It's All Political

Havana Bay

By Martin Cruz Smith

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Russian cop Arkady Renko comes to Cuba to identify the body of a Russian hauled from the waters of Havana Bay. Looking for the killer, he discovers a city of loneliness, danger, and bewildering contradiction.
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Dark Rivers of the Heart

By Dean R. Koontz

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A man and a woman meet by chance in a bar. Suddenly, they find themselves fleeing from a powerful agency -- the woman hunted for what she knows, and the man mistaken as her comrade in a resistance movement.
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Dark Horse

By Doug Richardson

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Believing that he will have no trouble being nominated for congress after the death of a long-time political incumbent, lawyer Mitch Dutton finds a terrifying challenge in dark horse Shakespeare McCann, who is out to win at any cost.
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Snow

By Orhan Pamuk

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"Following years of lonely political exile in Western Europe, Ka, a middle-aged poet, returns to Istanbul to attend his mother’s funeral. Only partly recognizing this place of his cultured, middle-class youth, he is even more disoriented by news of strange events in the wider country: a wave of suicides among girls forbidden to wear their head scarves at school. An apparent thaw of his writer’s curiosity–-a frozen sea these many years–-leads him to Kars, a far-off town near the Russian border and the epicenter of the suicides.

"No sooner has he arrived, however, than we discover that Ka’s motivations are not purely journalistic; for in Kars, once a province of Ottoman and then Russian glory, now a cultural gray-zone of poverty and paralysis, there is also Ipek, a radiant friend of Ka’s youth, lately divorced, whom he has never forgotten. As a snowstorm, the fiercest in memory, descends on the town and seals it off from the modern, westernized world that has always been Ka’s frame of reference, he finds himself drawn in unexpected directions: not only headlong toward the unknowable Ipek and the desperate hope for love–-or at least a wife–-that she embodies, but also into the maelstrom of a military coup staged to restrain the local Islamist radicals, and even toward God, whose existence Ka has never before allowed himself to contemplate. In this surreal confluence of emotion and spectacle, Ka begins to tap his dormant creative powers, producing poem after poem in untimely, irresistible bursts of inspiration. But not until the snows have melted and the political violence has run its bloody course will Ka discover the fate of his bid to seize a last chance for happiness."

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Doctor Zhivago

By Boris Pasternak

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“The best way to understand Pasternak’s achievement in Doctor Zhivago is to see it in terms of this great Russian literary tradition, as a fairy tale, not so much of good and evil as of opposing forces and needs in human destiny and history that can never be reconciled . . . [Zhivago is] a figure who embodies the principle of life itself, the principle that contradicts every abstraction of revolutionary politics.”—from the Introduction by John Bayley

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The Last Hurrah

By Edwin O'Connor

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Edwin O'Connor's prize-winning The Last Hurrah is one of the most entertaining novels ever written about American politics. It evokes the seedy grandeur of Frank Skeffington, last of the great big-city Irish political bosses, making his final race for mayor. The novel was adapted as a successful 1958 film, starring Spencer Tracy.

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Absolute Power

By David Baldacci

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In a heavily guarded mansion in a posh Virginia suburb, a man and a woman start to make love, trapping Luther Whitney, a career break-in artist, behind a secret wall. Then the passion turns deadly, and Luther is running into the night. Because what he has just seen is a brutal murder involving Alan Richmond, the president of the United States, the man with . . . Absolute Power.

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A Fine Balance

By Rohinton Mistry

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The eagerly awaited novel from the author of the award-winning Such a Long Journey is set in India in the mid-1970s. A "State of Internal Emergency" has been declared, and in the days of bleakness and hope that follow, four disparate people find their lives becoming unexpectedly and inextricably entwined.

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Manchurian Candidate

By Richard Condon

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First published in 1959, (this is a) riveting take on a little-known corner of the cold war, the almost sci-fi concept of American soldiers captured, brainwashed, and programmed by their Chinese captors to return to the states as unsuspected political assassins.
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Coup

By Jamie Malanowski

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After four years in the Senate, Godwin Pope, a rich and handsome Princeton grad, decides to run for president against the incumbent, Jack Mahone, a slick, folksy former Louisiana governor who crushes him in a primary debate. In a surprise move, Jack asks Godwin to be his running mate and Godwin accepts. (from Publishers Weekly)
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