An Illinois Congresswoman caught in a tough re-election campaign narrowly survives what’s clearly an attempt on her life. Or is it?
Faced with an onslaught of unanswered ads financed by her right-wing opponent Trent Dorsey’s Uncle Ken, Jessica Bradshaw, a seasoned incumbent from Danton, has seen her polling figures dip alarmingly. Instead of a comfortable lead, she’s now riding a cushion of 1 percentage point. So Jessica’s chief of staff, Abby Malone, puts out an SOS for hands-on help from her campaign manager, wily veteran consultant Dev Conrad. Dev does everything he can to help prepare Jessica for her next debate while reining in her vainglorious husband, Ted, a one-time tennis wannabe. But not even Dev can stop someone from firing a rifle at Jessica as she leaves the debate. Although common sense suggests that the shooter is one of the thousands of well-armed yahoos supporting Dorsey, common sense, as Dev knows (Flashpoint, 2013), rarely prevails in political campaigns. But he’s as surprised as anyone when Danton Police Chief Aaron Showalter announces that the rifle in question has been found in the car trunk of Cory Tucker, a political science undergraduate interning with the Bradshaw campaign, and intimates that Jessica’s own allies hired someone to bolster her numbers by shooting over her head. Fortunately for Dev but not so fortunately for the story, Detective Karen Foster takes this opportunity to share her long-festering suspicions about her department with Dev, who follows her nose to a conspiracy that wanders far afield from the Bradshaw shooting before Gorman brings the tale back full circle in the closing chapters.
The political intrigue seems barely to keep up with real-life electioneering in the Land of Lincoln this season. The best gift to series fans is the hope that Dev will end up with a woman who accepts him warts and all.