Review: The Candidate, by Lis W. Wiehl
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I just finished The Candidate, by Lis W. Wiehl and had a couple of very distinct reactions while reading it.
The author has penned a compelling plot line that keeps you on the edge of your seat right up to the end. The characters are well drawn, even if a few of the descriptions are more in the tradition of a formula read. The story moves quickly and the predictable parts are not overly predictable. Overall I want to say “Well done”.
But twice while I was reading, there was a jarring stop in the action where the author inserted themselves as though it were a conversation and they were interrupting a story. It was weird enough for me to remember for days.
First, there was a scene where a character displayed some kind of common courtesy; I think maybe they stood and pulled out a chair for someone joining the group. No biggie. But the very next sentence was “…more manners than ever displayed by Trump.” To this point in the story, Trump had never been mentioned. Not once, even though this is a story about a Presidential campaign taking place in the current time with made-up characters.
There was absolutely no reference to Trump before that statement or anywhere in the book after. I had to stop and go read the jacket bio of the author. That’s when I found out that she is involved with Fox News, which made it even more of a puzzle and took me out of the story for a few days. Very strange.
And Then it Happened Again
The second time was less intrusive, but still weird. The main character, a news anchor, is hopping a plane to Detroit. The explanation includes the comment that this was her first time flying to Detroit (which added nothing to the story) but the next sentence I swear was just missed by whoever edited the first draft. It said: “Right? Who goes to Detroit?” I had a hard time thinking of any reason for that comment and it didn’t add or subtract from the plot other than to stop me again and make me wonder about author bias.
Now, I loved the story. It was chilling and suspenseful and because it was written earlier in 2016, there was not as much reason to think about a foreign power infiltrating our election, which later proved to be a huge concern. I thought that was a little odd as well, considering the position of the author at a major network.
My recommendation: If you like politics at all, if you enjoy a suspenseful thriller with the typical chase scene that wraps it all up in the end, if you enjoy having a defined bad guy and a flawed good guy who saves the day – read it! I really liked it.