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Capitol Conspiracy    by William Bernhardt order for
Capitol Conspiracy
by William Bernhardt
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

It's Washington, D.C. at a time just after the Bush administration. A new President wants to change the constitution via an amendment that would take away civil rights. A junior Senator, Ben Kincaid (newly married and yet to take a honeymoon) is thrust into the limelight by an act of terrorism. Capitol Conspiracy, William Bernhardt's sequel to Capitol Threat, gives readers another thrilling ride through the U.S. capitol.

And what a conspiracy it is. Fledgling Senator Ben Kincaid is convinced that the amendment is in the country's best interests in order to prevent further attacks from foreign agents (though his wife is against it, she backs his position.) But was the latest attack planned and executed by foreigners? The plot of Capitol Conspiracy is extremely convoluted but easily followed, with action that never seems to allow the reader to catch a breath. Extreme violence is portrayed it's hard to believe that anyone could even dream up such acts of cruelty.

Ben is an Oklahoma defense attorney, Bernhardt also is from Oklahoma. His trial experience shines from the pages of his books. His characterizations are right on the money. It seems as though everyone wants a little bit of the power bestowed on them by being a part of the Washington scene. Many times, a little bit of power is not enough. Bernhardt makes Ben learn the hard way that the life of a Senator is a lot of give and take, mostly take. Ben is still too caught up in the wonder of being a senator in Washington to realize that holding office is not what he expected it to be.

References in the story made to past Presidents including the current one bring events into present day focus. It's a powerful novel by an author who has a lot to say and has found a wonderful way to both entertain and get his points across. There's deceit, scandal, conspiracy, murder, torture, suspense, abduction, with a touch of romance thrown in. Capitol Conspiracy is an excellent read - don't miss it.

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