When practicing to deceive, a U.S. senator weaves a tangled web of murder and blackmail.
Dishy, dashing and brainy to boot, young Sen. Andy Foster is the quintessential golden boy, irresistible when he chooses to be. Too often, however, he chooses to be irresistible to inappropriate women. Andy has a wife and daughter he adores, a job he likes and is extremely good at, and a future bright with possibility, all of which he continually places at risk because he can’t keep his endowments zippered. In mid-romp with an accommodating young colleague, Andy is unaware that he’s courting disaster. For one thing, he’s being filmed for the express purpose of making him vulnerable to extortion. Even worse, that time-honored scenario will suddenly take a Grand Guignol twist when a crazed interloper explodes onto the scene. Within seconds Andy is down for the count and the young woman down for keeps. Battered and severely bruised, Andy manages to recover—not altogether a good thing, he’ll think bitterly and remorsefully in the days ahead. So begins the tormenting game of trying to separate friends from enemies while Andy’s wondering when certain of his friends switched sides, and while he’s coping with that most implacable of enemies—self-hatred.
Strong characters and the usual clean-cut prose make this latest from Hawke (Cold Day in Hell, 2007, etc.) highly readable. With a less cumbersome ending, it would have been brilliant.