Lee Rogers is a governor, now running for a Senate seat. He has a history of infidelity. And like any politician who manages to be successful despite some checkered behavior he has a good political fixer working behind the scenes. For Lee, that’s Barton Brock.
Brock is currently working hard on Rogers’ campaign when the Senator runs into an old flame and her stunning 18 year old daughter who wants to get experience as a videographer and would also like to work on Rogers’ campaign. Barton doesn’t think it’s a good idea, for some obvious reasons (it’ll likely make his job much more difficult), but Rogers will get his way.
Brock Barton will have his own interactions with a beautiful young woman when he meets Elizabeth deCarlo in a McDonald’s and he takes her away from the fast food franchise as he suspects she’s better suited to political machinations. A couple of double-crosses proves him correct.
Things don’t bode well for the women in this political thriller, but when Elizabeth decides she’s had enough and goes into seclusion without telling anyone, the impression is that she’s gone missing and the Rogers political camp may have had something to do with it.
I’ll be honest, it was Brian DePalma’s name on this book that first caught my interest. Then it was that stunning, throwback cover art that drew me in. And I’ve been really interested in reading some classic noir fiction and I thought that this would be a really great time.
DePalma certainly has experience in storytelling and the book sure feels like a screenplay that’s been adapted to a book format. Not that I have a problem with that, but it would be fun to see DePalma write straight for the novel. Part of writing for the screen is moving the story along quickly because you have a very specific amount of time to tell the story and drive the action, and this carries over. The storylines move along quickly and we don’t spend much time developing characters – they are pretty much who we think they are when we first meet them.
That beautiful cover art doesn’t really fit the tone of the book. This isn’t a noir thriller … it’s a political thriller, and there’s definitely a difference in form and style. Still, this was a fun, quick read.
Looking for a good book? Are Snakes Necessary? by Brian DePalma and Susan Lehman is a fast-paced political thriller with some stereotyped characters and some clever plotting.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.
* * * * * *
Are Snakes Necessary?
authors: Brian DePalma and Susan Lehman
publisher: Hard Case Crime
hardcover, 224 pages