Title: The Candidate
Author: Paul Harris
Summary: The novel begins with an assassination attempt. On a freezing winter’s night Jack Hodges, a little-known U.S. presidential candidate, speaks at a sparsely-attended town hall meeting in Iowa. It is a few weeks before the Iowa caucus, the first contest in the nomination process to be a candidate for President.
Hodges is a charismatic former general with a dedicated team of believers including campaign staffer Mike Sweeney. But the campaign is a disaster. Ignored by the media, his candidacy barely registers in polls. Everyone assumes the established frontrunner, Virginia Governor Harriet Stanton, will easily win.
But that single night in Iowa transforms the race. A female assassin waits for Hodges to take the stage. As he speaks a shot rings out. She misses but the incident propels Hodges – who heroically shield his wife from the gunfire- on to the front pages. Yet no one knows the identity of the shooter. Police arrest a mysterious dark-haired woman but she refuses to say a single word. Her name, age, even her nationality, is a mystery.
Finally people pay attention to the Hodges campaign. Guided by his outspoken and outrageous campaign manager, Dee Babineaux, Hodges becomes a passionate, outsider rebel candidate pitted against Stanton, the lifetime career politician. Crowds now flock to his rallies inspired by his powerful message of hope and change.
But as Hodges’ campaign climbs in the polls, Babineaux realises it is vital to discover the identity of the mysterious woman who tried to kill him. She gives the task to Mike Sweeney, a true believer in Hodges’ cause. He must find out the woman’s name and history before anyone from Stanton’s campaign or the media does. As Sweeney uncovers more and more information, Hodges’ campaign, guided by the ruthless genius of Babineaux, goes from strength to strength. By the time Sweeney finds out the true identity of the would-be assassin, he faces a choice that could effectively determine who could be the next President of America.
My Thoughts: The Candidate by Paul Harris is a fast-paced, gripping story that makes one wonder about the state of American politics. Let’s face it, we Americans know it’s messed up. There’s no denying that. And this book, wow. I know it’s fiction, and I sure hope it’s super, super dramatized – that the political landscape isn’t quite so horrible. I’m guessing, though, it’s closer to reality than I’d like.
Election and politics aside, the story moves fast, starting with a bang and moving on out until the exciting finish. This is one book that I found very, very hard to put down. I wanted to see the dirt that Mike’s digging up. I wanted to see just what exactly was the explanation behind the assassination attempt – and the wire transfers mentioned early in the story. Some ideas for what it was were floating in my head, and as things progressed I found my hunches were pretty close – if not completely right. Still, there are some surprising revelations, and the full details are something – and not a good something.
The biggest problem I had was, once again, editing. It left much to be desired. Lots of grammar needs fixing, and when talking about an energy burst, it’s adrenaline (not Adrenalin, which is trademarked and has something to do with synthetic epinephrine; in this book, we’re talking about adrenaline rushes). While some of the things are likely things many readers will easily overlook, or maybe even not notice, it’s hard for me to comprehend how the editing process missed so many things. The biggest one is the aforementioned Adrenalin/adrenaline issue, but there are times when sentences don’t read very smoothly and other such things. Still, the story is good enough that I feel confident that fans of suspense will greatly enjoy it. If it wasn’t for the editing problems, I would have given it 5 stars.
Source: Received as part of a blog tour promotion on TLC Book Tours.
Read It: Get your own copy HERE. (This is a Book Depository link, and purchase through this link will result in my receiving a small commission at no cost to you. Your support is appreciated!)
About the Author: PAUL HARRIS is a US Correspondent for The Observer, a British weekly that is the oldest Sunday newspaper in the world, and also its sister daily paper The Guardian. He has been based in the US for the past nine years covering all aspects of American political and cultural life from Hollywood stars to Washington politics. He is currently covering his third presidential election having previously reported on George W. Bush versus John Kerry in 2004 and John McCain versus Barack Obama in 2008. His experiences covering those races, especially the epic battle between Obama and Hillary Clinton for the 2008 Democratic nomination, were the inspiration for The Candidate.
Prior to his posting in the US, Harris was a journalist based in Britain and Africa. He has covered wars and conflicts in Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan, Somalia, Burundi, South Africa and Sierra Leone. His first novel, The Secret Keeper, was set in Sierra Leone against the backdrop of that country’s brutal civil war. He lives in New York (but fantasizes about living in France).
Tour Info: For the main page for this blog tour, including more reviews of this book on other blogs, visit TLC’s post.
Challenges: Counts for Free Reads 2012.
I am able to offer 1 lucky reader a copy of The Candidate! I do not require anything in order for you to enter. Simply leave a comment to on this post. ONE ENTRY PER PERSON. Entries will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. (Central) Saturday, October 13, 2012. The winner will be chosen randomly with the help of the WordPress plugin And the Winner Is… I will send the lucky winner an e-mail notification. (It will come from proudbooknerd(at)gmail(dot)com, so make sure to add this address to your safe list or address book to ensure it doesn’t get lost in junk/bulk mail.) If I do not get a response within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen. With apologies to those of you abroad, this giveaway is only open to readers in the U.S. and Canada.
FTC Disclosure: All items reviewed were either obtained by me for my own enjoyment or sent (from the author, publisher, publicist, via tour sites, etc.) in exchange for an honest review. I receive no monetary compensation for my posts. All opinions expressed are my own. Any exceptions to this are clearly noted in the appropriate posts.
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