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Dirt: An American Campaign [Kindle Edition]

Mark LaFlamme
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.95
Kindle Price: $2.99
You Save: $12.96 (81%)

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Book Description

$2.99 for Kindle only. A grieving man disappears with the body of his dead bride and threatens to topple his father's bid for the presidency.

Calvin Cotton is out of his mind. We find him at Riverside Cemetery bursting in on the darkness of the tomb. He is the son of a presidential candidate. But tonight, he is only a husband insane over the loss of his bride. He imagines her trapped within the cold clutch of the coffin and works quicker to free her. Soon, he will have her in his arms and they will vanish into the night.

Gov. Frank F. Cotton is out of his mind. He has learned of his son’s nighttime ghoulishness and panic has set in. It is the kind of sordid scandal that can bring about ruin. He’s seen good men go down in flames for less. Howard Dean with the animal scream in 2004. Edmund Muskie with the phantom tear in 1972. And if press got a hold of this? Frank F. will not let it happen.

Thomas Cashman is thinking outside the box. Given the circumstances, he finds this idea deliciously funny. A mercenary with secrets of his own, his top priority is to find young Calvin Cotton and his stiffening bride. Thomas has an unorthodox idea. He will enlist the aid of washed up novelist Billy Baylor to help understand what motivates the deranged young man he seeks.

Billy Baylor is drinking whiskey in a scrubby, downtown bar. Ultimately, he is happy because he will probably die in his sleep. It could be tonight. It could be tomorrow. Either way, it will be peaceful. He has published twelve novels and invented a new genre. He likes to call it “suburban necrophilia.” Billy Baylor has made a career out of writing about the extreme measures a man will take when pushed to madness by the loss of a love. Only one of his novels had a happy ending. He regards it as his one failure. Since his wife and daughter were killed in a car wreck, he doesn’t believe in happy endings.

Set in the early days of the primary season, "Dirt" is a fast and ugly tale of the treachery and desperation behind an American campaign. The hunt for Calvin Cotton is a sordid thrill ride along the same frozen back roads where candidates smile, shake hands and try to keep their secrets buried.

In the bid for the most powerful position in the world, one man’s dirt is another man’s gold.

Product Details

  • File Size: 411 KB
  • Print Length: 292 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Mark LaFlamme (December 17, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004FPZ4XY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,744,827 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I think outside the box" October 13, 2008
Format:Paperback
Maine writer Mark LaFlamme always delivers a plot teetering on the cliff-edge of madness. DIRT: An American Campaign is a brilliant road trip to that dark place, blending a thrilling story with keen exploration of human behavior. The story is detailed on the author's website but it needs to be outlined here so readers will know what to expect:

o CALVIN COTTON'S wife is dead and he's mad with grief and loss; we find him breaking into her tomb and taking her corpse away to recreate their happy life together.
o Calvin's father, GOVERNOR FRANK COTTON, is a contender for the Republican presidential nomination. He cannot allow his chances to be ruined by family scandal, so he brings in a mercenary, THOMAS CASHMAN, to find Calvin and effect a cover-up by any means necessary.
o Cashman, following his own roadmap to success (his explanation: "I think outside the box ... which you must admit seems appropriate, given the circumstances"), dragoons novelist BILLY BAYLOR to help him in his mission. Baylor's highly successful writing explored obsessive love, love that can't be contained on this side of death's valley. Baylor stopped writing when his wife and child were killed and now he's a drunk - but Cashman still believes in Baylor and wants his insight.
o Cashman and Baylor follow Calvin Cotton and his deteriorating prize around Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, while Gov. Cotton and his team run full steam toward Super Tuesday and the rest of the presidential primaries. The political scenes are by far the more unsavory. Sleaze? Corruption? Guilty secrets? Dirt? You'll see it all in this exciting story. "Hide your own dirt, expose the other's." Scary stuff!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars He said to his wife, "I will never let you go"! January 10, 2009
Format:Paperback
Calvin Cotton is grieving over the death of his soul-mate - not a mere spouse but rather a second half without whom Calvin cannot survive. Calvin's emotional struggle is so overwhelming that he is pushed to the very edge of sanity. He enters his wife's crypt, opens the coffin in which she has been laid to rest mere days earlier and disappears, taking her body with him on an eerie road trip to some of their favourite destinations where they had shared so much love and pleasure during their brief marriage!

But Calvin is much more than just a disturbed young man struggling with overpowering grief and mental turmoil. He's also the son of Governor Frank Cotton, currently slugging it out on the hustings looking to win the Republican Party's nomination as their candidate for the upcoming presidential elections. Frank Cotton and his slick campaign manager, Gary Orp, are only too aware that his candidacy would never withstand the scandal that would erupt if his son's actions were to surface in the media. They hire Thomas Cashman, a black ops mercenary whose past is clearly very checkered and whose own closet is not short of secrets and buried skeletons, to track down Calvin and take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that a once-buried wife remains buried and the story of his son's illness never sees the light of day!

"Dirt:An American Campaign" is a chilling horror story that deals with the offbeat topic of necrophilia. But surprisingly, it also informs and takes a mature, adult approach to providing an explanation and helping the reader to understand the possible psychological underpinnings of such a bizarre neurosis.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That's Entertainment! Just a Darn Good Read! October 31, 2008
Format:Paperback
If you want literary critique, read another review. I'm talking entertainment here. I've only finished 1/2 the book so far and while I don't know what I expected when I got this book, if the second half is anywhere near as good as the first, I'll have really enjoyed myself. I honestly couldn't wait to blab.

Politics is only the backdrop here. Whatever party you vote, you'll like this book. If parliamentary procedure puts you to sleep, not to worry. This is a 'Who Done It?' not a Manifesto.

I was surprised when I checked just now that 'potboiler' and 'page-turner' originally, in the film industry, had negative connotations. However, the reference I checked allows that in pop culture, both words can be positive. Well, potboiler and page-turner were the first two words that came to me when I looked for captions to describe the book. There's plenty of action and interest bubbling up on every page yet there's so much suspense, you can't wait to turn the page to see what happens next.

I've got enough to worry about in my life. I need to be entertained. And this book makes me HAPPY!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review Copy - But an Honest Review October 19, 2008
Format:Paperback
Although I received the book as a review copy for a special promotion, I had intended it to just be another tome in my collection. Wrong, wrong, wrong. LaFlamme had me hooked from the first paragraph. His wit in each well constructed sentence had me laughing or pondering how someone could be so imaginative from the first to last page.

Although I am a devoted Democrat, I put the Republican "Cotton for President" on my blog to promote the book. Cotton, a Governor from Maine is running in the Republican primary. When his son's wife died, Calvin the son dug up her body to take her to their last romantic rendezvous. Cotton's campaign staff pulled no stops in getting a mercenary to find Calvin, keeping the episode under wraps to avoid a scandal. In the meanwhile, scandals are uncovered with the other candidates, but at the same time, additional Cotton family skeletons are uncovered.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars What Makes Him Tick?
When I read the summary of this novel, I was intrigued: the son of a politician steals his wife's corpse from the cemetery?! Read more
Published on December 3, 2009 by Robyn Y. Demby
5.0 out of 5 stars Face paced and exciting
Dirt: An American Campaign is a high engery, fast paced novel about grief, personal connection, and political corruption. Read more
Published on March 13, 2009 by Valorie T.
5.0 out of 5 stars LaFlamme is only getting better
I've read LaFlamme's earlier books (The Pink Room and Vegetation) and so have been a big fan for awhile but this one really blew me away. Read more
Published on March 5, 2009 by Diane Fuller
5.0 out of 5 stars The votes are in! DIRT is a shoo-in!
Since I've read all of Mark LaFlamme's horror novels and Amazon Shorts, I often wonder about his dark, creative Muse. Read more
Published on October 17, 2008 by Betty L. Dravis
5.0 out of 5 stars Provocative, fast-paced, with a touch of darkness!
'Another provocative, engrossing, fast-action novel by Mark LaFlamme! Greed, deceit, unscrupulous politicians, a stolen corpse, and a tragically sympathetic protagonist blend... Read more
Published on October 13, 2008 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Be prepared : It's a real page turner!
My first sampling of Mark LaFlamme's work was time well-spent.

With thoroughly fleshed out characters, intriguing sub-plots, and twists you never saw coming, "Dirt"... Read more
Published on October 7, 2008 by Ann
5.0 out of 5 stars Dave - St Augustine Florida
DIRT: AN AMERICAN CAMPAIGN by Author Mark LaFlamme is a well-crafted work of entertaining and thought provoking fiction. Read more
Published on September 28, 2008 by Dave E
5.0 out of 5 stars Best read in a long time
Having been a Mark LaFlamme fan as well as an avid reader, for years, this is the best work LaFlamme has written to date. Read more
Published on September 25, 2008 by Gail E. Tarr
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More About the Author

Mark LaFlamme is a crime reporter and columnist at the Sun Journal in Lewiston, Maine. His weekly column Street Talk has been named both Best in Maine and Best in New England. In 2006, LaFlamme was named Journalist of the Year by the Maine Press Association.

He is the author of the novels "Worumbo," "Delirium Tremens," "The Pink Room, "Vegetation," "Asterisk: Red Sox 2089," and "Dirt: An American Campaign," as well as the short story collection "Box of Lies."

Mark stays up until dawn, sleeps until noon and takes the week of Halloween off each year. He rides a dual sport motorcycle named El Mechon and whines constantly when there's snow on the ground.

Learn more at www.marklaflamme.com
Find Mark on Facebook at facebook.com/marklaflamme1
Or at Goodreads: goodreads.com/author/show/891271.Mark_Laflamme/

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