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    Review of POLITICAL SUICIDE by Alan Russell

    St. Martin's Minotaur, December 2003

    Will Travis is a different kind of private detective. While other detectives chase down criminals or get the dirt on cheating husbands, Will analyzes restaurants, noting servers who pocket the tab, who fail to upsell the customer, or who simply don't provide prompt enough service. It's a decent job for a guy with a great memory and a great ability to notice things. But while on the job, Will notices something definitely not right--a man distracts a woman he met at the bar and then drugs her drink. Will moves in for the rescue and finds himself in the midst of big problems. The woman, Claire Harrington, believes that her father was murdered and has been making noises about the murder being connected to a presidential candidate. When the abductor pulls a gun, Claire and Will find themselves on the run--without a clue.

    Author Alan Russell does a wonderful job with his character development for Will Travis. His notes to himself during restaurant and bar analysis are telling and describe the character far better than paragraph after paragraph of description. Alan's Korean assistant is a minor character but makes a charming counterpart to the serious Will. Russell's smooth writing kept me intrigued through the story, wanting to find out what happens next--all the way to the bang-up conclusion.

    I did find, however, that the criminal plot was a triffle too convoluted and the resolution didn't quite convince me. As he was described by Russell, I don't think the 'candidate' would have made the choice he made. So, POLITICAL SUICIDE isn't perfect but it definitely makes for an enjoyable read. Pretty darned good.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 3/22/04

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