In this novel, there is no "insider's knowledge of politics," it is not "what politics is reallly like," and it is not "authentic and compelling." Kirkus Reviews offers this admonishment: "Short on subtlety and insider dish." Nor is this novel "compelling, terrific, entertaining, or dramatic." It is, as Publishers Weekly mildly points out, "by-the-numbers stuff." And even with a professional co-writer, and even though this book is a seven-year labor of love - "a story I had long wanted to tell" - it is written in the style of an overwrought high-schooler.
All the liberals are smart, principled, and are dedicated and effective good-deed-doers. All the conservatives are greedy, corrupt, and yes, even evil. An intelligent, accomplished, and conservative Supreme Court nominee is implausibly naive. The story is melodramatic; the characters are two-dimensional. I had high hopes of gleaning genuine political savvy from "someone who really knows," but Boxer decided to write a pedestrian political thriller that doesn't inform or thrill.
One reviewer wrote about the sex scenes in this book. Don't get your hopes up about those, either. And now I know why Boxer, who is my senator, hasn't responded to any of my letters to her office; she and her staff have been too busy working on this novel.