The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Globe Life

February 22, 2008

Book review: Sen. Kincaid returns in 'Capitol Conspiracy'

‘Capitol Conspiracy’

By William Bernhardt (compact disc audiobook)

Democratic Sen. Ben Kincaid of Oklahoma is back in Bernhardt’s latest political thriller.

The novel opens with the brutal torture of the chief of Homeland Security. It next switches to a ceremony honoring the dead from the Oklahoma City bombing at the Murrah Federal Building. The president, first lady and other high-ranking dignitaries are present. Security is tight. As the president approaches the podium, a shot is fired and more shots follow. Confusion ensues and Ben’s good friend Mike Morelli is critically injured in his attempt to save the president. The shots intended for the president claim 12 lives.

Terrorism is on the minds of everyone in this post-9/11 era. The president addresses the nation and proposes an amendment to the Constitution that might significantly restrict civil liberties. It could suspend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and make the Patriot Act look like child’s play with the new level of snooping it would allow.

The president asks Ben for help in garnering support for the controversial bill. Ben agrees but soon begins to doubt the terrorism theory when his wife, Christina, who is also his chief of staff, launches her own investigation. She discovers evidence that appears to point to Washington high-level connections to the shootings.

Bernhardt writes a fast-paced intense thriller with a suspenseful plot that contains conspiracy, scandal, murder, romance, and torture. Stephen Hoye’s narration is outstanding.

The novel is also available in regular print at the Joplin Public Library.

‘Death Was the Other Woman’

By Linda L. Richards (compact disc audiobook)

Los Angeles in the 1930s is the setting for this Prohibition and Depression-era mystery.

Kitty Pangborn’s privileged life changed dramatically when her father jumped to his death after the stock market crash. Kitty had attended private schools, where she became well-versed in all of the social graces, but she soon found she lacked the skills necessary for a job in the real world. Despite this fact, Dexter Theroux, a hard-drinking, tough-talking private investigator, hired Kitty as his secretary/receptionist/Girl Friday.

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