Author: Rick Pullen

Publisher: Blair House

ISBN: 978-0-692-63435-6

Award-winning investigative reporter Rick Pullen's thriller, Naked Ambition hits the ground running when the lead character, Beck Rikki, an investigative journalist for the a Washington, D.C. newspaper, the Post- Examiner receives an early morning phone call from a Daniel Fahy who tells him that he would like to meet with him. Rikki is first reluctant to meet someone he doesn't know but when he hears that the caller may have information concerning a bribery scheme involving a very important public official, his ears perk up. After some research, Rikki discovers that Fahy is the director of the Justice Department unit that prosecutes dirty politicians.

Before bringing in Rikki into the investigation, Fahy had devoted considerable time in investigating Senator Bayard of New Jersey who has presidential aspirations, however, he lacked concrete evidence to prove any wrong doing. Moreover, time was now an important factor before Bayard succeeded in taking down the entire Republican Party.

His first break came when he learned from FBI special agent Patrick McCauley of the senator's suspicious real estate dealings in the offshore tax haven of the Grand Cayman. To get to the bottom of what may prove to be a very explosive situation, Fahy decides to short-circuit the FBI investigation of Bayard and call in Rikki to dig into the story, despite acknowledging that it could backfire on him.

When Fahy meets with Rikki he tells him that he suspects that Bayard was taking bribes from Lamurr Technologies, a company bidding on a large Pentagon contract, however, Fahy's superior, Jackson Oliver had killed the investigation. It was now up to Rikki to do the leg work but with two conditions, he could never reveal his source nor reveal a memorandum containing the investigative documents that were handed over to him. Rikki could not believe his luck as this could turn out to be his Pulitzer Prize winning story if what he has learned from Fahy turns out to be true. Little did he know that the two conditions he agreed to would lead down the road to some very disturbing ramifications.

The yarn now shifts to another important character, Geneva Kemper wife of Senator Michael Harvey who has also being investigated by the FBI. Kemper is a lobbyist from Serodynne Corporation that is competing with Lamurr Technologies for a one-hundred-billion-dollar contract concerning the manufacturing of some new drone technology. She is not quite sure as to why she and her company are being investigated by the FBI but she certainly wants to keep it from her the company's investment bankers. She will quickly learn that Washington is a dirty town where people don't always play by the rules.

As Rikki's investigation unravels he is completely unaware that he is being manipulated by both Fahy and Kemper who have different agendas, one concerning power the other the accumulation of a great amount of wealth. He was not sure what he had gotten himself into, but it was now much bigger than he first anticipated involving the Justice Department and Bayard as well as his real estate dealings, but he is determined to find out the truth. To make matters even more interesting, Pullen throws in a romantic liaison, insider trading, murder, money laundering, and some other goodies that will keep you from sleeping at night.

This is a novel that sucks you into its wild intrigue that winds up with quite a few surprises and just as you thought you had it all figured out, you are led down another path of intrigue. Quite interesting is the Afterword to the novel which just about sums up the story's general theme and most likely its inspiration. Pullen states: “There is nothing to stop the flow of illegal funds into federal elections. Congress refuses to curtail the flow of secret money into the system. Presidential aspirants from both major political parties are more than willing to wink and turn a blind eye at financial transparency.” Something to reflect upon with today' 2016 US Presidential election in full swing.