MYSTERY

Oppo

Ecco: HarperCollins. Dec. 2019. 336p. ISBN 9780062892607. $27.99. THRILLER
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The presidential primaries have begun and candidates are getting antsy. In an effort to improve his chances of securing the Democratic nomination, a senator goes behind the scenes and offers the vice-presidential nod to respected centrist, Republican senator Wendy Upton. The upside for Upton? If they win, a shot at breaking the political gridlock in Washington. The downside? If they lose, she’s dead politically. Before she has time to consider, a leading Republican candidate offers her the seat, too. Then she receives an anonymous threat: stay out of the limelight or we’ll expose you and ruin your career. She brings in an investigator to vet her past. It’s called oppo research: if there are dark spots, she’ll find them before her enemies do. She also asks him to look into who’s attacking her, but as the PI digs deeper, he uncovers new and unsettling information about how politics is now being played in this fractious country.
VERDICT Rosenstiel (Shining City) crafts a book that offers the double pleasure of an exciting story and new knowledge--how vetting is carried on in today’s supercharged political world. Will appeal to all lovers of quality political thrillers. [See Prepub Alert, 6/10/19.]

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