Presented as religious political fiction, this book offers an interesting premise wrapped in spirituality: A former African-American mayor unaffiliated with either political party suddenly is pressed to vie for the presidency while a repeal of the 22nd Amendment is being sought that would allow President Obama to seek a third term.
The former mayor, protagonist Curt Felton Jr., 61, is a centrist who wants to unify the country by inspiring his weekly radio show listeners to take note of sell-outs from both political parties. But while he conducts an inspiring speaking tour by bus, others conspire to hatch a sinister plot. Felton begins getting secret messages from a Deep-Throat like source about a possible government overthrow. He then becomes alarmed when a popular conservative national talk show host is shot after unexpectedly throwing his support behind him.
Little’s grammatically taut book employs ample, well-selected biblical quotes throughout to support Felton’s faith and various plot points. His main characters have depth and engaging personalities, and the evildoers are appropriately sinister. However, all the voices are virtually indistinguishable from one another until later in the book. Subplots involving Felton’s daughter, Elease, and his own romantic involvements are tepid at best.
While the novel’s characters and situations parallel present-day people and political machinations, this story builds much too slowly. What could be a thriller lags due to too much telling of events in the book’s first half rather than letting gripping action drive the plot. In addition, a surprise twist at book’s end (perhaps because of a planned sequel) seems more of a cop-out than a solid finale.
In short, Little’s book offers a thought-provoking premise. But when the story eventually builds intrigue, it’s too little too late. The novel could potentially draw a wider audience if rewritten to feature gripping action and tension from the outset.