|By Jack L. Kennedy--
During an election year, political rhetoric often claims that what happens in Washington is criminal. Appropriately, perhaps, Executive Deception by Pat Riley has cops, highly-placed politicians who have criminal intent for the alleged good of the Republic, rapid-fire action in the U.S. and South America, and enough plot twists to keep the reader guessing and moving until the end of the tale.
The volume follows Miami police sergeant Brian O’Brien, who saves a man and his daughter from drowning following a car accident. The man happens to be a Colombian politician seeking his country’s presidency. U.S. bureaucrats in Washington, however, want someone else in office who allegedly will be easier to manipulate. They plot to do away with the Colombian politically or personally, and set up O’Brien in the process.
Riley claims his book is based on fact, and that it took two years of interviews of countless people involved to develop the plot. To set the scene he poses the question early, “Can truth trump power?” as his reality-based novel “investigates government corruption and international manipulation in American politics.”
Whether every line is factual or not, the book certainly seems plausible, given the intrigue and unrest and shadows that often appear to be a popular feature of much alleged diplomacy and international policy these days. So even taken with a grain of salt, the volume is tasty, lively, and outspoken, a good read in a political year or any time.
The setting and dialogue move well, and Riley often ties in real events and people and places. One typographical device, use of very short chapters, proves rather effective as they mark scenes or episodes or events that often keep the reader guessing. The description of O’Brien’s environment in a series of federal prisons should be enough to deter anyone from crime and is espcially heinous for someone like the cop who is innocent. Fortunately, he has a bunch of devoted well-connected friends, a good attorney and colorful characters including a prosecutor pal who doesn't mind prostituting herself one way or another in one very salacious scene for the pursuit of good over evil.
Being a good guy and fighting highly placed folks in Washington is never easy. O’Brien is lucky to have many figures who believe in him, who know others who can help, and have the time and resources to help justice prevail. The rapid movement, scene setting, ties to real people and places, and speed bumps along the book’s winding road, make it constantly compelling until the Miami cop is finally reunited with his family. Good phrasing and characterization keep the deception moving until there can be a relatively happy ending although many bruises are attempted or administered along the way to the total cast of characters, including two scenes where O'Brien's children are exposed to snakes while in their bedrooms-the message being that the government will stop at nothing to get its way.
Title - Executive Deception
Author: Pat Riley
Publisher: Lulu.com (July 20, 2011), 294 pp./485 KB
$14.99 (paperback)/99-cents (Kindle) at amazon.com
ISBN-10: 1458394972 /ISBN-13: 978-1458394972
Author Terry Drake, a Pittsburg, Kansas native whose book Sanctuary was reviewed here earlier this year, had Father Damien leading a band of hearty townspeople defending their homes and lives block by block in W.W. II Italy. The book carefully focused on a small part of the war, and its people, as the first-time author made the conflict seem intensely personal.
The sequel, Res Titu Tion, takes Father Damien out of his small-town Roman Catholic sanctuary into a role with the Italian underground, gradually restores to their rightful owners many priceless works of art stolen by the invading Germans. The sequel, as did the first Drake book, relies heavily for its energy upon individuals willing to keep going, ordinary folk with a cause, not trying to tell the entire sweeping, global tale of giant armies. That targeted plotting and scope may be a good reason to see what Father Damien is up to now.
Title - Res Titu Tion
Author: Terry W. Drake
Publisher: xlibris, Corp. (Feb. 15, 2012), 340 pp./706KB
$19.99 (paperback)/$3.43 (Kindle) at amazon.com
ISBN-10: 1469164213/ISBN-13: 978-1469164212