Thank you in advance for giving False Flag in Autumn a shot. I am a reader as well as a writer, and my shelf of books waiting to be read is always daunting. Time is the most precious thing a reader has, so it will mean a lot to me if you’re willing to invest half-an-hour or so in reading FFA’s first few chapters to see if the story will work for you.
I could be wrong – there’s a first time for everything – but I think it will. FFA is a Washington crime story with a heroine, Josie Kendall, who will never be mistaken for Nancy Drew. She’s a particularly charming (and wryly humorous) version of the kind of D.C. apparatchiks who actually populate not the halls of power, exactly, but the side streets and back alleys of power in these head-spinning political times. She is cheerfully manipulative, pragmatic, unapologetically ambitious, and relentlessly unsentimental (except about her devoted husband, Rafe). She says frankly that, “You don’t do politics with choir girls.” In the story’s first paragraph she tells the reader, “I have no objection to the truth, but I don’t let it push me around.”
I’m sure some readers would prefer an earnest, idealistic policy wonk with an untarnished halo – but I don’t write science fiction. In today’s Washington, earnest policy wonks don’t get to the bottom of nefarious schemes hatched by rogue White House aides. Instead, they either keep their heads down and stay on the sidelines, or end up as D.C. road-kill. By contrast, Josie compares her methods to a spikes-high slide into second base: “It ain’t pretty, but that’s the way the game is played.”
In FFA, Josie uncovers planned campaign season surprises intended to manipulate the media and control headlines. (“Welcome to Washington,” as Josie would say.) These plots, however, go beyond standard confected news efforts. They involve loud noises and body counts that will end with flags at half-staff if they succeed. Josie will have to decide whether to step out of the Beltway cocoon, where the weapons are spin, winks, and leaks, into a darker world where the weapons are actual weapons. As she puts it, the choice she makes “made me feel good – but it didn’t make me feel smart.”
I think that reading FFA will make you feel both good and smart – and I promise you’ll have plenty of fun along the way.
Title: False Flag
Genre: Political Thriller
Author: Michael Bowen
Publisher: Farragut Square Publications
Find out more on Amazon
About the Book:
Josie Kendall is an ambitious political apparatchik whose memoirs will not be titled Nancy Drew Goes to Washington. Josie has no objection to the truth—but she doesn’t let it push her around. When a rogue White House aide tries to use her as an unwitting pawn in a plot for a spectacular October surprise before the 2018 mid-term elections, Josie calls on her D.C.-insider husband, her edgy uncle, and colorful denizens of the Louisiana demi-monde to help her out-hustle the hustlers. But then Josie finds herself facing an even more daunting question: is there a false-flag attack planned in order to influence the 2020 presidential election? Josie will be forced to decide whether to venture out of the Beltway cocoon—where the weapons are leaks, winks, nudges, and spin—into a darker world where the weapons are actual weapons. Josie will end up on the side of the angels even if, Josie begin Josie, the angels play a little dirty.
About the Author:
Michael Bowen recently retired from a 39-year career as a trial lawyer. The author of nineteen published novels, as well as scholarly and political commentary, Bowen is a graduate of Harvard Law School, where he served on the Harvard Law Review. Bowen and his wife Sara, a noted lecturer on Jane Austen and Harvard Law graduate, live in Fox Point, Wisconsin.
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