cover image The Big Lie

The Big Lie

James Grippando. Harper, $27.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-291504-7

An all-too-timely scenario drives bestseller Grippando’s solid 16th Jack Swyteck novel (after 2019’s The Girl in the Glass Box). President Malcolm MacLeod, whom Democrats had been threatening to impeach since they retook the House in the midterms, has lost the popular vote in his bid for a second term, but he’s ahead in the Electoral College. MacLeod’s opponent, Florida senator Evan Stahl, refuses to concede and hopes “to convince five [Floridian] Republican electors to break ranks” and vote for him. Stahl wants Swyteck to act as attorney for electors considering the possibility, focusing primarily on Charlotte Holmes, a former member of a pro-gun lobbying firm. Charlotte should be pro-MacLeod, but wants to vote her conscience. She’s jeered by MacLeod and his rabid fans, and she’s also stalked, threatened, and kidnapped. Grippando stuffs the story with commentary on such hot-button topics as the polarization of today’s media, Florida’s “stand your ground” law, and the deep state. Readers uneasy in the current political climate won’t feel any easier. Those who prefer escapism in their thrillers should look elsewhere. [em]Agent: Richard Pine, Inkwell Management. (Feb.) [/em]