This Washington, D.C.–set thriller from Topol (Dark Ambition ) seethes with political intrigue, a cast of shady characters and enough deception, smart dialogue and behind-closed-doors deals to keep readers hooked until the final scene. When California Senator Charles Boyd moves ahead in the presidential-election polls, he suddenly becomes the target of a smear campaign. Midway through the book, Boyd is found dead after an apparent suicide. His campaign manager, Taylor Ferrari, is convinced of foul play, and she gets assistant U.S. attorney C.J. Cady—originally in charge of an investigation into one of Boyd's real estate transactions—to buy into her conspiracy theory. Together, the two string together enough evidence to expose a plot that reaches the highest branches of the federal government and halfway across the globe. Although Topol's tale is heavy on dialogue and light on descriptive details, his plot is airtight and his characters deftly drawn. The denouement, while exciting, won't surprise many readers, but that won't lessen their enjoyment of this well-told conspiracy yarn. (Jan.)
Forecast: Supported by print advertising and promotion during the New Hampshire primary in January, this book may very well turn out to be Topol's bestselling title yet.
Release date: 01/01/2004