Time for another book review! Today I am reviewing The Candidate by Paul Harris for TLC Book Tours. As always, I am provided with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
The Candidate is a suspense novel centering around a man running for President. Jack Hodges is a decorated veteran who is virtually unknown as his campaign takes him to wintry Iowa and the Iowa caucuses. He is well behind the established favorite in the polls. The press barely notes his presence in the race. Yet his staff members fervently believe in him and his message. One night in Iowa, someone tries to assassinate Hodges. His heroic response to the shooting propels him on to the front page of every newspaper, every television network, every political blog. Suddenly he is surging in the polls and his charismatic message can finally be heard. The campaign is revitalized.
The shooter – a woman – is caught and in jail. She will not speak. No one knows why she attempted to murder Hodges.The campaign manager, Dee Babineaux, knows that they have to find out everything they can about the woman before the facts are uncovered by the media or the rival campaign staff. She gives the job to Mike Sweeney, a campaign staffer who is firmly committed to Hodge’s cause. The suspense builds as he attempts to uncover the truth in the midst of mounting political pressure, dirty campaign tactics and a race for the presidential nomination.
Paul Harris, the author of this novel, is a US Correspondent for The Observer and The Guardian (British newspapers) and has been writing about American politics for many years. He clearly knows his subject. This suspense novel is compelling and a great read. From the moment that shot rings out, the suspense builds as Sweeney tries to uncover the truth. All of this happens against the background of a national political campaign and we witness all the political maneuvering, strategizing and dirty politics that go into a campaign these days. I never reveal too much plot information but you can trust me when I say this is a compelling and suspenseful read.
Harris writes wonderfully detailed characters: Dee Babineaux, the seasoned and ruthless campaign manager; Sweeney, an idealistic campaign worker; Hodges, the charismatic candidate. The plot is intricate, the suspense real. I couldn’t put the book down.
I loved all the political intrigue, the details about how a campaign is waged, the background of the primaries. I’m fascinated by all of that and I bet many of you are, too. It raises compelling questions about truth, morality and the demands of a political campaign in this 21st century. This is the perfect time for this novel to be released. I recommend it highly.
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 these 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.)
I have a free copy of The Candidate for one of you lucky readers. Just leave a comment and I’ll pick a winner on Friday evening.