Bodies on the Potomac by Daniel O'Neil

Bodies on the Potomac

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A debut political thriller about a Russian plot to take over the United States.
Taylor Clark is a former special operative for the United States government who’s now trying to live a quiet life with his girlfriend, Carmen, and his Labrador retriever, Duchess. Rasey Campbell is a beautiful financial consultant and graduate of the elite Wharton School who cares only for money. Clark’s and Campbell’s parallel stories eventually meet when Campbell’s shady dealings with the wealthy Russian Azarov sets her on a collision course with Clark’s investigation into Universal Motors and Finance’s involvement with the current presidential administration. There are plenty of plot turns, gunfights and red herrings in this political thriller. However, there’s a disappointing lack of tension, as large swaths of the novel have the characters doing little else than share plot exposition: “I don’t know about killing.…But working a little friendly political extortion on a couple of the bill’s sponsors wouldn’t be the worst idea I’ve ever dreamed up.” The premise, about an evil Russian business group attempting to buy the office of the president of the United States, seems highly unrealistic, and the characters themselves occasionally acknowledge the villains’ absurdity: “Who are these people? They box me in, in broad daylight, then start pumping bullets at me? There must be a million witnesses.” Eventually, Campbell begins to question her financial ambitions and turns against Azarov. However, the climax is as messy as the buildup, involving, among other things, a standoff in a fine-dining restaurant.

An unsubtle work of political suspense.
Pub Date: July 29th, 2014
Page count: 264pp
Publisher: Open Road Distribution
Program: Kirkus Indie
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