There’s something about political books lately that I am absolutely loving, possibly as a result of the US election and new POTUS, or even because SA herself is dealing with an equally unstable political power house. Order of Succession appealed to me purely because it’s not often a story involves, both the president and his 2IC vanishing. Oh and the cover, I liked the cover. I was doubtful about my decision the moment investor jargon started to appear. I do not understand the markets. I try to, but they confuse me. Anyway. I’m glad I pursued my initial instinct to read Order of Succession, it’s absolutely brilliant
Air Force One and Air Force Two vanish within 20 minutes of each other, claiming the lives of all on board – including President Harrison and Vice President Taylor. America is reeling at the tragic and terrifying news, memories of 9/11 reigniting the islamaphobic tensions that never quite settled, as they welcome into the big seat acting President Parkes. It’s evident he is unlike any other President, his concern is hardly for the country he now leads, instead focused on lining his pockets and obtaining the greatness he’s always believed should be his.
What I liked:
“After every event, no matter how tragic and overwhelming it is, the population eventually moves ahead. People desperately want things to be as they were before. They want structure, order and normalcy”
There’s something to be said for someone who embraces the realism of humanity in their work, Thompson does not create a fanatical state, nor does he send America into the throes of mourning, he acknowledges something that I’ve seen many people question when a tragedy occurs, and this immediately appealed to me.
Of course all the more appealing was knowing that the new acting President is an absolute maniacal prick. I do so enjoy having a character to dislike from the very start, and there is very little question about my feelings toward the new acting POTUS. Giving the reader a villain so very early was a captivating move.
Another appealing aspect was some of the characters involved, Brian is an antiquities dealer who is the president’s best friend. He has no training or experience in anything related to crime or law management, he is an average joe with very little awareness for the truth behind his requested involvement in planting bugs in a fellow collectors office. Of course eventually he does find out, but the time it takes for this to happen really leaves the reader feeling quite involved in his progression.
“This guy had done nothing but cooperate. He was a civilian who happened to have been best friends with President Harrison, and they’d put him right in the middle of all this.”
I really enjoyed the pace of the book; through various characters being introduced sufficient sub-plot is provided to counteract the gradual progression of the main story. And when I say gradual here, I do not mean slow but rather a well measured balance of building suspense through little hints and clues, all of which tie up really well by the time you read the final line
What I wasn’t too sure about (because I didn’t dislike it)
Initially I did question the inclusion of a character or two, mostly because there is what felt like an absolute and definite build up to their being present throughout the story, only for them to vanish after the first few chapters to reappear at the end.
It turned out to be a really neat way to tie off the story and bring absolute closure, but was none the less a little distracting for me as I couldn’t help but wonder why there was so little about them.
I would have definitely enjoyed Amy aka Amina to have had more presence in the book. The sheer contrast between father and daughter could have been utilized far more, especially as events unfolded. Not that the lack of her presence in anyway detracts from the story line, only that I think tension could have been increased knowing that there was an internal battle amoungst a time-treasured familial relationship.
And maybe a little more about Michelle Isham… I mean, I understand the events she was involved in, and the fall out which exacerbated her depression, but maybe a little more background would have made this feel less like a filler piece and more part of the story. And not even a whole chapters, maybe a paragraph or two.
Despite my uncertainty on the characters, Order of Succession was an absolute thrill to read. I battled to put it down because I just needed to see what new tricks were up the various sleeves involved. Surprisingly there weren’t too many but at the end of the day, keeping it simple has been something we’ve all been told to do, and yet only a select few of us are able to successfully achieve. If you enjoy political thrillers where backstabbing is the order of business, definitely look to Order of Succession.
Review Rating: 4 / 5
Publisher Ascendente Books
Published Date June 24th 2016
Genre: Political Thriller