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The Separatists (A Newsmakers Novel) Hardcover – June 27, 2017
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“A plot to break up the United States is at the center of Wiehl and Stuart’s. . . final Newsmakers novel. . . Erica Sparks, a broadcast journalist in New York, has risen to the top of her field. . . bad guys are everywhere. . . The only questions are how Erica will stop the plot from coming to fruition and how high the body count will be.” (Publishers Weekly)
About the Author
Lis Wiehl is one of the nation’s most prominent trial lawyers and highly regarded legal commentators. The former legal analyst for Fox News and the O’Reilly Factor, she has appeared regularly on Your World with Neil Cavuto, Lou Dobbs Tonight, and the Imus morning shows, and was the host of the Wiehl of Justice podcast. She is also a professor at New York Law School and a host on the Law & Crime live trial network. A former legal analyst and reporter for NBC News and NPR’s All Things Considered, she also served as a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s office and was a tenured professor of law at the University of Washington. Wiehl earned her JD from Harvard Law School and her MA in literature from the University of Queensland. She lives near New York City.
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First of all, I get that she likes the whole one-dimensional, psychotic villain thing, and that's fine. But intermixed with the comic book conflict is a protagonist whose life we can relate to as she juggles - not always successfully - motherhood, wifehood, and career. In this particular book, two things happened to Erica that should have sobered up her husband/their marital issues at least temporarily, but there was never even a discussion about them. I've been married and divorced; I know what it's like to have a marriage on the rocks, and I promise you, if my (now-ex) husband found out I had been kidnapped and stuffed in a trunk or that somebody had put a dozen rattlesnakes in my car, he would have been addressing these incidents with the proper amount of concern, despite our marital problems. But in The Separatists, once these incidents pass, there is no traumatic aftermath for Erica at all, and her husband never even finds out these things have happened. At least, that's how it appeared. You don't discover your wife has been kidnapped and continue whining about how busy she always is shortly after she returns.
I did appreciate the progress Erica's mother made, confirming she is at least a dynamic character. But I believe the author needs to decide what exactly her genre is going to be. I have a lot more respect for her Mia Quinn and Triple Threat series.
One more thing that bothered me was the animal cruelty. Wiehl manages to slip it in to her novels more often than I am comfortable with, and I don't see that it is necessary to be so graphic just to get the point across that someone is a "bad guy."
This book was also very partisan. It doesn't matter that the beloved president was a republican, there was an obvious bias against conservatives.
As there seems to be a movement in the midwest to separate from the US she decides to focus her first Spotlight show on a governor's recall election in North Dakota that promises a nonviolent movement that may involve secession if the recall comes off. Once Erica films that first show with its implications of the future of America, she is tied in with a movement that may cost her her own life as she sees mysterious deaths all around her. Tie this in with a determination to find the truth while her personal life crumbles around her in the form of her daughter, her husband, even her friends and colleagues become a question of who can be trusted.
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Erica Sparks is a high-profile news journalist with two shows: Erica Sparks Effect and Spotlight.Read more