By Ed Gorman
(Minotaur Books, Hardcover, 9780312532987, 224pp.)
Publication Date: October 12, 2010
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Award-winning author Ed Gorman is back with political consultant and troubleshooter Dev Conrad, in this riveting sequel.
When Dev Conrad agreed to work with Congresswoman Susan Cooper, member of a prominent political family, he didn’t know that the worst threat her reelection campaign would face would come from Cooper herself. The congresswoman has a secret she’s not willing to share with Dev, forcing him to follow her the way a detective would. But the campaign is burdened with other problems as well, starting with the murder of scandal-plagued political consultant Monica Davies. Rumor has it she had some information that would destroy Susan Cooper’s campaign. In the wake of another murder, another blackmailer, and two or three suspicious relationships, Dev must figure out who is trying to sabotage the campaign.
A rip-roaring ride, Stranglehold will win your vote.
Ed Gorman has worked in politics as both a speechwriter and a TV producer. He has won the Shamus, Anthony, Ellery Queen, Spur, and International Fiction Awards. He has been short-listed for an Edgar Award twice, and once for the Silver Dagger. His other work includes the Sam McCain series and the Jack Dwyer series. A feature film based on his novel The Poker Club is forthcoming. A book he ghosted titled The Haunted became a widely acclaimed TV movie.
"Gorman (Ticket to Ride, 2009, etc.) creates such a deliciously knowing portrait of the down and dirty of political campaigns and family secrets that you forget the people are just made up."--Kirkus Reviews
Dev Conrad, a political consultant, is curious why his client, a congresswoman seeking reelection, is behaving oddly and disappearing for hours at a time. Following the woman to a motel, he observes her entering a room and then leaving it again, 10 minutes later. When Dev checks out the room and finds (literally) a bloody mess, he starts to wonder just what his client is hiding. This is a neat little political mystery with a likable protagonist--Dev Conrad, who also starred in Gorman's Sleeping Dogs (2008), evokes some of Ross Thomas' savvy political fixers--and a nicely rounded cast of supporting characters. The congresswoman, Susan Cooper, is very well drawn, as is her domineering stepmother, Natalie Dowd McConnell Cooper Byrnes, whose antics distract us from some of the subtle things the author is doing beneath the surface of the story. (Expect some surprises.) Gorman is an experienced and accomplished storyteller, and genre fans will not want to miss his latest.