Skullduggery-cum-homicide threatens yet another of Chicago political consultant Dev Conrad’s clients.
Robert Logan may be the incumbent senator from Illinois, but his eye for the ladies makes him vulnerable to all sorts of family-values innuendo and worse. The loyalties of his wife, Elise, and his coed daughter Maddy, already tested by a fling he had years ago, are stretched to the limit by his fascination with Tracy Cabot, the mysterious glamourpuss who turns up at one campaign event after another. Tracy obviously represents some sort of trap for the candidate, but her true potential for sowing havoc isn’t realized until she turns up beaten to death in Logan’s fishing cabin in rural Linton. The campaign immediately goes into entertaining overdrive to protect the candidate from the heaviest mudslinging. Dev gets hotshot attorney Ben Zuckerman to fly into Linton, bribes hotel bellman Earl Leonard to let him turn over Tracy’s hotel room, and churns the waters looking for material to use in a counterattack against Logan’s opponent, folksy insurance-exec millionaire Charlie Shay. The candidate goes on TV to offer condolences to Tracy’s family and blandly assure the voters that he had nothing to do with her death. In short, it’s all business as usual. Even Dev’s contact with Howie Ruskin, the political saboteur with whom Tracy was working to bring down Logan, seems familiar as well, at least until Ruskin gets shot. Even so, it’s hard getting worked up over rumors of a conspiracy against Logan when so many of the cast members are conspiracy theorists and when it’s pretty obvious that at least some of them are onto something.
A lesser installment in the colorful career of Dev (Blindside, 2012, etc.), who sounds perfectly sincere when he maintains that “[p]olitical consultants pray every waking moment.”