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Deadly Election (Asian Intrigue Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
By Arthur Crandon
283 pp. Acid Publications.
A novel about greed, murder and political intrigue.
Arthur Crandon has produced in “Deadly Election” a nearly unputdownable read about one of the many treasures the withdrawing Japanese were rumored to have hidden in the Philippine countryside over 70 years ago, and its effect on a modern day Pilipino election.
At the promised return of General Douglas MacArthur, one of the fabled General Yamashita treasures is hidden in a cave near the Spanish-style town of Vigan. Pilipino witnesses from a nearby village are raped and murdered by the retreating Japanese, their bodies thrown into the cave just before the entrance is sealed and camouflaged.
Seventy years later, three young men stumble upon the bone filled cave and its treasure of Spanish doubloons. Overwhelmed by their discovery, they seek the assistance of the area's cacique, Senator Enrique Consuelo, the leading candidate in the upcoming presidential election. Not a stranger to the darker arts of deceit, violence, murder and corruption, Consuelo has his men take the youngsters to the cave, murder them and steal the treasure. Unbeknownst to the Senator's thugs, an out of luck expat witnesses the incident from afar while on a hike with his child.
Preparing an intricate fail-safe system, the expat approaches the Senator with the intention of extorting a part of the treasure. Consuelo orders him killed and the order gives way to a chase that ultimately triggers the fail safes, a number of envelopes mailed to the authorities when the expat fails to keep to his contact schedule.There ensue secondary but very germane plots including an illicit love affair of the expat's wife with one of Consuelo's men, the expat's own affair resulting from his loveless marriage, a money laundering Afghan diplomat, and the political machinations of the Senator's enemies. The action flows until the very last few sentences of the surprising denouement.
Reading "Deadly Election" carried me back to tales of winter nights in the Balkans listening to the stories of traveling poets around the fireplace of a stone cottage. Crandon establishes his story-telling mastery and rhythm from the onset, with a twist: an evident expertise in the Pilipino culture. Being very familiar with the way Pilipinos think and express themselves, I took in both the narrative and the dialogue with the relish and mirth of the initiated. That said, even a person who knows nothing about the Philipines could easily follow the story's patterns, learning from an expert on this interesting Asian culture. "Deadly Election" is definitely one of the novels you should read this year.
(Include in other than blog) About the reviewer: Dan Santos is a former American diplomat and US Army infantry officer recently turned novelist. He just published his own action-adventure novel "Insurrection: Appalachian Command".
This book is fairly violent, and has a surprising amount of sex, often pretty graphic. In fact, some of it seemed gratuitous because people were having sex at times where it seemed like about the last thing they should be doing. Felt a little like the author thought "Time for a sex scene here to keep people interested". Not bad, but a little clumsy sometimes. One caution: One of the graphic sexual scenes involves a child very early in the book. The author could have made his point much less graphically, and I'm not sure what his thinking was, but once you get past it, the rest of the scenes involve consenting adults.
Not a bad choice overall for a Kindle book.
NOTE: When I give a book 3 stars, it means its a good book. There's a lot of over-starring on Amazon IMHO. To me, 5-stars is Don Quixote.
Worth the readers time.