Larry Moran, author
While on a government-sponsored trip to Paris, Spencer Graves, a divorced midlevel government economist, has an affair with a beautiful French woman. When he returns home, the affair is used to blackmail him with the threat of a jail sentence and the loss of custody of his daughter and son. He is forced to break government rules and into unlawful activity apparently for the blackmailer financial benefit. Then the threat of physical harm to his children coerces him into contributing to an economic depression. When Spencer decides to track down the blackmailer, his search leads him back to Paris to locate the woman with whom he had the affair. While in France, Spencer is reunited with his former lover. Finally, he concludes the plot was not perpetrated by a single blackmailer for financial benefit but by a foreign government meaning to hurt the United States by destroying its economy, weakening its military, and influencing the outcome of a presidential election. When Spencer gets close to the truth, the foreign government behind the plot decides to kill him, his French mistress, and two men to whom he has mentioned the plot. After the assassination plans are executed, Spencer's notes about the blackmail, how the U.S. economy was sent into depression, and Spencer's beliefs about who was behind the plot and why come into the hands of the CIA director just days before the presidential election. Although he believes Spencer's assumptions, the director has no "smoking gun" prove. "Sometimes the bad guys are as smart as we are," an advisor tells him. The director must decide whether to make the notes and CIA findings public. Not releasing the notes would allow the foreign government to accomplish its goal, but releasing them would likely mean a man that the director neither likes nor trusts would be elected president. Invisible Influence is the story of an ordinary man caught up in extraordinary events. It is an international thriller that combines current political and economic developments with a love story, and it builds to a powerful and surprising climax.