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Capitol Threat    by William Bernhardt order for
Capitol Threat
by William Bernhardt
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

William Bernhardt - bestselling author of Capitol Murder - offers his readers another thrilling ride through the United States capitol. Or rather through its judicial system ... and its power brokers and lobbyists, as well as the Senate and confirmation hearings. He throws in menace and mayhem and a murder or two as a bonus to this episode in his Ben Kincaid series.

Thaddeus Roush, a District Court Judge, is named a nominee for the Supreme Court by the President. Although considered a shoo-in, Roush outs himself at a press conference and the dance is on. Trying to bring damage control into the mix, Ben Kincaid, a very junior senator, defends Roush at every turn, as more and more dirt is flung at the man. What is as engrossing as the plot is Bernhardt's bringing to light the machinations behind the scenes of the political system. The display of courtroom theater – or confirmation theater to be more exact – is balanced by the action surrounding Loving, an investigator working for Ben who faces life-threatening drama at every turn.

The pace of Capitol Threat is as exhilarating as the final vote for confirmation is maddeningly verbose. The characters portraying Washington politicians (who are supposedly governing for the good of the people) seem to be looking out for themselves first and the party line second. How anything good gets done is a miracle. I know Bernhardt is writing fiction but I feel he pulls from fact. Don't miss this blockbuster (though I hate clichés they often do accurately express a feeling) of a novel.

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