The collision between political corruption and corporate greed makes for newsworthy headlines, but is even more riveting as the background for Brian Haig's latest thriller, THE CAPITOL GAME. In his eighth novel, the author draws on his considerable military and business experience to create an engrossing tale that has all the makings of a bestseller.
"The clandestine deals and intricate plots that are often insinuated during political campaigns come to life in THE CAPITOL GAME."
After 22 years in the Army, including four years as Special Assistant to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Haig worked in the private sector as a corporate executive. In 2001, he published his first novel, SECRET SANCTION, and has been writing a bestseller every year since. With his rich and varied background, his knack for crisp and witty dialogue, and his talent for creating memorable characters, THE CAPITOL GAME is sure to follow that winning pattern.
When it is believed that a little known company has developed a polymer capable of rendering whatever it covers with an impervious armor shield, there seems to be a golden opportunity for a smart financier to make a bundle. Add to that the fact that the company is having money problems, and it becomes the perfect target for a takeover by one of the giant holding companies. Described as relentless, ambitious and ruthless, these leveraged buyout boys live to find a company in trouble so they can give it a death blow and then take it over. Enter Jack Wiley, who is prepared to bring them an offer that they can't refuse.
He walks into the den of vipers confident, smart and fearless. The LBOs never lose, so they take him and his proposal very lightly. But Jack is a larger-than-life character. Think Jack Reacher, Joe Pike and Hawk. Yet he's not a private detective or a stoic cop. He's a Wall Street banker. And throughout this fascinating novel, he does not disappoint. His background is impeccable, his rise to partner at an established investment firm is enviable, and his plan to make a billion dollars is brilliant. Even when the author leads him into some murky waters, the reader will refuse to believe that Jack is anything but a hero. And he is always one step ahead of the bad boys.
The Capitol Group, on the other hand, consists of some stereotypical corporate types that Haig nails with gusto. From the sleazy CEO who bugs his own boardroom to the toadying sycophants who are at his beck and call, we look forward to the day that they get their comeuppance. How Jack baits the hook and reels these characters in makes for a challenging, mind-boggling story. While there is plenty of inside looks into the world of corporate takeovers and government cover-ups, there's not a bit of unnecessary or dry detail. Everything moves the story along.
Rounding out the cast of characters are government functionaries and VIPs who include members of the President's inner circle. The clandestine deals and intricate plots that are often insinuated during political campaigns come to life in THE CAPITOL GAME. And, as in real life, the inevitable denials and disclaimers only serve to make the guilty appear more guilty. In addition to giving us an informative look into the world of big business, and introducing us to some characters who we hope to run into again, Brian Haig has created a great story, free of vulgarity and gratuitous smut. I look forward to reading some of his earlier works.
Reviewed by Maggie Harding on December 26, 2010