The Candidate: A Newsmakers Novel. Lis Wiehl with Sebastian Stuart. Thomas Nelson, Inc. October 2016. 352 pp. ISBN#: 9780718037680.
News anchorwoman Erica Sparks is at the top of her game with her snappy reporting that engages the public. That is, she thought she was at the top but her boss calls her in to tell her that ratings for her show on GNN are slipping, a fact that restores her fears from the past and a life she wishes would never appear in memory. Add to that she knows she’s neglecting her daughter Jennie for the job and they are beginning to drift apart. The first problem will change and the second demands some immediate action but certainly not what Erica envisioned for their family.
Erica is covering the appearance of the candidates, Senator Mike Ortiz and Fred Buchanan, when a bomb rips through the crowd outside the venue for the appearance. Fred and Judy Buchanan, among numerous others, are instantly killed. But Erica is not only struck by the horrendous tragedy. She notices that before Senator Mike Ortiz makes any comment, he seems to look at his wife, Celeste Pierce Ortiz, for approval before continuing. Worse yet, he seems to smile at inappropriate times and otherwise has no affect regarding the circumstance that is tragic to say the least. As times goes by, including a personal interview with Ortiz, Erica begins to delve further into his background, believing something is very wrong with this man.
This then is the story of Erica’s tendency to be in the right place at the right (or wrong depending on one’s point of view) time and a powerful intuitive skill in being able to sniff out a potentially explosive story.
Add to that the too perfect image of Celeste Pierce Ortiz and her association with Lily Lau. But readers will never be able to figure out what’s going on behind the scenes that has pathologically dangerous elements that Erica is investigating, actions that will put her own life at risk.
Add to that a choice Erika makes for her daughter will turn out to be very dangerous for Erika and Jenny. Even the savviest of journalists can’t always be sharp about all looming dangers.
The Candidate: A Newsmakers Novel is a sharp novel about outside efforts to control the democratic process of elections in America. Those plans are designed to change the American government and are all more frightening for the viable possibility that comes too close for comfort! Fast, exciting, nerve wracking plot that provides a great read! Superbly done, Lisa Wiehl and Sebastian Stuart!