Author: Lis Wiehl

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

ISBN: 0:0718037685 ISBN-13:978-0718037680

Just when I thought I had read enough about all kinds of conspiracies concerning the recent US elections, along comes Lie Wiehl's newest thriller, The Candidate. In this one the protagonist is a hot-shot television investigative journalist, Erica Sparks, who is the star of her own evening news show, The Erica Sparks Effect.

Erica is always on the look-out for new challenges and has a reputation of being the best in the business. Unfortunately, Erica, a divorced mom, does not seem to effectively juggle her own personal life with that of her career which leads to difficulties with her eleven year old daughter Jenny. In addition, something she would like to keep hidden,  she grew up in a trailer park is a recovering alcoholic and was arrested for reckless endangerment.

As the story unfolds, Erica always seems to be in the right place and right time viewing some tragic events leading to phenomenal news stories. She is about to take off for Cleveland to cover the final primary Democratic debate between two contenders for their party's nomination as candidate for president of the USA.

One of the candidates is the slick and handsome Mike Ortiz, a former marine who served in the Iraq war. After he was elected to Congress he returned to Iraq on a humanitarian mission and was kidnapped by Al-Qaeda and held hostage, but managed to escape. His opponent is Governor Fred Buchanan who, along with his wife Judy, seem to be much more down-to-earth than Ortiz and his glamorous rich wife Celeste.

Just before the debate takes place Erica witnesses a bomb going off killing Buchanan and his wife along with several other people. She reminds herself that what launched her successful career was her observing of a Staten Island ferry crash. Was it possible that the Buchanan bombing was also orchestrated by unforeseen forces that would want Erica to be on the scene?

The story shifts to Ortiz's wife Celeste, who had been a banker specializing in China and her high powered friend Lily Lau, the daughter of Chen Lau, a Chinese diplomat who heads the Ministry of State Security, the Chinese intelligence security agency, which is the equivalent of the CIA. The two women met when they were students at Stanford University and, as we will discover, have ambitious plans for themselves as well as Mike.

Erica notices that Mike has a robot kind of behavior when he is around is wife and this sets off all kind of queries in her mind particularly the events concerning his captivity in Iraq and is subsequent escape. Was he in fact a hero or is there something more sinister looming behind the scenes? Moreover, what is the puzzling connection concerning Lily, Celeste and Mike?

The Candidate is quite a terrifying yarn laced with disturbing undertones when you ponder over the possibility of an outside force influencing the election process as we have seen in the recent US election, where the White House has stated that Russia had been conducting a broad campaign to interfere. For the most part, Wiehl  handles the tale quite effectively particularly that she knows how to cast quite a spell that makes us want to uncover the truth. My one complaint , however, is that the pacing was off and I had to force myself to continue reading.

Follow Here To Read An Interview Norm Conducted With Lis Wiehl