Another blockbuster five star hit: Washington Power Play: Allan Topol
Deceit, betrayals, traitors, moles and high-level espionage are at the helm of this outstanding political thriller by author Allan Topol. Kelly Cameron might be in her early twenties but she is handling situations dealing with the corruption of our Presidential election, moles in high-level positions filtering secrets to the Chinese government and battling her feelings for Xiang Shen her former college sweetheart. China decided to attack some Japanese islands thinking no one would respond in kind including US President Braddock. As Kelly learns of a secret meeting at Camp David she begins to dig long and hard at who in the Chinese government might have a stake at the outcome of our Presidential race and what will they gain by engineering the win of the candidate of their choice? When Xiang last saw Kelly he broker off their arrangement at the demand of Liu the Chinese defense minister threatening to kill his parents if he did not comply. Liu the defense minister hoping to succeed with his new program called Operation World Power demanded rekindling their relationship. But, Kelly is astute and realizes that Xiang might have an ulterior motive and uses that to her advantage. Andrew Martin joins Liu for secret meetings as we learn of his connection in the murder of Senator Jasper in The Washington Lawyer and his continued role of deceit and murder in this novel the Washington Power Play. The story begins with Kelly and her team preventing a terrorist attack on Walter Reed Medical. Although she did her job the right way the end result did not please everyone as the terrorist was killed and she was forced to explain. Her job is to find the mole in our government but this event was just the tip of the iceberg so to speak. General Darrell Cartwright wants the republican nomination for president and he has some heavy hitters in his corner. With Andrew Martin as his political advisor and lawyer he feels he’s in a win win situation until something will rock the entire boat.
Martin is cunning, dangerous and thinks he’s immune to prosecution as evidence comes to light in his afflation with the Chinese government, passing secret documents in sealed envelopes and his involvement in the murder of Senator Jasper and Vanessa Boyd and the attempted murder of her sister Allison. Just how far will he go to attain more power but when confronted by the Attorney General about the murder or death of Huan, sent by Liu as a spy and told to eliminate him, why does he think he still has many more bargaining chips and why give him conditional immunity? But, Liu is smart and he has another source in Russia and finds himself in need of this man’s help to sort things out. But, things heat up as Kelly and Paul are attack twice hit by a truck and the second time in a car that were using after a meeting. Someone ordered the hit and when Kelly realizes that a member of the task force leaked the information why keep this person in the know and what is the rationale stated by the Attorney General? Added in the Chinese have created an offshore account in someone’s name in Trinidad making sure this spy would be in their hip pocket and they would control him and even the Presidential outcome. Added in Carl Dickerson is providing the money for Cartwright’s campaign but is it all from his personal account or linked to China? Liu is the minister of state security and has told Yao the Chinese President about his plans for Cartwright, ridding him of a blonde woman that he had for other purposes and making sure that they can tighten the screws when necessary. Do they really want a pact between the US and China? Is their plan to divide the world between the two nations? What will happen is they succeed? What role is Russia playing?
The Title Washington Power Play has many different definitions on so many levels as Kelly and Paul struggle and fight to control the situations facing the conflicts with China. Liu and Yao are hoping to control Washington by fixing and manipulating the Presidential Election. Andrew Martin hopes to become more powerful and get more money by playing both sides of the fence and deciding, which one is more profitable for his bank account. Xiang struggles with being owned by two governments, the fate of his parents and his true feelings for Kelly. The Chinese warplanes attacked and destroyed Japanese planes in a battle over disputed islands in the East China Sea. American plans flew close to the Chinese planes but there was no engagement. The U.S. filed a protest supposedly negating the fact that the US has obligations that require us to come to the aid of Japan. Imagine a war with China and Japan? Will the leaders in Beijing and Washington find a solution? Liu is the Ministry of State Security or MSS, China’s top intelligence agency and referred to as the Spymaster. Chad Vernon is the President’s chief of staff, Harrison the director of the CIA, Paul Maltoni, Washington Justice department lawyer, General Cartwright, FBI director Forester, and Arthur Larkin the attorney general plus Farrell, CIA, and Wilkins the national security advisor all working their own agendas yet seemingly hoping to find a solution that would help each one solve the issues of who will control the outcome of the fight with China, the battle for control of Washington, the search for the mole in our government and the hope that someone will come out the victor before more lives are lost. As Liu intends to take out Xiang and his parents although Xiang is playing a major role in his plans and is the assistant economic attaché, and who is playing both sides of the fence hoping to rekindle his romance with Kelly for Liu’s purposes but will he convince her? Things spiral out of control when Kelly’s various stings, plans and decisions backfire, Xiang needs to be in our control and just how would she turn him? With the guidance of her father, his wisdom and understanding of her role will she follow suit and take proper command? But, she too is vulnerable and along with Paul who is working with her and her backup she learns that they are being watched, two attempts on their lives almost succeeded and then someone kidnaps her daughter and things take on a different perspective. Andrew Martin is at the helm of this deception as Kelly and Paul uncover his role and just what he was passing off to the Chinese? Espionage, deceit, considered a traitor why do they decide to make a deal with him and why allow him to take a pass when he was in on the death of Jasper, the death of Vanessa and allowed someone to use his house for an affair that turned out deadly when Vanessa thought she had all the cards. Added in we have Mallory who is Cartwright’s aide and pilot and when all the players are in place and the veil of deceit, power and revenge is finally lifted will Kelly get her daughter back, will Paul survive his injuries, will Martin once again come out unscathed? The ending is quite remarkable and powerful as once again author Allan Topol takes readers deep inside the offices of many top officials, listening to the tapes, viewing the videos, hearing the voices of two Chinese pilots that started it all by not following directions and keeping what they were doing to themselves as ordered claiming they knew we would never attack them. The powerful ending is not only quite compelling, revealing and explosive but will let readers know that although you might think this is over and the players roles revealed there is never a true ending to the struggle for who will ultimately win THE WASHINGTON POWER PLAY!
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine