©1998 by Richard North Patterson; (P)1998 by Random House Audio Publishing, Inc., All Rights Reserved Under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions, Reproduced by Arrangement with Random House Audio Publishing, Inc.
"No Safe Place," written 'way back in 1998, is set in the then near future: the 2000 presidential primaries. Richard North Patterson here describes how we can fix American politics, by telling us the story of a truly ethical politician. Kerry Kilcannon is running for president in the Democratic primaries against the sitting Vice-President, Dick Mason. While Kilcannon has the courage of his convictions, Mason chooses his opinions by the polls. Prophetic, eh? Gun control, abortion rights, and "family values" feature prominently in the campaign. Only one teensy, little thing threatens to destroy Kilcannon's career: a true love affair lurking in his past. Of course, the opposition gets wind of this completely irrelevant non-issue; Kilcannon's side starts looking for counter-dirt against Mason; and the mud starts flying. To top it all off, a would-be assassin is lurking in the background, with his sights set on Kilcannon. Richard North Patterson, with his trademark authorial genius, keeps all these balls in the air, while intermittently juggling in illuminating flashbacks. Patterson offers us -- via Kilcannon's campaign speeches -- some pretty intelligent ideas about how we might fix politics and campaign financing. I find "No Safe Place" to be Patterson's best novel to date. He keeps the (publisher-mandated) obligatory sex scenes to a minimum here, while crafting an intelligent, intriguing, intricate plot. The narrator, Alexander Adams, still suffers from an unfortunate voice, and the inability to vocally distinguish his characters; but, at least, he has learned to slow down his delivery a bit. I would have preferred to hear a good actor like George Guidall, Oliver Wyman, or Ron McLarty read this book to me. Otherwise, I recommend this audiobook highly to anyone interested in behind-the-scenes politics.
47 is the real answer
I'm not normally big on books which deal with a lot of politics. However I do like murder mysteries. The way this book jumps from the past into the present can be confusing if you are not paying attension, but it's not so difficult that it's not enjoyable. I must confess I didn't know how the book would end, but it was quite obvious when I got there. The characters are well developed and you, the reader can easily feel like you know them well, whether you agree with their motives in life or not.
A bit of a slow start but if you hang with it the story and character development get much better. I was ready to give up on the book in the first 2 or 3 hours of audio but hung with it and was glad I did. I gave the book about a 3.5 but rounded up to 4 stars.
If you can, get the abridged version of this book. Better still, avoid this book altogether if you dislike predictable storylines, cardboard characters, over-the-top descriptions and verbage that fill the pages but achieve nothing else. This book MAY be of interest to readers who want to find out more about the American electorate system.
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