Rules of the Game

Rules of the Game

by Leonard Downie
3.0 5

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The Rules of the Game 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
KenCady More than 1 year ago
For my money, Leonard Downie's The Rules of The Game is a good read. He gets the tension in Washington politics correct, and his writing keeps the reader involved. Recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a cardboard tale about cardboard characters. I was most disappointed that professional reviewers wrote positive reviews about this book. It had numerous failings which they failed to mention.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
badgerpop More than 1 year ago
I wish I could say that I liked reading Leonard Downie, Jr.'s, new novel, "The Rules of the Game." I'm a Washingtonian, like political novels and journalism novels and skullduggery by villains dangerous and nefarious. But there was, to me, a fatal flaw in this novel that made me irritated while I read it and disappointed when I finished it. It's all about sex. Downie doesn't really write about sex, but his characters, male and female, are obsessed with it and they seem to all have slept with each other at one time or another or are planning on it. And it just screws up the story and any believable character development for me. Sarah Page is the protagonist and she is obviously physically attractive. There are several mentions of that fact. She also uses her appearance to dangle as some kind of bait for various subjects she approaches to break a big story on corporate and executive branch and legislative branch corruption that involves national security-or so she is told and we are to believe. There is not one but several Deep Throat-type characters involved who contact her mysteriously or contact her not so mysteriously but with secret information that leads her on. There are murders and disappearances and there is the constant sexual bed-swapping that makes the book seem more and more like an episode of "Grey's Anatomy" than a serious political thriller. Toss in a female President of the United States who is also attractive, single and a bit horny and it gets even yuckier. The question is: could there have been a good political thriller here without the constant sexual tensions? My reluctant answer is "no." Too much of "The Rules of the Game" is written as if from a guide of "Rules of the Political Intrigue Novel Game" as first drafted by Allen Drury and followed later by a relentless parade of authors who use the naturally tense atmosphere of American politics as backgrounds for mayhem, both physical and political. It just breaks no new ground. The issues are admirably complex on the surface: corporations contributing to dummy foundations that are nothing much more than money-laundering operations for political bribery and politicians and operators, both inside and outside government, taking the money and running. The only Good Guys are the journalists who are investigating what's going on and, of course, trying to get into each others' pants. On the scale of things all the illicit sex is as serious an offense to the moral code as jaywalking is to the traffic laws. I found nothing particularly intriguing in the sex and, when I analyzed the nest of evil that was being plumbed by Our Intrepid Girl Reporter, I realized that the number of corporations on the take made for no real increase in complexity of the case. It seemed that the more, the uglier. Leonard Downie was and is an excellent journalist. He was the Executive Editor of the Washington Post for seventeen years and under his stewardship the Post continued its growth and influence in American journalism. I'd like to think that he'd fire a reporter as conspicuously promiscuous as Sarah Page without much regret and without delay but, perhaps like the editors he creates for Sarah in this novel, he would have decided he needed her story more than her character. There are better and will be better political novels written about Washington. Take a pass on this one.
harstan More than 1 year ago
After receiving a reprimand for a tryst with a colleague, Washington Capital investigative reporter Sarah Page is assigned to the national politics desk. She currently covers the presidential contest between elderly Democrat senator from Pennsylvania Monroe Capehart, and Republican Vice President Warner Wylie.

Capehart surprisingly chooses California Senator Susan Cameron as his running mate, which excites some with the selection of a woman and disappoints others who claim she is too inexperienced to be one elderly heartbeat from the White House. However, it is after the election is decided and Cameron is the new PROTUS with the death of Capehart Sarah learns that under the guise of national security even murder at Pennsylvania Ave or that of a nosy journalist getting too close to the truth is acceptable.

THE RULES OF THE GAME has some obvious ties to the Palin connection, but Cameron is a different personality and more significant is her side wins and her running mate and boss dies. The story line is fast-paced and filled with twists as Page seeks to uncover a conspiracy that uses national security to rationalize any action even when the tie to the country¿s safety does not exist except as a political cover. Fans will enjoy this engaging investigative thriller with its cautionary warning that the Bush Legacy is to hide everything inside the wrapper of 9/11-like national security concerns when there is not the remotest connection.


Harriet Klausner