Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Dirty Secret, Brent Wolfingbarger (4 stars)

From Amazon: 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 crime 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?
Reading this story in the midst of the election was especially entertaining. A Republican Governor and a Democratic Senator are vying for the title of President, and all that stands in their way is the state of West Virginia. This fight for votes goes way beyond hanging chads. Both sides are stretching their moral compass from corruption to foul play and everything in between.
In the midst of the mad scramble for votes, several key players emerge. Each has a stake in the game. Dave Anderson is determined to see his friend, Governor Royal, become President. Along the way, he runs back into Rikki—his former love and a lawyer. She’s wrapped up in a lawsuit with her friend, State Senator Jack McCallen, who is trying to save his family business. Rikki and Dave are in opposite political camps, but they are drawn together to help Jack. Tragedy strikes and brings them even closer.
In the end, many players attempt to manipulate the end result. And more is at stake than just the Presidency. Innocent people may get caught in the crossfire.
Because there are so many important players in this story, the beginning was a bit confusing. I needed a character cheat sheet to keep up with who was who and their relevance. But not long into the book, the story took off and kept me interested and engaged. Every time I thought I figured something out, there was another twist.
But it’s not just a political thriller. I found the embedded love story of Rikki and Dave just as compelling. Often these types of books go for intrigue over character development. Here, the author does an excellent job of building characters and story while also keeping the reader on the edge of their seat.
I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy a thrilling ride with characters as interesting as the storyline.
Rating: 4 stars
About the Author

Brent Wolfingbarger has been practicing law for almost two decades, representing both Democrats and Republicans in closely contested, high-profile election law battles. He spent five years as a prosecutor in West Virginia, handling the full spectrum of cases including murder, sexual assault and computer-related crimes and actively focusing on cutting-edge issues related to the acquisition, analysis and use of digital evidence in criminal cases.

Wolfingbarger lives in Washington, DC where he continues to work as a prosecutor, handling white collar financial crimes and violent crimes committed against elderly and disabled victims.
For more information, please visit the author's website.
Note: I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own.


Brent said...

Thanks for taking the time to read my book, Tia! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Tia Bach said...

I really did. Thanks, Brent!