Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Literally the Best Reviews: Duplicity

Duplicity -- Newt Gingrich & Pete Earley

Center Street Publishing
439 Pages

Whenever I see a political thriller written by former members of the government, I tend to pick them up. In my opinion, these officials will have a deeper understanding of what really happens in higher forms of government when incidents occur. If translated to the page correctly, it can had a whole level of veracity that can be difficult for outsiders to grasp. The result can be terrifying.

Newt Gingrich served as the 50th Speaker of the House of Representatives for four years, culminating a 20 year career in the House. As a ranking member of the House, he was intimately familiar with the inner workings of the government that the simple citizen may not realize, nor understand.

Duplicity takes place during a Presidential election cycle. Incumbent Sally Allworth is searching for something to set her apart from her challenger. She decides to reopen the embassy in Mogadishu for the first time since the infamous “Black Hawk Down” incident. She tasks Brooke Grant, the niece of the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to assist Gunter Connor in control of the new embassy.

Backdoor politics and bad timing lead to the overrun of the embassy by Somali criminals on the evening of a State dinner. In a hauntingly similar attack to Benghazi, some people are killed during the attack. Most of the staff is taken hostage. Meanwhile, Grant and Connor escape capture to lead the fight to regain the building and find out exactly who is behind the mission to destroy the American presence.

As this happens in during a Presidential election cycle, the opponents use various aspects as they try to get a leg up on one another. The action in Africa is broken up with the inner workings of an election, and news snippets from the campaign trail. In the end, can the sitting President overcome the apparent disaster at the embassy, or will the challenger be able to use this misstep to pave the road directly to the Oval Office?

Gingrich and Earley together write a fast-paced thriller that could very easily be a headline for major newspapers or the leading story of the 24/7 cable news cycle. The writing duo keep the action coming furiously, and all too realistic. Gingrich’s experience in the political realm as part of the leadership gives a unique twist to the story.

In an era of global unease and a growing mistrust of the United States among rogue elements of the Middle East, the narrative is scarily realistic. It may even offer some insight on what could have happened with the Benghazi attack. Every person in the book seems to have an ulterior motive and questionable ethics, which probably makes the story even more realistic.

If you’re looking for a book that will excite you and scare you, Duplicity is the book for you. Even if you don’t agree with Newt Gingrich’s politics, this book will entertain you. Hopefully, we won’t read something like this happening to any of our embassies ever again. Relegated to the world of fiction should be enough for all of us.

Craig Bacon would rather read about wonderful things than watch bad things unfold in the news. Visit @hippieboy73 on Twitter for some of those wonderful things.