Genre: Political Thriller
“It is the summer of 2004, and pristine antebellum homes, once the refuge of wealthy New Orleanians seeking to escape yellow fever, sit proudly along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. But beyond this tranquil setting and the seductive Gulf breeze, there are secrets, never revealed, that still remain a threat.
Following an interview with a U.S. Senator and leading presidential candidate, a young journalist will have cause to wonder if a killer could soon occupy the White House.
While Jonathan Burke attempts to link the Mississippi senator to the secret Sovereignty Commission, an agency whose mission was to destroy the entire civil rights movement within the state, he stumbles upon the unsolved murder of a ten-year-old black girl. When he becomes obsessed with solving this thirty-year-old murder, he is forced to examine his past and the real reasons for this obsession. Soon it becomes clear to Jonathan that this is a place where heat still lingers, hate still simmers, and secrets from the past must never be revealed.”
“Elizabeth Smith is an artist and writer. Following a career in advertising, she taught middle school and high school. She is the author of seven novels and currently lives in South Carolina with her husband, Don.”
For more, visit her website.
An intense political thriller that as a starting point uses something that apparently really happened, a “secret Sovereignty Commission” designed to stop the civil rights movement back in the 60s and 70s. Years later, when details starting coming out, it led to some serious criminal charges (up to murder) against some of those involved. This story imagines the story is on the verge of coming out and what some might do to try and prevent it. As I’d hope, it keeps you wondering how it is going to turn out and whether those who appear to be guilty will pay an appropriate price.
In some ways the reader is setup to hope and expect certain things will happen near the end, enough that had they not happened it would have been a disappointment. Given the number of years the person who was the obvious villain had been a bad guy I don’t think it would have been possible or credible for him to suddenly turn out to be a good guy, so if he came out unscathed it would be an issue. Hopefully I haven’t said too much, but will say that how things turn out isn’t going to be exactly as the reader pictured. The ultimate resolution might not be quite where it felt like the story was heading. Yet, in the end, you’ll find the resolution to be satisfying as well as surprising.
No significant issues.
Rating: **** Four Stars
Reviewed by: BigAl
Approximate word count: 75-80,000 words