#MTW2017 The Candidate by Lis Weihl

Reviewed by: TBBManiac Robs
I have not read many journalist/political thrillers, in fact to my recollection, before The Candidate, the only other one was David Baldacci’s Target. The thing with political thrillers, at least in my experience with all two I’ve read, and why they grab hold of me and never seem to loosen their grip; it all seems so achingly possible. As far-fetched as is may appear on paper, reading the responses and actions of characters, seeing the human reaction, I can’t help but wonder; What if?

We are introduced to two very different female lead characters, Celeste – a rich and powerful wife to Senator Mike Ortiz who is currently running for president, and Erica – a determined and successful journalist who is battling to balance career and parenthood. A bomb upends the presidential campaign Erica is sent to cover and she soon finds herself battling an unknown force which seems intent on ensuring that any and all leads she may have, quickly find an end.

What I liked:

1.   I’m not a feminazi, I really am not – but I kinda got a kick out of the whole subservient Senator relying on his wife deal. It’s quite a fresh approach which I’ve yet to come across

2.   How bizarre is the Celeste/Lily angle!? Good lord I’m perplexed and confused. Like. Is there something more between them? Was she under Lily’s control like Mike was? It made a fascinating play on character dynamics that had me completely enthralled.

3.   Female leads with insecurity issues can be problematic for me, see all too often they have no reason to be insecure, at least not as they’re portrayed. However, Erica is the exception. As I read I felt as though she and I were one and the same. There were a number of similarities I immediately related to and I appreciated that SO much. She can’t cook. I LOVE IT!

4.   Just when you think everything is gonna level out and be sane, BOOM. A bomb or an assassination or a murder/suicide. LOTS of booms and bangs. I like that. A lot.

5.   Also, journalism often gets this squeaky clean tint to it in books, while actually being an underworld of backstabbing and brutish means to obtain a story. It’s been lekker (south African slang for good/nice) having a journo who is focused on the ethics of her job and not solely the story

6.   It’s an interesting look into the techniques that are supposedly used by national security agencies. I’d love to know how real it is.

What I disliked

1.      The Candidate is book two of a series, it can be read as a standalone book, however there are a number of references to experiences that Erica has from Book 1, The Newsmakers. Now, I really prefer to feel like I have a total grasp on what exactly is being referred to, so here I felt a little confused and out of it. Not necessarily a complete dislike, but more a… wish-I’d-paid-attention-and-found-book-1-first-kinda deal.

2.   Josh. That entire thing is just a no for me. I mean, a) NO woman falls that quickly. B) He has no impact on the story line, on our Erica, no purpose. Why?? Don’t get me started on the Greg dynamic though… argh.

3.   Erica and Jenny’s relationship kinda bugged me because, well, you’re daughter is miff with you yeah? You know this, you know you can fix things, and you want to fix it, but then… don’t? I dunno you, it could have been a little more of a focus for Erica, if for no other reason than allowing the bond between mom & daughter to strengthen which’d have made the last part of the book so much more intense.

4.   Sadly, the copy of the book I received wasn’t formatted or edited too well. Lines were not justified, which made it a just a wee bit uncomfortable to read. Spelling and grammar errors were there as well, though I will admit I try not to let that get to me, perfection is a wonderful thing to strive for, but hardly 100% obtainable.


Lis Weihl has provided a story which is gripping and intense, it’s attention grabbing and allows the imagination to run wild as you try to figure out the next twist in the tale.

If you enjoy reading about twisted psychopaths intent on world domination at any cost necessary – give The Candidates a go. It’s fast paced with an eerie connection to real world issues which we may very well run the risk of one day experiencing first hand. And considering the new POSTUS… well, yeah. I’ll sign off there.

Review Rating: 3/5

More Information:

Published by: Thomas Nelson

Published Date: October 4, 2016

Genre:  Suspense / Thriller




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