City of Sharks
by Ian Alexander
Xlibris AU

"Now, Chris wonders, is this the beginning of the political slippery slope for me? Surely not, after all aren’t deals just part of politics?"

After an affair with the State Premier goes south, Diana is eager to shake up the political landscape in Western Australia. Teaming up with her friend Chris Burnside, a former councillor and activist, the two of them rise to power on different sides of the political aisle in order to create change in their region. While Diana serves as an assistant to the opposition and is able to leak sensitive information, Chris acquires a parliamentary seat and becomes an influential independent. As the two friends stand to thwart corrupt unions and building companies tied to the government in power, Chris becomes a popular figure. However, his womanizing tendencies have the potential to land him in hot water if made public, especially considering the high-profile status both he and the politicians he spends his time admiring have achieved.

Set in the near future, this book uses a fictional environment to reflect a history of Australian political scandals, mirroring events that occurred in the 1980s and 1990s. The focal cast of characters surprisingly grows throughout the entire story. Chris’s introduction is near the beginning, and he becomes a mainstay to the end, but Diana has her own storyline, Fremantle mayor Paula Muscatelli has her own plot full of romance, family drama, and an assassination attempt, and each of these storylines intertwines with the other characters neatly. The political intrigue ramps up steadily before offering readers a tidy wrap-up that also realistically reflects the all-too-common fate of those who work in politics. Blending policy and activism while showing the human sides of public servants, this novel skillfully employs grit and character-driven narrative to delight the reader over and over.

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