Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Jerome Charyn - Winter Warning - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Reflecting our own world like a volatile funhouse mirror, Winter Warning lures us back to the 1980s, an era that could have been ripped right out of our most recent political upheaval. Isaac Sidel should have been vice president, banished to some far corner of the West Wing, but the president-elect has been forced to resign or face indictment for his crooked land deals—and Sidel becomes the accidental president. He’s a maverick, a crusader with a Glock in his belt, who defies both the Republicans and the Democrats. He seems haunted by Lincoln’s ghost, and the presidential palace becomes his own “great white jail,” as it did for Harry Truman. There’s never been another president quite like Isaac Sidel, New York’s former police commissioner and mayor. There’s a secret lottery created by some bankers in Basel to determine the exact date of Sidel’s death. And Sidel has to outrun this lottery in order to save himself. His greatest allies are not the Secret Service or the DNC, but a former Israeli prime minister who was a explosives operative during the British occupation of Palestine . . . as well as a mysterious billionaire who belongs to a brotherhood of killers and counterfeiters. His only companions in the capital are the captain of his helicopter fleet and a sexy naval intelligence officer who realizes that something has gone amuck at Camp David, when a band of mercenaries arrive with their sights trained on Sidel.

My Review

Jerome Charyn paints a disturbing picture of what life might be like for the President of the United States. It's quite a sinister and disturbing portrait. Why? Because everyone wants him dead. There's even a lottery, taking bets on the exact day he's going to die, with everyone from corporate bankers to international criminal networks, entering the sweepstakes. For President Isaac Sidel, there's not much to feel happy about.

Yet it's even harder for him to deal with when the mortal danger he's in is soon coupled with paranoia. Besides death threats being found inside the White House, it seems as if the walls have ears. All phone lines are tapped, and every call is recorded, so that it seems like half the planet is listening in on his conversations. Every one of his moves is mapped out and diagrammed, his destination logged and recorded. On the road, there's always a Lincoln behind him and a Lincoln in front, with a body double sitting in either one of the two. Every person he comes in contact with is scrutinized as a potential terrorist or saboteur.

No wonder the poor guy feels like the shrinking man of Pennsylvania Avenue.

Yet now with a price on his head, he feels like he can't even travel anywhere because he can't trust his own mechanics. And if the President of the United States can't go out, then he can't govern, which is exactly what the lottery pundits want - to immobilize him. The White House is "a mansion in the middle of nowhere. It [can't] connect him to the nation's pulse." His supposed safe haven is now nothing but an asylum.

And on top of it all, he has to deal with the blatant disrespect and open subordination of those who are supposed to be working for him, listening to talk like, "We have to walk around on tiptoe and protect a president who's an utter incompetent, who doesn't have the least conception of his own responsibility, who's putting all of us in harm's way."

There's the sting. His intelligence teams gather little intelligence, or no intelligence at all, and he's left to fiddle in the dark. It's not his fault that there's an assassin in the White House. As a college dropout, he feels like he doesn't belong in the White House, but yet he resents being trapped in a cocoon like some kind of recluse.

He even succumbs to tears when he thinks about the Manhattan lifestyle he left behind, especially when he's barraged with gunfire at Camp David, and a bomb explodes under his feet in Czechoslovakia. However, when a hired assassin finally appears in his private chambers, that's the last straw. Sidel has had enough. He's ready to fight back, especially when the killer turns out to be someone who was right under his nose, all along.


Winter Warning can be purchased at:
Barnes and Noble

Prices/Formats: $25.95 ebook, $25.95 paperback
Genre: Political, Espionage, Thriller
Pages: 256
Release: October 1, 2017
Publisher: Pegasus Books
ISBN: 9781681773483
Click to add to your Goodreads list.


About the Author

Jerome Charyn published his first novel in 1964. He's the author of Johnny One-Eye, The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson, I Am Abraham, and dozens of other acclaimed novels as well as nonfiction works. His short stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Paris Review, American Scholar, Epoch, and Ellery Queen. Charyn's popular crime novels featuring homicide detective Isaac Sidel inspired a new animated drama series: Hard Apple debuts on the small screen in 2017, helmed by Hollywood insider James Gray (The Immigrants) and illustrated by famed artists Asaf and Tomer Hanuka. Charyn lives in Greenwich Village, New York.

Links to connect with Jerome:
Web Site
Facebook (author)
Twitter (author)
Facebook (Isaac Sidel)
Twitter (Isaac Sidel)


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1 comment:

  1. Dear City Girl: So glad you read and enjoyed Winter Warning. And thank you so much for your thoughtful take. Watch for an animated series based on JC's Isaac Sidel series that will expand the "shrinking man of Pennsylvania Avenue."