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by Daniel Bailey
Silver Dagger Mysteries, September 2004
202 pages
ISBN: 1570722838

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

A well-known South Carolina senator has been found dead under the debris during the aftermath of a Class-5 hurricane which has hit the state. Cable News Network reporter Cassie O'Connor is at the scene reporting the weather phenomena when the body is discovered. She sees it as a golden opportunity to move ahead in the ranks and plans to make sure that she stays with the story.

The presidential election is only a few weeks away and there are machinations going on. This promises to be a most interesting election. A militia group by the name of the Free Confederacy has plans regarding the election and with its charismatic leader rallying the troops victory is ensured.

On the other side a government cabal is manipulating the election to make sure that its candidate wins the election. These are men who have put in millions and millions of dollars into the plan so they better be sure that everything works well. Unfortunately there is a CNN reporter in the way and she will have to be dealt with if their plan is to succeed.

Daniel Bailey relies heavily on his background in law enforcement as several groups of South Carolina law enforcement agents are involved in the case. It creates a sense of realism to the story that only an insider can provide, knowing how several organizations work together even when they do not want to. Everything involves politics and that is what the author tries to show here. Regrettably, that is as far as it goes. The book is riddled with so many glaring flaws that it is hard to endorse this book.

For such a small book there are too many characters involved, forcing one to make a list just to keep track on who the players are. Also, a hurricane is not a gust of wind it a force of nature that no one is able to forget. Aside from the reporter, that's understandable, why were there people outside during the storm? And while we are on the subject people remember Andrew, Camille, Hugo, Floyd, and Mitch, wouldn't it have been likely that a Class-Five hurricane in a book will have a name? It could have been named Wally. It is name that probably would never become a real hurricane.

My other pet peeve -- CNN. If O'Connor actually worked at CNN she would have been fired immediately or kept behind a desk. Don't get me started. Why couldn't the author create a fake one, say America's Channel News or something like that? It is always dangerous when one takes reality in a fiction novel by using real people and organizations no matter if they are being used fictitiously. With such degree of carelessness in creative license and with other unmentioned factors inside the novel it is hard to take this book seriously. Consider yourselves warned.

Reviewed by Angel L. Soto, December 2004

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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