COTTONWOOD by Raymond Strother


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First novel by political consultant Strother (Gary Hart's one-time campaign manager): a woolly, woozy tale of down-and-dirty Louisiana politics in a mad run for the US Senate. Self-styled media consultant Christian Ahab Simmons, hardened by weeks of experience taking money from genial boss Big Jim DeBleaux for masterminding his losing campaign for Congress, comes up with a surefire ticket out of his dead-end life with his loyal, complaining wife Darleen: he'll persuade ludicrously besotted politico Hugh Conklin to run for the Senate, plan a campaign that will have him finish around fourth in a crowded field, and leak information to Big Jim that will allow him to clean up in cash bets on the result. But can Conklin stay sober long enough to hold onto his born again, I-once-was-lost image through the campaign? Can his reelection committee-headed by his crippled, drug-soaked roommate Happy and abetted by the likes of obliging hooker Windy Dawn, headlining preacher Rev. Dick Tracy, and his dazzling wife Flora--be trusted not to run away with their own ideas? Can Christian keep his temper when he's attacked by the goons backing front-running incumbent Senator LeBlanc, or will his counterpunching make it necessary for Conklin to finish a lot higher than fourth? And can Conklin rise to this challenge despite everything? Really now, what do you think? Predictably plotted but as fast on the road as a 1964 Mustang, with a terrific lead role for the young James Cagney.

Pub Date: Feb. 28th, 1990
ISBN: 525-24952-4
Publisher: Dutton
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