Synopsis: The novel begins with an assassination attempt. On a freezing winter’s night Jack Hodges, a little-known U.S. presidential candidate, speaks at a sparsely-attended town hall meeting in Iowa. It is a few weeks before the Iowa caucus, the first contest in the nomination process to be a candidate for President.
Hodges is a charismatic former general with a dedicated team of believers including campaign staffer Mike Sweeney. But the campaign is a disaster. Ignored by the media, his candidacy barely registers in polls. Everyone assumes the established frontrunner, Virginia Governor Harriet Stanton, will easily win.
But that single night in Iowa transforms the race. A female assassin waits for Hodges to take the stage. As he speaks a shot rings out. She misses but the incident propels Hodges – who heroically shield his wife from the gunfire- on to the front pages. Yet no one knows the identity of the shooter. Police arrest a mysterious dark-haired woman but she refuses to say a single word. Her name, age, even her nationality, is a mystery.
Finally people pay attention to the Hodges campaign. Guided by his outspoken and outrageous campaign manager, Dee Babineaux, Hodges becomes a passionate, outsider rebel candidate pitted against Stanton, the lifetime career politician. Crowds now flock to his rallies inspired by his powerful message of hope and change.
But as Hodges’ campaign climbs in the polls, Babineaux realises it is vital to discover the identity of the mysterious woman who tried to kill him. She gives the task to Mike Sweeney, a true believer in Hodges’ cause. He must find out the woman’s name and history before anyone from Stanton’s campaign or the media does. As Sweeney uncovers more and more information, Hodges’ campaign, guided by the ruthless genius of Babineaux, goes from strength to strength. By the time Sweeney finds out the true identity of the would-be assassin, he faces a choice that could effectively determine who could be the next President of America.
Paul Harris, who has spent almost a decade covering American politics for The Observer and The Guardian, uses his own experience of reporting on the campaign trail to shine a light into the too-often murky world of American politics. His real world insights take the reader right into the heart of a fight for the White House
My Review: The Candidate blew me away from the start. Using an election as the backdrop provided a compelling and immediate draw for me. As The Candidate unfolds, it becomes clear that all the "sleezy" things we hear about campaigns are about to come true in this story. I was pulled into the story and couldn't get enough of the campaign manager that wants to bury the dirt, to the "all-too clean" candidate's wife that will do anything to keep the campaign going.
The Candidate is book is fast paced and a very quick read. The chapters are on the short side, with breaks throughout - just the kind I like! The Candidate will keep you in suspenses all the way to the end. I recommend it, 100%!
Meet the Author: PAUL HARRIS is a US Correspondent for the British newspapers The Observer and The Guardian. He lives in New York and writes about all aspects of American political and cultural life. The 2012 race is the third US presidential election he has covered, including 2008’s epic primary battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Prior to being posted in the US, Harris was a journalist in Britain and Africa. He has covered conflicts in Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan, Somalia, Burundi and South Africa. His experiences covering the civil war in Sierra Leone formed the inspiration for his first novel, THE SECRET KEEPER. He is glad to have swapped writing about war zones for the equally exotic but slightly less life-threatening world of American politics.
You can connect with Paul Harris on his website and twitter.
You can purchase The Candidate on-line at Amazon for $14.95.
Giveaway: I am so happy to let you all know the publisher has authorized me to host a giveaway. One lucky winner will receive their own copy of The Candidate! Complete the form below.
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Please stop by the blogs below to for more reviews of The Candidate:
Tuesday, September 4th: West Metro Mommy
Wednesday, September 5th: Broken Teepee
Monday, September 10th: Peppermint Ph.D.
Wednesday, September 12th: Mockingbird Hill Cottage
Thursday, September 13th: Crazy for Books
Monday, September 17th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Tuesday, September 18th: Staircase Wit
Wednesday, September 19th: Seaside Book Nook
Thursday, September 20th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Friday, September 21st: It’s a Crazy, Beautiful Life
Monday, September 24th: Ted Lehmann’s Bluegrass, Books, and Brainstorms
Wednesday, September 26th: Fiction Addict
Thursday, September 27th: Proud Book Nerd
Monday, October 1st: Book Addict Katie
Wednesday, Oct. 3rd: The Blog of Litwits