Review of The Dirty Secret; Brent Wolfingbarger; Smallridge Publishing 2012; Rs 800 approx; pp 446
– Shana Susan Ninan
As you cross the first hundred pages of Brent Wolfingbarger’s debut novel, The Dirty Secret, you realise it isn’t just one dirty secret being unraveled in the story, but another major one, too. The author has delicately, and very adeptly, managed to balance a political thriller with some romance, avarice and a bit of comedy. The elections in West Virginia are going on, and there are many hands at play, waiting to tilt the scores accordingly. Lawyer Dave Anderson and newly-appointed Prosecutor Rikki G. must work against time to bring those negative forces to justice. One is a Democrat and the other a Republican. To make things more complicated, they were ex-lovers.
With a nearly-black-and-white cover, Brent reminds us of the dark clouds actually looming large over Capitol Hill. The election drama and fraud unfold at a steady pace, with lots of election and campaign jargon thrown in. For someone who’s not very knowledgeable of the American Voting System, it took a little while to grasp the intricacies within. But it was a relishing read, especially having received an author-signed copy for moi!
Having grown up in West Virginia, and being a Prosecutor himself, Brent handles the plot very neatly. He’s precise with words and small one- or two-page chapter capture the essence of each event that happens. Suddenly this quaint county in West Virginia comes to be the centre of everyone’s attention as the votes are about to be cast to find the leader.
Voting machines are rigged; cons are waiting to get their hands dirty in political crimes; political leaders are fighting hard to keep personal secrets from blowing up in public; and, amid all this, a voting and election system is questioned of its authenticity! Read all this and more in this book.