by Seth Margolis
For readers of David Baldacci and Brad Meltzer comes a timely political thriller from the bestselling author of Losing Isaiah.
In this twisting, ferocious novel of suspense, the presidential race has a number of men all clawing to get to the top. Each man has a locked closet of secrets. And one man holds every key.
Julian Mellow has spent his life amassing a fortune out of low-risk / high-reward investments. But the one time in his life he got in over his head, he left another man holding the bag, and made an enemy for life, one who has nothing to lose. Now, Mellow has an even greater ambition–to select the next President of the United States–and to make that man do his bidding, in business and beyond.
It all ties to an African nation where his son died years before, where a brutal dictator still rules supreme, and where a resistance movement lurks in the alleys, waiting for the right time to strike. Margolis spans the globe to weave together a brilliant story of politics at its most venal, where murder is a part of the political process, where anyone’s life is up for sale, and where one man–that bad penny of an enemy–could bring the whole kingdom toppling.
As the new President is inaugurated, Seth Margolis has penned a perfect thriller for the voting public, one that asks who really puts the next person in the White House? And at what cost?
Weak men were more dangerous than strong ones, he’d always found. If you could control them, so could someone else.
We both want the White House, but neither of us wants to sit in the Oval Office. Real power doesn’t reside there, anyway… No one understands the limits of the federal government more acutely than the president himself. New York is the center of power in this country. Washington is a branch office.
Julian had succeeded in degrading him a bit, but while he felt a sense of victory he had no taste for it. It was as if he’d answered a deep hunger with bad food.
To cover the story about the story. That’s what counts nowadays, not the story itself, which in this case is pretty flimsy, but the tangle of stories that gets woven around it. Who’s denying the story—the vice president himself, his campaign manager, a spokesman? We’ll run an entire story analyzing the implications of each of these, and soon that becomes the story. Nobody remembers or even cares if the underlying story is true or not.
As had become his custom, Julian searched inside himself for a trace of guilt or remorse and failed to find one.
Seth Margolis has produced an intricate, chilling, complex, and well-crafted plot that was far-reaching and frighteningly pragmatic. Could it be that easy for the twisted machinations of one rich man to elect the least publicly appealing candidate in a presidential race? That would explain so much of the current political landscape… I want to return to the land of the clueless. I have come to the conclusion that Seth Margolis is an evil genius as well as a diabolical tyrant as he hooked me. He essentially held me captive for two days while I was unable to do little else but read this active, fast-paced, and complicated scheme that was jam-packed with a large cast of odious, obnoxious, fiendishly callous, and appallingly arrogant characters. Not a one of them was truly admirable yet they were cleverly drawn and intrigued to me to no end. For two entire days, I have had a death grip on my Kindle with a body taut with tension and jaw frequently clenched while I worked my way through this appallingly realistic tale of obsessions, betrayals, political conspiracies, corruption, greed, blackmail, murder, and revenge. But I am in a torrid snit and stamping my little foot in dissatisfaction and aggravation, as I was denied my much-needed closure. There was no ending, the story just stopped. It was greatly disturbing to realize I had read the last word while expecting at least few more pages as the game was still in play. Oh, the audacity! But I did learn a new word that is so relevant to the decidedly blonde world of today – plutocrat.
Seth Margolis lives with his wife in New York City and has two grown children. He received a BA in English from the University of Rochester and an MBA in marketing from New York University’s Stern School of Business Administration. When not writing fiction, he is a branding consultant for a wide range of companies, primarily in the financial services, technology and pharmaceutical industries. He has written articles for the New York Times and other publications on travel and entertainment.