Always one for a great novel of political thrills and criminal intrigue, I turned again to the work of D.W. Buffa and his short Senator Bobby Hart series. While I loved the first book, I was not able to get hold of the second, forcing me to fill in some blanks as I pushed through into this, what appears to be the last for the time being. President of the United States (POTUS) Robert Constable has quite the way with women, so it is not entirely shocking that he would die of a heart attack when in bed with a prostitute. The Secret Service agent on the scene quickly whisked the hysterical woman out of the hotel room and secured the scene. The world mourns and an elaborate funeral takes place, though the First Lady, Hillary Constable, appears detached and dry-eyed. When Senator Booby Hart is summoned to speak with her at the reception, he is told that this was no heart attack and that Constable was murdered. The First Lady delivers the news stoically, but also wants to know who might have targeted her husband. While Hart begins to make some inquiries, he also learns that a New York Times reporter was set to meet POTUS the following day and had hoped to discuss The Four Sisters. As Hart soon learns, The Four Sisters is a highly complex financial company based out of France, with a reach far larger than it appears, through a series of shell companies. Hart and the reporter, working separately, learn just how high things go and that POTUS might be guilty of some foreign influence at the core of the Administration’s contract allocations. When numerous men with information on The Four Sisters turn up dead, Hart can only wonder what sort of cover-up is taking place. Travelling to the core of the matter might be his only hope, but he, too, could be a target to keep him quiet and smear his career, all while the country prepares to look towards the next election, with Hillary Constable poised to make her own run for the Oval Office. A sharp thriller that keeps the story moving swiftly throughout. Recommended to those who love a mix of politics with their crime thrillers, as well as the reader who has a passion for the work of D.W. Buffa.
I always find such pleasure when I am able to get my hands on another Buffa novel, though some around me cannot help but roll their eyes as I slide into my faux-Southern accent and express happiness. Senator Bobby Hart is back, ready to help where he can, even if it means putting himself into danger. Hart seems to be drawn into the major goings-on within the US political system that could get him killed, though his dedication to the country he loves rises above all else. While there are some far-fetched aspects to the character’s involvement in the plot, Buffa does keep the action high as he seeks to entertain his readers throughout. Other characters not only complement one another, but appear to push an interesting underlying narrative that might better explain the plot of the book and the larger political machinery at work. Buffa weaves these into a strong narrative and uses his characters to push the story along effectively from start to finish. In a book that does not stop with its twists, Buffa keeps the reader wondering as they see the layers of this strong plot reveal themselves the further along things get. Using a mix of short and longer chapters, Buffa hooks his reader and does not stop until the final reveal, even then offering some hanging threads to keep the story open for more down the road. A great piece that will have me coming back for more soon, as I see another Buffa (sadly, not from this series) set to be released in the coming weeks!
Kudos, Mr. Buffa, for another wonderful novel that mixes the zaniness of politics with the gritty side of crime. I hope others discover the wonders of your writing soon!
A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons