This was an enjoyable book, and a page turner, even if it’s a bit predictable, and contained a few large holes in the plot logic. The basic idea is that there’s a group of incarcerated older judges in a federal prison, who with nothing left to loose, concoct a blackmail scam. They use their lawyer as a mule for gay hook-up themed “penpal” letters. After some private investigator work, also initiated by their lawyer, they try to discover the real identities of their correspondents, looking for in-the-closet married men that are nicely blackmailable.
This blackmail story is intertwined with story of a senator who is determined by the head of the CIA, to be “so clean” that he is a good candidate to secretly finance for a can’t lose presidential run. I found that idea to be pretty naive and comical, as it goes against my suspicion that many politicians win their selections because they can’t be compromised, but are pushed to positions of head-clown and distraction-chiefs precisely because they are compromised. In this book, this new would be presidential candidate selection is promised the job if he exclusively pushes a help the military become great again agenda, which will be aided by convenient terrorism incidents, and massive sums of PAC money from military-industrial people and individuals. Clearly Mr So Clean, is intrinsically dirty under the covers, as he has no objections to people dying in these engineered terrorism incidents if it gets him into the presidential role. Of course, he’s also been secretly participating in some gay procurement penpal letters courtesy of the judges, and you can tell it’s only a matter of time before his true identity becomes known to the judges, and they get ready for their best blackmail haul.
Complicating things for the judges is the fact that the CIA watches their soon to be president carefully, and they discover the blackmail plot to be before their man, and intercept the situation. The lawyer is first paid off and then taken out, and eventually the CIA director swings presidential pardons (from the lame duck president, in exchange for past favors) for the judges, and gets them all paid off and safely out of the country.
It’s a kind of weird ending, because the soon to be president has been saved from blackmail (by resources and gobs of CIA dirty black money), and the judges are out of jail. Everybody wins except the letter mule lawyer who was taken out while attempting to run with some of that CIA cash. This “good ending” obscures the fact that the new president is a scumbag that didn’t have any trouble killing a pile of innocents to get the job. In that respect, he’s not much different than Trump, Obama, either of the Clintons, or either of the Bushes.
I enjoyed this book, but it assembled some strange conspiracy-theory style themes, in ways that just don’t make sense.