Publication Date: July 25, 2012
In The Faithless by Allan Airish, Jack Patton’s father dies he leaves his son, his most prized possession, the pen with which he signed his vote for President as a member of the Electoral College. Jack’s father always impressed upon him that it only takes 270 votes to win the presidency and knows that his father’s fondest wish would be for him to follow in his footsteps. It turns out that becoming a member of the Electoral College may be a more difficult task than he thought — and one he may not survive.
The Faithless has a scary and wonderful feel of real events. Airish gives us the impression that this is an author who knows what he is speaking of. Looking at the plot of this novel head-on, it may seem a bit of a miss. The Faithless was, in fact, one of the more fascinating books I’ve read to review for this blog to date. Behind the scenes is a vast conspiracy to manipulate the votes of the Electoral College and steal the election. These dark forces will stop at nothing to achieve their goals.
Devious bad guys are always fascinating but the villains in this novel go that extra step. The planning and intelligence that goes into creating these characters truly astound this reader. We travel through the election with the baddies as they trial-and-error their way to what they hope will be a win. How can they move the varied members to deliver the state to their candidate? Add to this mix, truly strong female power players. Candace was a character that could have been very easy for the author to write by making her read more as a male character, but Airish makes her a credible strong — though we know about her what we see and how she conducts herself.
Vera Lynn, Jack’s sister, is the true female power-player for the good guys. It is clear from the start that if her father had been able to see beyond his only son, she would have been the horse to back for the Electoral College. She’s smart, canny and is satisfied manipulating the political field behind the scenes. When Jack is ready to give up, she pushes him on. They may have had their differences at the beginning of the novel, but when she sees that he’s serious in honoring their father in a way he would have loved, Vera Lynn is ready to go and ready to win.
The Faithless was originally released as a five-part serial and I cannot imagine the agony of having to wait for the next installment. The Faithless is fast paced with fully realized characters and realistic motivations. This reader came away from this book feeling (if not in actuality) like a person who knows more about the political process and how the Electoral College works.
The Faithless: A Political Thriller by Allan Airish is one of those five-star novels for which a new scale should be created.
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