4 out of 4 stars
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At the beginning of this pollical thriller, the Republican Party had unanimously chosen South Carolina’s two-term Governor Peter Hasbrook as their nominee in an unusually non-confrontational process. This 62-year-old married man with two children and three granddaughters was to challenge President Beverly Shoemacher and retake the White House, which the Republicans had not controlled for twelve years. This task would be difficult, however, for the President had excellent approval ratings.
Unexpectedly, though, Peter collapsed while delivering his acceptance speech; he was about to announce his choice of running mate – David Aaronson, a multi-billionaire Jewish businessman. At Memphis General Hospital, the doctors first suspected he suffered a stroke, but that wasn’t the case. There were rumors of foul play by the extreme right-wing members of the Republican Party, but the doctors ruled out poisoning. Anyway, Hasbrook could no longer fulfill his responsibilities as a presidential candidate, and an intricate political plot starts to unfold as his replacement is to be determined by the Republican National Committee.
There were several positives worth mentioning in this book. I liked the way this enthusiastic plot focused ostensibly on politics. It is political commentary at its finest, and fortunately, it doesn’t feel self-righteous or preachy. Additionally, it also has elements of mystery and action. I felt that it had the rhythm and tone of an addictive TV series set in DC, such as House of Cards or Scandal. The dialogues are marvelous, and I found that the names of the chapters were also thoughtful and witty. I particularly enjoyed “The Rise of the Cannibals” and “A Grab for the Brass Ring.” The author’s masterful use of language was what I liked the most about this novel.
I also enjoyed the double games that get played by the antagonistic political forces. Several conspiracy theories get well woven into the plot by Kuhn. Through the well-developed characters, readers get an eye-opening look into the American political system, which the author seems to know very well. For instance, I appreciated the characterization of the Eberstadt brothers, two millionaires from Idaho, who fund political candidates to push the ultra-right agenda.
In closing, I rate Chaos, written by Mitchell G. Kuhn, 4 out of 4 stars. It is a well-written and fun read, and I gladly have no negatives to mention. It has a great ending that ties everything up well, with a nice hook for a sequel. If you enjoy political thrillers, you will surely like it. Readers with strong political leanings to the right might not appreciate it as much.
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