An online marketing consultant, an avid reader of 400 + books a year. Professional reader, reviewer, and blogger. Enjoy ARCs and new releases.
By: Lis Wieh
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Fiction
Publication Date: 10/4/2016
My Rating: 4 Stars
A special thank you to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Lis Wiehl returns following The Newsmakers, (2014) with THE CANDIDATE, a continuation of her riveting series featuring an unstoppable heroine, Newscaster Erica Sparks, we met in The Newmakers #1; Blonde, beautiful, driven and sharp. A mother. A haunted past. A daughter. A second chance.
A journalist who wants to be her best. Uncovering the truth, no matter where it leads. To shine the light of fairness on injustice and inequality. At the same time stand up to the high and mighty.
This time, around, Erica is powerful and respected- she’s the host of the highest rated news show in the country. Someone is watching her. Where things are not as they seem. The Presidential campaign. How far will a candidate go to become president?
Erica has a nightly news show, The Erica Sparks Effect, with a superior reputation. From book one we catch up with Greg, the man she loves, currently in Australia, working crazy hours to help launch a cable news network. She misses him – they have been apart for three months. There is also her best friend, Moira Connelly, a fellow reporter – now an evening co- anchor on a local LA station.
Previously, Erica exposed Nylan Hastings, the psychopath inThe Newsmakers and now her new boss, Mort Silver wants to see her show on top. He is not pleased with the numbers.
The presidential campaign is heating up and Erica wants to be a part of it. She needs to keep her career certain at GNN. She needs a big story.
We also catch up with Jenny, Erica’s daughter, now a pre-teen. Jenny feels neglected and sometimes can be resentful, but Erica has to work hard in order to pay for her school and their apartment. She recently transitioned from her father and friends in Massachusetts to New York. The demands of her job are staggering, a pressure cooker. She has to find more time for Jenny. She has an excellent staff but needs a personal assistant.
There are also the dark things. When introduced to Erica in the first book, she continues to hear haunting mocking voices from her mother. It spreads like a toxic spill deep into her psyche. She always feels like something terrible is going to happen. The slip in her ratings and the driving pressure she feels to deliver a big story has only exacerbated her night terrors.
Celeste went to Stanford and then Stanford law, and then the Harvard B-school, and then into international banking where she became Wall Street’s go-to person (with friend Lily Lau) making her own vast fortune.
And now she is married to California Senator Mike Oritz,who stands a very good chance of becoming the next president of the United States. Which of course, will make Celeste the most powerful person in the world. With Lily Lau—who will be named President Oritz’s chief of staff by her side.
Celeste is a powerful an intriguing woman in her own right—heiress to a car dealership, and international banker specializing in China markets. She has put her own career on hold to work for her husband’s campaign to which she has donated twenty million dollars. The couple is glamorous and powerful.
Mike is a war hero, a marine in Iraq and was elected to Congress. Determined to return to Iraq and was kidnapped. He escaped. He has enormous political talent.
A bomb. Erica was there. Dead and injured. Evil in the world. Fifteen people died in the Buchanan bomber attack, forty-two injured, eight in critical condition. The country is reeling. She flashes back to the Staten Island ferry crashed that launched her career. Is it possible this horrific act was also orchestrated by unseen forces who want Erica to be on the scene? Can she trust the people at GNN?
Something happened before the bomb blast, she cannot put her finger on it. She can’t remember. Something is not right. She tries to recall what stuck in her mind. Something to do with Mike Ortiz. But, what? It was also like the possible next President of the US needed his wife’s permission to speak.
She hates the network’s obsession with ratings at a time like this. She is ambitious but she never wants it to cross the line into ruthless. The Erica Sparks Effect is treated with respect and integrity. No games.
The bombing upended the presidential campaign and needs to be ready to hop on a plane at a moment’s notice. The FBI, CIA, and Department of Justice are trying to identify the bomber. Who stands to gain the most from the Buchanan’s death?
What is with Celeste and Lau's relationship? Power? Erica knows evil and power from nailing Nylan Hastings. She is having trouble sleeping and jumps at every noise, worried about Jenny’s safety on the streets of New York.
Erica begins studying her file on Mike Ortiz. His working class upbringing, an activist, community organizer, his tour duty in the second Iraq War, his subsequent election to Congress and marriage to heiress and banker Celeste Pierce.
Also his capture and incarceration by Al-Qaeda while on a humanitarian mission to Iraq. His subsequent escape made him a national hero and propelled him into the Senate. A compelling story – one which may carry him to the White House.
She still is fascinated with the power dynamics with his wife. His wife seems to have a great deal of control over him. She seems strange. Brilliant and driven but Erica senses rage lurking behind the polished surface.
Mike says he was tortured and threatened and once he escaped made the decision to fight. A purpose, a mission. To inspire every American to join him in the fight to make their country a more, perfect union. What really happened when he was held, prisoner? Who is in control? Why? Erica is determined to find answers.
Someone is threatened by her investigation, as Erica closes in. The debate. The moderator. A race against the clock.
With the nation’s future at stake, Erica is determined to bring down the conspiracy, and psychopath attempting to take over the presidency, and at the same time puts herself and her daughter in danger, while her own past threatens her. Will she be able to outsmart them before it is too late,and bring the truth to light?
An action-packed political suspense thriller of power, and intrigue! A nice balance of personal/professional with Greg and Erica’s relationship. (a happy ending). She has grown tremendously since the last book with her demons and enjoyed the mother/daughter dynamics with Jenny. Also, fun catching up with BFF, Moira. A smart chilling suspense series with a dynamic protagonist!
An avid fan of Lis Wiehl, and Wiehl of Justice FOX News Radio- One of the nation’s most prominent trial lawyers and highly regarded commentators, she is also the host of the podcast which is always fun and juicy--featuring other crimes, and crime authors.
In addition, I have enjoyed reading Wiehl's previous books: Mia Quinn mystery series, and Snapshot an enthralling tale of good versus evil, inspired by actual historical events, civil rights movement, and injustice-- landing on my Top Books of 2014 —while anxiously awaiting her next upcoming new release.
Wiehl’s books are plot-driven, edgy, fast-paced suspense; featuring strong yet, flawed heroines, faced with numerous obstacles, striving for justice. From lies, deceit, menace, corruption, and power. You can come to expect to meet an evil twisted villain.