It has been one year since the first woman president of the United States was assassinated. A biographer is busy digging up the fact that President Melanie Lombard had been an adulteress for years while Nora Whitney, the former president's best friend and mentor, is asked by the current president to help implement the programs that got Lombard elected. After several attempts on her life, Nora is forced into trying to make sense out of who wants Melanie's life to remain unexamined. First novelist Canon treats Nora, an MBA from Harvard and an executive in a computer software company, as something of a stepchild, focusing most of her attention on her obsession with Melanie, rather than on why someone is trying to kill Nora. The secondary characters are brilliantly drawn and are what pull the reader along. This novel will be popular because it is about high-powered women who have made it in the real world and because Canon can tell a story. For all general collections.-Jo Ann Vicarel, Cleveland Hts.-University Hts. P.L., Ohio
Three days after being sworn in as the first female U.S. president, Melanie Lombard, a liberal consensus builder who had managed to forge a formidable coalition representing all shades of the political spectrum, was senselessly assassinated by an acknowledged lunatic. One year later, Melanie's best friend and confidante, Nora Whitney, is forced to confront the disturbing fact that Melanie may have been leading a double life. When Nora agrees to be interviewed by David Weinhardt, Melanie's would-be biographer, she learns he has unearthed some puzzling and potentially damaging information. Unwilling to see Melanie's sterling reputation irrecoverably tarnished and the social programs she worked so tirelessly to promote jeopardized, Nora undertakes an investigation of her own. As she delves more deeply into her friend's past, Nora becomes the unwitting target of a clandestine group of conspirators dedicated to promoting an ultraconservative platform. First-time novelist Canon scores a huge hit with an intriguing, action-packed thriller that will keep readers rapidly turning the pages.
The best friend of the first female US president comes to terms with her legacy after the charismatic chief executive's assassination.
Melanie Lombard and Nora Whitney were freshman roommates at Penn; 25 years later, Melanie is elected president, then promptly murdered. Now it's the first anniversary of her death, and Nora, a high-powered executive at an educational software company, gets a call from Hank, Melanie's widower. A famous biographer is doing a book on Melanie, and Hank fears that he'll discover her longtime affair with a handsome Frenchman, Jacques DeBrin, who has suspicious connections in the Middle East. Nora, who'd told Melanie about her own significant romance with Jacques, feels betrayed that Melanie told her nothing in return, but she's still committed to protecting her friend's reputation. And so she jets to London to debrief Jacques. While there, she also meets a brilliant young software designer who has created a revolutionary virtual-reality geometry lesson. After Nora agrees to help Danny Court, the current American president, by pressing his agenda on Melanie's former allies, funny things start to happen: A van almost runs Nora down; then her brakes are tampered with. Who's behind this intimidation campaign? Nora goes to Harlem to woo curmudgeonly power broker Nathan Marks, offering him a free demo of the geometry program as her calling card. Meanwhile, the biographer is closing in on Melanie's secrets, but he's also proclaimed himself attracted to Nora. The shaggy-dog conspiracy behind the attacks is not this debut novel's strong point. The real draw is Noraa powerful, sexy, self-doubting 47-year-old who's spent her life in the shadow of a magnetic and manipulative woman, and who is only now coming to terms with her anger at her second-fiddle role, and with her own abilities.
Anemic suspense, then, but a complex and engaging portrait of a late-blooming politico and her halting efforts at an adult romance.