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Reviewed by Martina Svyantek for Readers' Favorite
Steve Piacente’s “Bootlicker” begins with a harsh crime set in 1992; the reporter Dan Patragno is on scene late at night to gather information on a domestic crime before the next edition of the paper hits the streets. His work on the crime beat ends when he is transferred to cover the latest political campaigning going on in South Carolina, delving into the darkest portions of American Southern history and heritage. Each character brilliantly brought to life by Piacente helps create this interwoven tapestry of deceit and politics, all with the faint possibility of redemption in some far distant future.
I found this story to be a heart-breaking tale of guilt and choices. From the very first page, I was drawn into the hot and muggy world of South Carolina and its political scene in the early nineties. There is so much attention given to detail and the scene is so perfectly set that I found myself immersed into this setting and unable to put the book down. The intrigue, the quest for truth and justice, and the budding romance hits notes that are both edgy and familiar all at once. For those who lived during any of the political scandals in the recent years, this transcends what the public could imagine going on behind closed doors in Washington. Anyone who enjoys a good political thriller, or what I think of as the stories of “right, wrong, and what’s just plain convenient at the time” should enjoy this latest book from Steve Piacente immensely.