A struggling DC politico gets his break in the White House in first-time author Lewis’ political thriller.
Public relations expert Jack Abbott is out of work after boss Congressman Greg Harrow fires him in the wake of a controversial speech on the troubled country of Lixubistan [ED: SPELL CHECK CAREFULLY]. But rather than give up, Jack calls in his last favor and lands a temporary gig at the White House, where he is alternately ignored or belittled by his co-workers. When the situation in Lixubistan flares up and Congressman Harrow is on the verge of becoming an embarrassment, Jack manages the situation and gains the attention of his superiors. This leads to an appointment in President Dexter’s inner circle, helping to orchestrate his re-election campaign despite the fact that the president is riddled with cancer and might not live to see a second term. With the possibility of loose cannon Vice President Cunningham ascending to the presidency, Jack must decide if he is willing to lie for the sake of the president and his own career. Lewis’ writing is engaging and offers an honest glimpse of life inside Washington’s political pressure cooker. Jack toes the line of failure and success throughout the story, a tension that keeps the reader guessing at how much longer Jack can deal with the stress. The pettiness and competitiveness of Jack’s coworkers are especially compelling, portraying insight into a cadre of ambitious manipulators eager to capture Dexter’s attention through morally ambiguous means.
For readers uninterested in the inner machinations of Washington, this book may be like watching CSPAN on a slow day; those intrigued by the behind scenes drama of politics will likely find this a well-paced, well-written story.