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by Goldie Taylor
All Points Books, October 2018
336 pages
ISBN: 125019444X

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

In the first fourteen pages of PAPER GODS, political reporter Hampton Bridge's reputation is damaged by an auto accident attributed to his heavy drinking, quickly followed by the assassination of Congressman Ezra Hawkins as he is speaking in Ebenezer Baptist Church. This political thriller, set in Atlanta, Georgia, revolves around Mayor Victoria Dobbs Overstreet, her political mentor and ally, Congressman Hawkins and their relationships with local political and business interests.

Lots of layers to this novel. Hawkins took big money to support a bill in Congress, then killed it because it didn't benefit the people of Atlanta and Georgia, just the business men who would make big money from the contracts they expected. The League, a group of wealthy Atlanta businessmen who lent their unofficial backing (campaign funds and influence) to candidates, decided to back a competitor running against Victoria in the special election for Hawkins' seat. Seems the Mayor killed a deal Virgil Loudermilk (unofficial head of The League) had going with the FCC that cost him millions. And Bridges is trying to find evidence to support his suspicion that the Mayor and Congressman are corrupt.

Then there are the killings, each preceded by the receipt of a Japanese origami dragon, called by some a "paper god." Congressman Hawkins is the first. The second murder is Victoria's brother Chip who was exposed by Bridges for having financial ties to a local drug dealer who was up on "federal kingpin charges." Richard 'Dickey' Lester, the biggest drug dealer in the Southeast, is being charged wirh tax evasion and wire fraud and he is also Victoria's former boyfriend.

Goldie Taylor has written a compelling read with artfully crafted characters, strong, often painfully direct dialogue and complex situations. Unexpected twists throughout serve to maintain reader focus. PAPER GODS is a fascinating look at how politics, power and money might come together at the local level.

§ Ruth Castleberry has worked as an investigator for Pinkerton’s, a city desk assistant on the Charlotte News, free-lance writer, marketing/business strategy consultant, competitive intelligence practitioner and digital marketing consultant.

Reviewed by Ruth Castleberry, November 2018

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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