In Snider’s first foray into fiction, an espionage scandal rocks the halls of the U.S. Senate.
Snider, a D.C. insider, deftly weaves his well-researched spy thriller with an absorbing domestic drama, drawing on his experience working in the Senate and in the intelligence community. The highly readable, if often expository and repetitive, page-turner centers on Elinor Devereaux, the junior senator from South Carolina and widow of Sen. Cole Devereaux. Elinor is appointed by the governor to serve out the remainder of her husband’s term after his death in a plane crash. Determined to make her own political future, Elinor breaks with Cole’s long-established, controversial pro-China position. This angers Chinese diplomats, leading to revelations that Cole may have been blackmailed to ensure a continued collaborative relationship between the two nations. Fortunately, the cast of beltway heavyweights is well developed, and readers will be sympathetic to their troubles. When Elinor’s assistant, Swedish beauty Onya Knudsen, discovers a potentially damaging link between Cole’s young, brash aide, Evan Trout, and the Chinese government, she is concerned about the implications for her husband’s legacy and for her own budding political career. But Elinor won’t rest until she finds out the truth—no matter the consequences. The book reads like a genuine glimpse into the inner workings of the Senate, which is no surprise given Snider’s experience in Washington, including a stint as Inspector General of the CIA. Despite sometimes overwrought prose, this tale maintains an expert’s perspective.
A plausible, engaging political thriller.