of the number of times 'well-appointed' was used to describe a room, then the recurring description of people in distress as 'the poor woman' or 'the poor man', and on and on it went. In fact there was one complete paragraph that was used early in the book to describe the Nazi secret organisation, which was then reproduced almost word for word later in the book - and it wasn't a stylistic intention. Cut and paste finger twitch or bad memory by the author? The culmination was the description of the Molotov cocktail and machine gun attack which only needed to include the words 'Donner und blitzen' to completely recreate a scene from a 1950's Eagle comic or Biggles annual. I thought the book must be the author's first attempt at writing, but was stunned to see Mr P has several novels under his belt. The plot was a thought provoking concept, but it deserved to be penned by someone who could write. Or is Michael Parker actually a computer software novel writing program? It certainly reads that way.
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on 18 July 2013
The plot bounces along nicely and keeps your interest. I did guess the outcome quite early on but that didnt stop me wanting to finish the book.

Unfortunetly the standard of writing was that of a 12 year old. My favourite example is when Parker refers to the Klan and then tells the reader `thats the Klu Klux Klan`!!! In the context of the story is there another Klan? There are many many other examples of silly irrelevant descriptions and scenarios which are simply laughable.

So if you like a good story and can ignore the presentation then go ahead and buy the book. But if writing style is your thing then dont.
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on 20 November 2013
The idea behind the story is excellent. It was just that the telling of it was poorly executed. There were holes in the plot a mile wide, with great chunks left unexplained or unaccounted for. Also I found it difficult to follow the time period in the novel.
This could have been so much better.
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on 7 January 2013
A new author for me. The story was interesting and plausable. i thought the story was well thought out and researched. I have recommended it to friends
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