cover image The Candidate

The Candidate

Lis Wiehl, with Sebastian Stuart. Thomas Nelson, $26.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-718-03

In this predictable second installment of the Newsmakers series, Wiehl continues to follow the career of GNN cable news host Erica Sparks. Her recent ratings slip puts her career at GNN in jeopardy, and she becomes laser-focused on breaking a big story. When a favored presidential hopeful and his wife survive a bombing scare just minutes before an important primary debate%E2%80%94and just feet from where Sparks is reporting%E2%80%94all she sees is opportunity. As she investigates, Sparks becomes disturbed by the Svengali-like control that billionaire businesswoman Celeste Ortiz seems to have over her husband, the now presumptive Democratic nominee. Sparks is an extremely unsympathetic heroine, as her devotion to her career trumps everything else%E2%80%94including her daughter, her fianc%C3%A9, and the safety of others. Wiehl's portrayals include unambiguous evil and Sparks is singularly focused on exposing truth, with little else to round out her personality. Readers familiar with The Manchurian Candidate will no doubt anticipate the outcome early on. Agent: Todd Shuster. (Oct.)