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From the PublisherDebut author Victoria’s topical thriller follows the political and personal reverberations of a tough and controversial immigration law in California. Newly elected California Gov. Michael DiGrasso doggedly pursues the passage of a law that would make his state inhospitable to illegal immigrants and stanch their flow over porous borders. He encounters opposition from multiple quarters: Senate Minority Leader Elizabeth Stern proves a devious and underhanded adversary, while a radical group of subterranean political activists, the Reconquistas, look to undermine DiGrasso through both targeted and mass violence. Even the Supreme Court takes a swing, declaring the new law unconstitutional. Undaunted, DiGrasso presses on, defying the Supreme Court and igniting a tempestuous national debate on the proper role of the federal courts. Meanwhile, the story tracks the embattled lives of two Mexican families struggling to make a home in a country that promises opportunity... Victoria does a deft job drawing out the human context of a legislative tug of war, detailing the many ways public discourse misses the complex consequences of major policy. And while the narrator clearly favors a conservative interpretation of the issue, he avoids any ideological axe-grinding or simplistic caricatures. The story unfolds at a brisk pace but sometimes flirts with haste, glossing over major developments … At times, the content of the debate regarding judicial review borders on didactic, but for readers looking for a constitutional primer on federalism wrapped in fictional drama, those sections of the novel might be more enlightening than pedantic. For readers on the hunt for a fictional account of a contemporary political dispute, this is a competent if not inspiring option.
Frank Victoria has crafted a powerful and unflinching novel of America at the crossroads; a sweeping, courageous story of powerful leaders and humble families swept into the fierce moral, ethical and judicial currents that the shape present and future of this country. This is a compelling and clear-eyed ride that ventures onto paths few Americans dare to tread. For those who do, this is an exciting, terrific reading experience.
--Robert Melnyk, Writer. Director, Producer for NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS.
As a book editor, I’ve read hundreds of manuscripts, including a plethora of submissions when I worked for a literary agent, and The Founders’ Plot really stands out. Frank Victoria interlaces the hot-button issues of illegal integration, government intrigue, and constitutional interpretation into a highly enjoyable novel. He is a master of the sub-plot, his characters are well crafted and the pacing works beautifully. He keeps your attention at every turn and is skilled at providing vivid details and gentle twists and surprises. The story is wonderfully nuanced and superbly plotted. Victoria is clearly knowledgeable in American history and government, and he deftly weaves background and backstory into the main storyline. Put it on your “must read” list.
--Valerie Brooks, Owner/Editor at TheWriteEdit.com
Frank Victoria rips a headline from today's newspaper and creates a page-turning thriller about the issue of immigration. The fast paced book puts a human face on the controversial topic while explaining Constitutional law in a conversational manner. Well researched, Victoria invites the reader to grapple with ideas in a plot driven venue. Gripping. Thought provoking. Humanizing.
--Cleo Lampos, M.Ed., author of Teachers in the Trenches.
The Founders’ Plot brings the controversies of our nation's highest court into a fictional, but plausible tale based on the convictions of the story's protagonist. California Governor Michael DiGrasso defies a Supreme Court ruling against an tough immigration law that he championed. The characters and story are developed well and the book is a fast-paced read that keeps you guessing about the characters’ real motives as they jockey to neutralize one another. It could come straight off a CNN headline story. The novel’s well-integrated sub-plots humanize the plights of everyone involved and make you continually reassess your stance on immigration, the Supreme Court, and the true nature of such a divisive issue. The plot’s twists and turns make for a page-turning yarn the keeps you interested until the end. As a military attorney, I found Victoria's historical legal references eye-opening and accurate.
--Christian Pappas, Attorney, Major, United States Marine Corps
The Founder’s Plot will grip the hearts and minds of readers as they are swept into a tale of political maneuvering by Frank Victoria’s masterful storytelling.
Mike DiGrasso, newly elected governor of California, must address the problem of illegal immigrants. He responds aggressively to protect California’s borders, defying the California Supreme Court and threatening to undermine his longtime friendship with the president of the United States. Meanwhile, the impact of DiGrasso’s legislation is felt on residents of California from many different walks of life.
The dialogue and narrative in the novel mesh well. For instance, in DiGrasso’s conversation with Jason Glenn, chief legal counsel representing California at the Supreme Court on the immigration bill, short sentences and brief phrases like “Sounded like bad news” create a tone of tension and conflict. This is further reinforced by the narration, which uses words like “clenched,” “buzzed,” and “grabbed.”
Victoria’s character development is marvelous, especially the depiction of DiGrasso. The first chapter, a flashback to his years in the military solidifies the audience’s impression of Digrasso by demonstrating his integrity. The author brilliantly shows two sides of a difficult issue by creating rich, warm characters in both camps. DiGrasso is a firm, unwavering, and trustworthy example of the law, while illegal immigration is embodied by the likable and personable characters of Carlos Costellano and his wife, Marisol.
This complexity is created by scenes that demonstrate people at their most vulnerable, in their most unguarded moments. Readers are drawn to Carlos as he sits in his home amidst the “aroma of freshly baked homemade tortillas and the smoky, sweet-sour scent of carne asada.” For DiGrasso, his unguarded moment comes when he slips into bed beside his wife and chats with her about his upcoming inauguration.
The author, a teacher of history and government, clearly has a thorough knowledge of his subject on both the state and federal levels. His background gives the novel credibility. Overall, The Founder’s Plot is an intriguing and rich novel. The characters, dialogue, and plot will entertain readers, and the constant twists and surprising conclusion will keep them guessing until the end.
Emily Adams Forward Reviews