Capitol Venture by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Marylouise Oates In a sequel to her first political mystery, Mikulski again sticks to what she knows. She writes of a U.S. Senator hoping to win a re-election campaign against a reactionary opponent. Things get tricky when a rally turns violent and a Congressman is found dead in his home. Bodies pile up as the campaign continues and District cops rush to figure out who’s behind the violence. Reviewers praised the book for its insider feel, but many thought it came up short on plot and pace.
“The good thing about the President, I had discovered, was that it didn’t matter much what you said. His definition of conversation was him talking, you listening and, of course, agreeing. I did even better with him in person because I had such a clear, direct, and forceful nod.”
A Sense of Honor by Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) This novel follows several soldiers at the Naval Academy in Annapolis during Vietnam as they begin their transformation from teenagers into military leaders. In following their experiences at school and beyond, the novel takes a close look at the leadership, discipline, pain and triumph of military life. Reviewers across the board praised the book for its engrossing writing and detail.
“He tried, just for a moment as he nodded off to sleep, to remember a time when he did not view the world as a chimera to be attacked, a progression of moments capable of violent destruction, a painful jungle designed to test his tenacity. He could not think that far back. He could get past first-class year and second-class year and youngster year. He could remember the incredible, unnerving scars of plebe year, as if his memory itself were falling into its own small sea and treading water there, trying to keep from drowning. He could identify each terror-filled event of plebe summer, those weeks that ripped his old self from him like someone reaching inside a plucked chicken and tearing out the guts, then packing in fear where they used to be.”