The investigator is hunting down the facts, which leads him to the curious matter of a government official named Kevin Pendleton, who seemingly died by suicide, as well as the whereabouts of a document Pendleton wrote called "The Plot To Save America." The investigator follows a series of clues that Tenison leaves him to uncover a conspiracy, each of them connected to a horrifying vision of America where being a feminist merits a domestic terrorism charge, immigrants are executed en masse, and all Black people are scheduled to be deported to Africa. Despite the political focus, Azrieli doesn't skimp on the suspense or action, including a brutal fight with a poison-ring-wielding agent and a showdown on a plane.
The nightmarish scenario Azrieli creates is extreme, though this dystopia’s roots in an actual effort to thwart the peaceful transfer of power make it all the more disturbing. Although the happy ending feels tacked-on, and less realistically developed than the rest of the novel's events, readers of political thrillers who aren’t onboard with Trumpism—or this exaggerated forecast of what it could have become—will likely find relief in the tidy conclusion in a story so chock full of terrifying events. This portrayal of an America with a totalitarian at the helm is at its most effective when describing how, given the right set of circumstances, otherwise reasonable people do horrible things.
Takeaway: A searing procedural thriller imagining Trump held onto power after January 6.
Great for fans of: Leni Zumas’s Red Clocks, Hilary Jordan’s When She Woke.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: B