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Sleeping Dogs [Hardcover]

Ed Gorman


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Hardcover, Large Print CDN $34.91  
Hardcover, April 1 2008 --  

Book Description

April 1 2008

As a seasoned political consultant, Dev Conrad approaches working on the reelection campaign of Illinois Senator Warren Nichols with trepidation. The senator’s best friend and adviser has just committed suicide. And though Conrad agrees with Nichols's political positions, he’s leery of the senator’s reputation for sleeping around.

 

When a major televised debate proves to be a disaster for the senator, Dev is forced to look into the backgrounds of the senator’s staff, which includes several people who have tangled and troubled relationships with their boss.

 

Dev’s investigation takes him through the highs and lows of the political system, the well-meaning people on both sides of the aisle, and the increasingly dark forces that work to destroy reputations and lives. It also leads him into the frightening murder of a sleazy political op who knows something about Senator Nichols that could completely destroy his career.

 

Ed Gorman is the author of several political thrillers, including the acclaimed The Marilyn Tapes and The First Lady. In Sleeping Dogs, he looks at how money, power, and unchecked ambition have turned election campaigns into modern gladiatorial contests.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (April 1 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312367848
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312367848
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 14.8 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,612,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Shamus-winner Gorman (Fools Rush In) puts his experience as a political speechwriter to good use in this entertaining first of what appears to be a new series. Dev Conrad, a cynical yet idealistic political consultant, signs on for the re-election bid of Sen. Warren Nichols of Illinois after Nichols's longtime consultant and ally, Phil Wylie, leaves in a bitter dispute with the candidate and later commits suicide. Nichols, facing right-wing conservative Jim Lake, finds himself in a tightening race with a major debate looming. The race becomes nasty with dirty tricks, blackmail and even campaign sabotage likely emanating from inside Nichols's staff. While Gorman presents our electoral choices and processes in an often dispiriting and unflattering light, readers will hope his appealing hero will return in future outings beyond the current real-life political campaign season. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Ed Gorman has worked in politics as both a speechwriter and a TV producer. He has won the Shamus, Anthony, Ellery Queen, Spur, and International Fiction Awards. He has been nominated twice for an Edgar and once for the Silver Dagger. His other work includes the Sam McCain series and the Jack Sawyer series. A feature film based on his novel The Poker Club is forthcoming.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You Can't Tell a Book By It's Cover April 17 2008
By Lee Goldberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
SLEEPING DOGS by Ed Gorman proves the old adage that you can't tell a book by it's cover. He has been stuck with the ugliest St. Martin's cover in recent history. It's a damn shame, because his book deserves more thoughtful packaging-- a LOT more. It's a biting, fast-moving, darkly funny mystery set inside a Senatorial campaign. The hero is Dev Conrad, a political consultant who knows how to play the game and is growing increasingly uncomfortable with the lies, hypocrisy, and self-delusion inherent in his job.

Ed not only gives us an inside look at the dark side of campaigning, he also offers a good puzzle, too, where the "bad guys" are fully fleshed-out characters who aren't that much different than the "good guys." And after countless books about tortured cops, PIs and forensic scientists...not to mention an endless number of amateur sleuths...Dev Conrad is a fresh, unconventional protagonist. The timing for this book couldn't be better...but, based on the cover treatment and lack of publicity support, I fear the publisher isn't in a position to take advantage of the opportunity.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SLEEPING DOGS by Ed Gorman July 12 2008
By Benjamin Boulden - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Ed Gorman is Mr. Reliable when it comes to delivering well-written and entertaining novels, no matter the genre, and SLEEPING DOGS is no exception. It is a mystery--part whodunit, part political thriller, part suspense novel, and as a whole very fun.

Dev Conrad is an experienced political consultant leading the reelection campaign of Senator Warren Nichols--a liberal senator who, more often than not, is on the right side of the issues (as far as Dev Conrad is concerned), but also, to Conrad's annoyance, he has difficulty keeping his pants secured around his waist. When the man Dev replaced unexpectedly commits suicide and the senator is poisoned Dev finds himself in a troubling situation. He needs to figure the set-up without tipping the press, the police, or anyone else who might harm the senator's chance for reelection.

SLEEPING DOGS is one of the best mystery novels I've read this year, and there are two significant reasons why. The first is the protagonist. Dev Conrad is a well-developed character who is irreverent, tough, humorous with a dry and dark wit, and annoyingly (at least to himself, but never to the reader) sanctimonious. He knows the political mean streets and while he takes his job seriously he never takes the play-acting and posturing that is politics seriously. He is an average man who has hopes, dreams, problems, a broken family, and hell, even trouble getting a date.

The second is the background and setting. The atmosphere of the political campaign feels authentic. Ed Gorman is a former political speech-writer and if some of what he writes about in SLEEPING DOGS--campaign infighting, cynicism and the foibles of running a massive public relations front--aren't based on his experiences the reader will never know because it looks and feels real.

The mystery is also terrific. It builds on itself one logical and surprising step at a time and Mr. Gorman uses enough craftsmanship and adds more than enough twists to give the reader a few surprises. The supporting cast is well-defined and interesting, and the overall tone and style of the novel is nearly perfect as it changes from cynical to idealistic to angry to melancholy to funny and back again. SLEEPING DOGS gets my vote and it's more than worth the poll tax.

Ben Boulden, Gravetapping
4.0 out of 5 stars satirizes the American way of electing officials April 19 2008
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The US Senator from Illinois the Honorable Warren Nichols and his long political consultant Phil Wylie acrimoniously argue before the latter angrily quits the reelection campaign. Not long after their public spat, Wylie commits suicide. Based on the polls Nichols knew the race would be close as his opponent right-wing conservative Jim Lake has strong backing, but he still expected to win in spite his inability to keep the zipper up and the flag pole from a "bimbo eruption". However the death of Wylie places Nichols at risk of losing.

Nichols hires Dev Conrad as a political consultant just before a critical debate between the candidates is scheduled. The race already dirty turns ugly and perhaps illegal as both sides use dirty tricks. However, Dev has issues with his team as he thinks they have gone too far. He believes Nicholas' staffers are using blackmail and campaign sabotage to destroy the opposition's support.

Ed Gorman makes a strong case that those who can make it work private; those who cannot make it work government, and those who cannot work run for office. The story line satirizes the American way of electing officials as being no better than a Hollywood B horror flick. Surprisingly although this is a dark lampooning of the electoral process and its candidates, Dev is combination optimistic cynic with a rationalization to believe the system works yet expects the worst out of those who become the poster faces of that system. Ironically Mr. Gorman is at his cynical optimistic best with this entertaining look at the American electoral process and the mugs who try to con us that we own it.

Harriet Klausner
3.0 out of 5 stars Dirty Politics May 16 2008
By Ted Feit - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This novel purports to be sort of an insider account of a political campaign, narrated by political consultant Dev Conrad. He is hired by an Illinois Senator running for reelection following the suicide of the original consultant about three weeks before Election Day. It is rife with all kinds of trade jokes and wry comments about past and contemporary politicians.

The only problem is the question of how accurate some of these observations, criticisms and comments are. For instance, amid plenty of criticism of former President Clinton is this statement: "The only time I'd felt any support for Clinton after the first term was when the other side had tried to impeach him..." The fact is Bill was impeached, just not convicted. It's that kind of lack of expertise that raises the question of authenticity in the rest of the story.

Conrad's problem is that the Senator, like Clinton, just couldn't keep his zipper closed and he is videotaped in bed with a bimbo. Conrad's job now becomes how to defuse this potential bombshell. The descriptions of over-all campaign strategy, interactions of the staffs, and ploys and counter-ploys of the opposing candidates and their campaigns are well done. And there is at least one murder and some mysteries to be solved along the way. For a reader looking for some light and amusing reading, this book is recommended.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Close & Exciting Look at the Political Process April 23 2008
By pattinase - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Most books about politics tend to be thrillers. A quiet, incisive meditation on the seductiveness of the power that a political office confers, the people it attracts, and the way it all plays out is unusual. But Sleeping Dogs by Ed Gorman is exactly that. No plots to blow up the White House unfold; no bio-terrorists loom. Instead, this novel looks at an Illinois Senate race from the perspective of political consultant, Dev Conrad, an operative who's only too realistic about what politicians are like. Dev stays in the game though it often sickens him. He's good at it, and on some level, he likes the political arena, always hoping to find a politician he can promote for more than a paycheck.
Sleeping Dogs has a cast of characters that turns out to be multifaceted and complicated. No one is exactly what he/she first appears to be. In Sleeping Dogs, the actions are in proportion to the actors, each scene inexorably follows the one before it. I hope we run into Dev Conrad again, working for a politician he can like. One of the most interesting questions posed in the novel was this: what do you do if you like the voting record and the political stance of a candidate, but not the person him/herself? That's a question we need to think about. This was a terrific book.

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