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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
Candidates, Cartel, and Chaos by Sterling Emmal features elements of crime and political thriller. Set against the backdrop of a future USA in 2020, we are introduced to a very compelling set of characters, a cartel, and an unusual run for the presidency of the US. Scott Redwinn is the Speaker of the House and a very close associate of the US president. President Victor Jaimason finds no strong opposition as he runs for another term of office, but a series of events suddenly pits him against the Speaker of the House. It starts when Scott picks up a prostitute, then gets himself involved with a cartel when they take the prostitute, together with his wife. When Scott decides to declare his candidacy for the office of president, he isn’t aware of what he is about to unleash.
This is an amazing story and I enjoyed the intertwining of the subplots and the complex nature of the relationships between the characters in this novel. The conversation between Tokyo and Slash (and you’ll want to know who he is) is intriguing and readers will want to understand her connection to the Mexican cartel that Scott is determined to destroy. The conflict moves fast, the tension builds up quickly and escalates. We meet Scott and Tokyo and then Scott’s wife, Savannah, disappears and Scott’s life begins to spiral downhill. But it’s just the beginning of an intense, emotionally strong narrative. Sterling Emmal succeeded in keeping my full attention from one page to the next engrossing one, telling a story that is fast-paced, entertaining and gripping. It is a great read for fans of thrillers with compelling characters.