Thursday, December 11, 2008

Book Review ~ DIRT: An American Campaign Mark LaFlamme


Regardless of what party you vote with, you will enjoy the political thriller DIRT: An American Campaign.

A grieving man disappears with the body of his dead bride and a mad race is on to find him before he can destroy his father's campaign for the White House. An exploration of the dark side of politics, "Dirt: An American Campaign" delivers a plot teetering on the cliff-edge of madness as one candidate tries to bury his own scandals while exposing the dirt of others.

This book is full of twists and turns. I was hooked on page one, and I read this book very quickly. I have never read anything by Mark LaFlamme in the past. I have no idea how this brilliant author slipped by me. I am going back and reading his past work.

You have to go out and read this book. It is a page turner and a must read.

Calvin Cotton is out of his mind. We find him at Riverside Cemetery bursting in on the darkness of the tomb. He is the son of a presidential candidate. But tonight, he is only a husband insane over the loss of his bride. He imagines her trapped within the cold clutch of the coffin and works quicker to free her. Soon, he will have her in his arms and they will vanish into the night.

Gov. Frank F. Cotton is out of his mind. He has learned of his son’s nighttime ghoulishness and panic has set in. It is the kind of sordid scandal that can bring about ruin. He’s seen good men go down in flames for less. Howard Dean with the animal scream in 2004. Edmund Muskie with the phantom tear in 1972. And if press got a hold of this? Frank F. will not let it happen. Thomas Cashman is thinking outside the box. Given the circumstances, he finds this idea deliciously funny. A mercenary with secrets of his own, his top priority is to find young Calvin Cotton and his stiffening bride. Thomas has an unorthodox idea. He will enlist the aid of washed up novelist Billy Baylor to help understand what motivates the deranged young man he seeks. Billy Baylor is drinking whiskey in a scrubby, downtown bar. Ultimately, he is happy because he will probably die in his sleep. It could be tonight. It could be tomorrow. Either way, it will be peaceful. He has published twelve novels and invented a new genre. He likes to call it “suburban necrophilia.” Billy Baylor has made a career out of writing about the extreme measures a man will take when pushed to madness by the loss of a love. Only one of his novels had a happy ending. He regards it as his one failure. Since his wife and daughter were killed in a car wreck, he doesn’t believe in happy endings. Set in the early days of the primary season, "Dirt" is a fast and ugly tale of the treachery and desperation behind an American campaign. The hunt for Calvin Cotton is a sordid thrill ride along the same frozen back roads where candidates smile, shake hands and try to keep their secrets buried. In the bid for the most powerful position in the world, one man’s dirt is another man’s gold.


Available now at your favorite bookseller

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