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The Lafayette Campaign: a Tale of Deception and Elections (Frank Adversego Thrillers Book 2) Kindle Edition
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About the Author
- Publication date : June 30, 2015
- File size : 1819 KB
- Print length : 424 pages
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publisher : Starboard Rock Press; 1st edition (June 30, 2015)
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Language: : English
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- ASIN : B010RF882O
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #360,551 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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There is little that does not appear to come from media reports and the pacing, at first, is somewhat tedious as if the author needed to fill pages rather than tell a story.
This is the second Updegrove book I have read and it merely perpetuates the same inane tone of the first.
I do not recommend it to anyone except those progressives with time to waste.
I write letters on paper with a fountain pen.
I only recently acquired a cellphone, which I use mostly to take pictures because I don’t understand any of the other apps it came loaded with.
My laptop is, in my hands, little more than a glorified typewriter keyboard.
(I have figured out how to watch videos on it, but since my laptop is an ASUS its DVD player only works about half the time and, lately, not at all but that’s a rant for another day and another place.)
I mention all of this because, given my lack of familiarity with all things high-tech, I don’t often read novels about people who use computers to commit crimes.
Author Andrew Updegrove may have changed my mind about that, however. His novel “The Lafayette Campaign” is full of high-tech stuff, to be sure, but it’s also full of interesting characters, has a strong narrative voice, and contains just enough humor to make it amusing without distracting from the plot.
His novel - which seems particularly relevant today - centers around efforts to electronically manipulate a U.S. Presidential election. As I noted before, it is filled with "techspeak," which would normally baffle me, but Updegrove writes in such an easy style that even a troglodyte like me can understand it.
More importantly, beyond the passages about computer hacking there is a very human story featuring a protagonist who is different from most heroic figures. He's a loner but, unlike the fictional Jack Reacher, he isn't alone by choice. He is, in fact, socially awkward, aging, balding, and out of shape. He is a little bit famous because in a previous adventure he actually did save the world by using his computer and analytical skills but few people would recognize him if they passed him on the street.
When “The Lafayette Campaign” begins Updegrove’s protagonist – Frank Adversego – has bought himself a camper and headed out West to write a book about his previous adventure. He’s not really much of a writer, however, and he’s got a case of writer’s block the size of Mt. Everest.
Suddenly, however, he gets recruited to look into some suspicious election poll data that might indicate those polls are being manipulated.
Agreeing to see if he can figure out whether the data is being manipulated leads him into a very well-conceived adventure.
“The Lafayette Campaign” is a quick read because Updegrove keeps the action moving and introduces some really interesting characters including a beautiful young Frenchwoman, a Native American casino owner with a hidden agenda, a federal employee with a serious gambling problem, and a host of others. These characters are all well fleshed out, not just cardboard cutouts whose only purpose is to fill in some blanks in the plot.
Great characters, an unusual protagonist, and a fast-paced narrative make “The Lafayette Campaign” a really great read. When you add in the fact that it’s written in a way that even old, non-tech-savvy people like me can understand it, this is a 5-star novel.
What was Millard Fillmore (Field Service Representative) about to embark on?
Henry Yazzie is 1 of the Presidential candidates sponsored/endorsed by the Centrist Coalition of America (CCA). George Marchand was on his campaign team.
Ohanzee White Crow is Henry’s campaign finance director.
Richard “Dick” Fetters & Senator Randall Wellhead (R) were also in the running.
I did not receive any type of compensation for reading & reviewing this satire book. While I receive free books from publishers & authors, I am under no obligation to write a positive review. Only an honest one.
A very awesome book cover, great font & writing style. A very well written political thriller book. It was very easy for me to read/follow from start/finish & never a dull moment. There were no grammar/typo errors, nor any repetitive or out of line sequence sentences. Lots of exciting scenarios, with several twists/turns & a large set of unique characters to keep track of. This could also make another great political thriller movie, or better yet a mini TV series. There is no doubt in my mind this is a very easy rating of 5 stars.
Thank you for the free author; Starboard Rock Press; LisaatManybooks; Amazon Digital Services LLC.; book
Tony Parsons MSW (Washburn)
Top reviews from other countries
As in Book One, this is a superbly written cybersecurity themed thriller, but again, riddled with lots of clever and subtle humour, like where the author refers to a security thug as being 'evolutionally challenged,' and when he laments about being glad he's not writing a political satire instead of a serious non-fiction book, the humour of which becomes even more apparent later on. In many ways, readers from any country will be able to identify with the part money and big business plays in politics all around the world, and not just the US.
Although this reads perfectly well as a stand-alone book, I was pleased to see some indirect references to Book One, The Alexandria Project, ironically the basis of the book the main character, Frank, is working on during the unfolding story here, and the inclusion of some of the characters from the first book, ie, his daughter, Marla, and boss, George Marchand. Again though, there are plenty of new characters to engage the reader's interest further.
Not only is this well-written book, but also a well-researched one too. It does, however, convey a lot of US political workings and cyber-tech explanation though that some readers might get a tad lost in if they don't already have some interest in them. As a UK reader, I must admit had I read this book when it first came out back in 2015, I might well have got a bit lost in some of the American election procedures and terminology, and quite frankly, found it a little too fantastical and far-fetched. Since then of course, there's been the improbable election of Donald Trump and all that's followed to take care of the 'far-fetched,' aspect. Also, with all the media coverage that event attracted worldwide combined with innumerable hours of Youtube American news footage of the 2016 US Presidential election, most people now have a better understanding of US electoral workings, so again, this really has become a book that is not only more 'understandable' to non-US readers, but a highly topical one too.
Another super cybersecurity offering; a satire for sure, but given what's happened in US politics since its publication, really not so far off the mark ... loved it!
I like Andy Updegrove’s style and the detail he feeds into the tale. For example, the appearance of a condor might in another story might warrant a line, or two at most. Featured in a location befitting such a character the bird is given a cameo role which is remembered for the clear imagery.
The characters are all introduced at a pace which allows the reader to keep up and not get lost, and the dialogue is natural. I liked the inclusion of the French in such a story, and the method used.
I know there are readers who balk at the mention of anything to do with computers or suchlike, but in this story the technical aspects are handled well and are easy to follow.
If there is an aspect of the story which left me behind it was the political detail. As a British reader I understand our political system, although I don’t find it particularly interesting. Unfortunately, the American political system is beyond my comprehension. Some phrases and terminology - however well explained were lost on me.
In summary, the author knows the subjects he tackles, and he laces the central plot with sufficient intrigue and suspense to tell a good story.
The plots involve subverting first the opinion polls during the primaries, then the actual voting machines on election day. How this is done, and how Frank sets about thwarting it, makes for fascinating reading if you understand a little about how computer games work and how software programmes can be hacked.
But the conniving and plotting of the shady organisations behind each of the three hacking attempts are well drawn, too. Frank's relationships with the various individuals with whom he comes into contact are accurately drawn, showing his ineptness in social situations. Maybe it was the constant emphasis on this aspect of his character that began to drag for me as the underlying plot progressed from one twist to another to the point where I wished it would end.
Perhaps the simple fact that The Doodlebig War was the third in the series, by which time Mr Updegrove had improved his craftsmanship as a writer, is the reason that book was, for me, so much better than this one. I am, however, happy to recommend it to all who like conspiracies, computer games, coding or the wheeler dealing behind the scenes of American politics in any combination. They are all here woven into a heady cocktail for your enjoyment.
The plot felt particularly relevant, dealing as it does with subverting elections. Elections are the pillars of democracy, and the twists and turns of how Frank thwarts nefarious designs kept me engaged. I plan to look up the earlier installments.
The research seemed exhaustive, and the entire plot with its intricacies of politics and computer hacking seemed very plausible. A must-read for those who love thrillers, but also for those who want to know more about what could happen to sabotage our modern democracies.
Although I found much of the technical detail beyond my understanding, something that had more to do with me than the author’s obvious grasp of the subject matter and very clear, skilled writing, I kept up with the plot (though don’t ask me how-who-done-it-did-it ). However, it was my desire to see what happened to Frank that kept me reading. I had the same issues when I read ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’, where it was the characters who kept my interest, rather than the computer-sciencey parts (that made me glaze over at times). That being said, Andrew Updegrove is an author who keeps readers of all technical abilities in mind as he unfolds this tale of intrigue that had me wondering if he doesn’t know a thing or two about the current build up to the forthcoming presidential elections ...
I have no hesitation in recommending this book by an author whose accessible prose belies the skill it takes to write with such apparent ease. I will definitely look out for Frank’s next appearance and hope to get to know him even better then.