Tuesday, June 19, 2012

{Review} "The Dirty Secret" by Brent Wolfingbarger

Title:  The Dirty Secret
Author: Brent Wolfingbarger
Publisher:  Smallridge Publishing
Publication Date:  April 18, 2012
Genre:  Political Thriller
Format:  Kindle 635 KB, Paperback 448 pages

Buy this book on Amazon: Paperback |  Kindle Edition 
Author's Website:   http://www.wolfingbarger.com/

Synopsis from Goodreads
The difference between victory and defeat in the Electoral College comes down to 259 votes in West Virginia.

A state senator desperately fights back against a lawsuit that is pushing his family’s company toward bankruptcy.

A vice presidential candidate’s adulterous affair threatens to explode in his face and burst into the world’s headlines with devastating consequences.

A ruthless billionaire will stop at nothing to avoid facing justice for his crimes.

A small town prosecutor stumbles upon a plot to win the election by any means necessary: High-tech manipulation of electronic voting machines, creative interpretation of arcane election laws, bribery, blackmail and even murder.

And Rikki Gudivada and Dave Anderson – two star-crossed former lovers from opposite sides of the political fence – are drawn back together as the battle rages for West Virginia’s 5 electoral votes, racing to solve a murder that imperils the very heart of America’s constitutional system while each struggles over the same question:

Is anything more important than winning the White House.
Diving in...

Never in a million years would I have thought I would enjoy a book like this.  It's not likely that I would have picked it up on my own either.  I was contacted by Brent Wolfingbarger a couple weeks ago, he asked if I would read and review it so I jumped at the chance to broaden my horizons a bit, or in this case a lot.  There are a lot of things that I know next to nothing about and politics is one of them!  I know that I am horribly uninformed, but I would like to think that I learned a little by reading this book.

This book has is all, politics, intrigue, murder, adultery, bribery, blackmail, love.  You name it, it's in there somewhere.  The story starts moving pretty fast from the first chapter.  There is a lot of information in the first 1/4 of the book.  I ended up taking notes so I could remember who everyone was and what party they represented.  Once I connected who was who and who they worked for, etc...it was much smoother reading.  On a technical note, I think it would have been a smoother read if the author has chosen to refer to the characters always by the first or last name, instead of switching back and forth (this is why I started taking notes, to keep them all straight).  Once I hit that spot where I had everyone figured out, though, I was hooked and I read nearly the last 300 pages in one sitting!

There were a couple of characters that I really liked.  I liked Rikki from the start.  She reminded me so much of Ashika on a BBC show called Party Animals.  It was about British politics, so it was even similar in theme. I knew even less about what was going on there!  I also really liked Jack, he was hard not to like.  Even though they supported opposing parties it was neat to see how well they got along in the midst of all of this.  

The whole plot of this story is woven together so well, the further the story goes the deeper and deeper these  manipulations go.  At first it seems like there are a couple of separate stories going on, but you soon realize that they are all going to tie in together.  Every little thing that happens is part of the bigger scheme and all these seemingly "little" people are being pulled into this storm that's brewing in West Virginia.  It's really well done and you won't believe how some of it comes together.

If you are like me and you don't really know anything about politics you are going to learn a lot and even if you do know politics, I daresay you will still learn a thing or two.  Brent Wolfingbarger knows his stuff and he's found a creative way to share it.

I would definitely recommend this for anyone who likes political thrillers.  If you are like me and you know nothing about politics, though, this is a great way to learn a little more and read a great story at the same time.

There really isn't too much content warning this book.  There were a couple of smallish love scenes and a little cursing, nothing overdone though.

Rating 8/10

Disclaimer:  I was provided a signed copy of this book courtesy of Brent Wolfingbarger in exchange for my review.


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