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The Bishop in the West Wing: A Blackie Ryan Story    by Andrew Greeley order for
Bishop in the West Wing
by Andrew M. Greeley
Order:  USA  Can
Forge, 2003 (2002)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, CD
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Bishop Blackie Ryan is summoned to the White House because newly elected President Jack McGurn and his staff are plagued with a poltergeist in the West Wing! The President hopes that Blackie can, in his infinite wisdom, chase this annoying twit back to where it came from.

Blackie, who scorns what he considers the comic bishops' robes, connects with the poltergeist but can't seem to aid what he considers to be a soul in torment. He feels there is an instigator who is using this poltergeist for his own nefarious reasons. In the meantime, the President is accused of sexual misconduct as well as of hiring degenerates. Radicals are determined to drive this man from office.

The background of the West Wing is as fascinating as the story line. The everyday workings of our country are ever changing, bringing new and different crises that must be dealt with. And Greeley gives us a good picture of the exhausting details that keep the system of government functioning. The quick pace of this book flows with purpose from one crisis to another - with a sense of humor intact at all times. As always, Andrew Greeley creates memorable characters and uses them to their full potential. I especially liked Travels at Night, the Native American who is in love with Jack McGurn's son.

The Bishop in the West Wing is the latest in the Blackie Ryan series. If you've now read them all, start on one of Greeley's other series. This man is a gifted writer who delves into questions of faith. The machinations of government receive the same insightful consideration.

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