In Washington D.C. where actual policy change is a fool’s game while voter manipulation an every day occurrence, Hartford Keepe is everybody’s go-to guy. Chief of Staff to six term, senator, Harold P. Feldstone, chairman of the almighty Senate Appropriations Committee, Hartford wields his influence like a skilled marksman with uncanny aim. His job, his lot in life, his sole reason for being, is to keep the senator in power. Annie Green, Hart’s live-in girlfriend, doesn’t buy the image he pedals. She believes government’s claim of attracting the best and the brightest is pure fraud and sees her boyfriend as one of those geniuses helping to shove her country over a cliff. She wastes entirely too much of her time trying to uncover his conscience, temper his actions and salvage their relationship. When a formal little man named Thomas, decked out in eighteenth century colonial garb, with no last name and no recent memory, pokes his head into the crosshairs, Hart can hardly believe his luck. He figures the gods aren’t just smiling on him, they’re throwing him a party. Then somewhere between the “no return point” and “what the hell have I done,” Hart realizes he’s unleashed a smear campaign on this unsuspecting little dupe, of gargantuan proportions. Not only is the man’s survival in jeopardy, so is the fate of a nation.
I have never been one for political-based novels, but the blurb of Mark Rogers' Smeared sounded very interesting - not to mention funny. I was intrigued at the start, the well-written and researched story-line very relevant to Americas' current political state. The historical aspects, as well as the "what-if" scenarios were entertaining, easy-to-understand and highly educational. I would have loved to read this back in high school, however, I was not a fan of the conservative-bent during the last half of the book. I felt that the beginning provided a balanced view of the political spectrum and a more developed picture of the characters, but I was disappointed by the one-sided rhetoric of the book's overall climax and resolution (no spoilers!). Although Mark Rogers' ideas about Americas' political system and its shortcomings were interesting, I was put-off by some of the "smears" against more liberal methods. Recommended for readers interested in an attention-getting political read with some very timely subject matter! Good read for election month!
Rating: Bounty's Out (3.5/5)
*** I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.