- Summaries (3)
Pete St. John is a powerful and successful political consultant, with clients spread around the country. When his long-time friend and client, Ohio senator Sam Hastings, decides to quit politics, he is rapidly drafted to help with the campaign of the man destined to succeed him, unknown and mysterious businessman Jerome Cade. In parallel, and unaware of the potential dangers, he proceeds to unravel the mystery surrounding Hastings dropping out, with the aide of his ex-wife, a prominent Washington-based journalist. But interests more powerful than local arm wrestling are at stake, and things start going awry.
Pete St. John, assisted by his right hand woman Sydney Betterman, can command a high price for his services due to his success as a freelance political campaign strategist. He generally doesn't care about the political stripes of his clients, he only caring about getting the job done which will ensure his continuation in the business. Pete used to work for Wilfred Buckley until a professional disagreement led to Pete deciding to start his own consulting business, Wilfred who is now a friendly rival for the same pool of clients. During what is a midterm election year, Pete has among his clients: Washington Governor Andrea Stannard who is being attacked by her main opponent for her personal home situation rather than her politics; wealthy New Mexico gubernatorial candidate Wallace Furman, whose main obstacles to an election night win are not being a native New Mexican and having little personal charisma; and Roberto Cepeda, a Presidential candidate in a strife and violence-ridden but oil-rich South American country. Pete, however will not be working on the campaign of his friend Ohio Senator Sam Hastings, who is retiring due to an undisclosed serious health issue. That retirement leads to Pete being sought out by political neophyte Jerome Cade, who is looking to win Hastings' vacated seat. Cade portrays himself as a newer version of the popular Hastings except for one fundamental difference. Pete was approached to work on Cade's campaign by Arnold Billings, who operates his own PR firm with Cade one of his clients. Through this election season, Pete has several encounters with his ex-wife, investigative journalist Ellen Freeman as she works the politics beat. The issue which she believes doesn't pass the smell test is the reason for Hastings' retirement. Pete and Ellen divorced not because they didn't love each other, but because their respective jobs left them little time to have an actual relationship. Through this election cycle, Pete may get a different perspective of his work and of his clients in particular, especially when he learns that an unknown someone is monitoring his every move without coming right out and telling him so.
After a close friend drops out of politics, a political consultant helping to find a replacement finds a web of corruption and deceit as well.
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