Bran Haig is the son of Alexander Haig who was Secretary of State in the Reagan administration and Chief of Staff in the Nixon one. Therefore Brian grew up with an insider's view of the Washington scene. This has stood him in good stead as an author and never more so than with his latest novel The Capitol Game. In this book the ins and outs of Washington's trading of favors as well as outright bribes contribute to a finely tuned plot.
The book starts off with a bang as a convoy is attacked in Iraq. There are casualties and this incident looms over all the rest that happens in the book. Immediately the action switches back to Washington, DC where a man named Jack Wiley is trying to make a deal with a conglomerate known as "The Capitol Group."
In this part of the book the plot gets a little cloudy. The character are not clearly defined and motives are not revealed. The reader doesn't know if Wiley is an opportunist or a man on a mission. What does begin to come across is that Haig is painting his story one brush stroke at a time and that in the end all will be revealed.
And revealed it is, as the plots and subplots gel, the excitement of the story builds to a fever pitch. There are revelations and resolutions, there are power struggles and power grabs, and there are incidents and intrigue that leave you gasping till the very last page. You may not know where it is all going while the foundation is being built, but you will know all when you get there.
Brain Haig is an author in control of his story. He knows just where the plot has to be taken in each chapter of the book. He knows just how much has to be revealed about each main character along the way. He has a master plan and it is followed to the last detail no matter how large or how small each contribution is.
It does take a while to get into this story but it is worth the effort, so stick with it. Each page reveals a little bit more of the overall picture and once you get about half way through, and a mysterious girl named Mia is introduced, it takes off like a whirlwind.
The Capitol Game is the type of book that leaves you completely satisfied. It answers all the questions raised and leaves you wanting more. I am a big fan of Haig's Bulldog Drummond series but if he keeps writing stories of this caliber I will be more than satisfied to let Drummond take a break.
Brian Haig raises the lid on Washington politics and corruption and lets us see the slimy underside. It isn't a pretty picture but it sure does make for fascinating reading. Bring on some more, Brian!
The Capitol Game is published by Grand Central Publishing. It contains 390 pages and sells for $25.99.
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