DIRTY LAUNDRY by Marc Smolonsky


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 Supposedly, this first novel deserves some credibility based upon the Washington-insider background of the author, who has been an investigative reporter and served as a staff investigator for the Senate Judiciary Committee and House Government Operations Committee. And there is, admittedly, a lot of insider wheeling-and-dealing here, but consider: within the first five pages, Mafia big-shot Marty Butera takes his secret computer records and flees into the desert, killing five men along the way, because he thinks the Family has turned on him. He ends up in the hands of Carney Fitzgerald, chief investigator for the Senate Labor Committee, agreeing to give evidence about corruption in the American Federation of Truckers (a Teamsters clone). All hell breaks loose. A Washington reporter is kidnapped, then released unharmed a few days later (all to no purpose that the book ever reveals). Cabinet members are forced to resign, senators are indicted, witnesses are murdered, and no one except the dedicated Fitzgerald and his staff seems to care very much--even though it is increasingly clear that corruption reaches all the way to the White House. All this reaches its peak when we learn that a top presidential aide is (a) using an assumed name (b) was once affiliated with the AFT and (c) started out as a crooked cop--and has never been found out. There's more, lots more, but even an era that has given us Nixon's Plumbers and an obscure Marine colonel making foreign policy in the White House basement can't make this stuff believable.

Pub Date: May 31st, 1991
ISBN: 0-8027-1147-2
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Walker
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1991


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