I wrote Dark Network for people who crave a smart story–particularly thriller and mystery fans. Publishers Weekly has compared it to the work of David Baldacci and Brad Meltzer, which was awfully kind.
While the story isn’t precisely about what’s going on now, much less a treatise on the role of dark money in politics, the fact is both Dark Network and Faithless Elector draw upon, and were shaped by, the time in which there were written as anti-democratic forces began casting their long shadows across the political landscape. If you read them, you’ll find yourself looking at the circus in new ways.
You’ll also see the stakes beyond the daily noise and outrage. As well entertained, you’ll be rejuvenated. Though conceived and written in the midst of crisis, these stories aren’t about the malaise of now; they aren’t about giving up. They’re about more or less ordinary people finding a way to act, to push back.
I think it’s a story we all need right now.
I started writing it in February of 2016, when some of what the books still seemed a bit far-fetched. Around that time, I described the novel’s plot and talked about the conspirators to a friend when she asked what I was working on. She listened and then said the title reminded her of something she’d read about. I was unnerved.
I worried that I’d put thought and effort into something that would be viewed as derivative or as riding on the coattails of someone else’s work.
A week or so later, the same friend emailed me about Jane Mayers’ Dark Money, which had just come out. “This is what I was thinking of the other day,” she wrote. I was relieved. Mayer’s book was journalism, a work of non-fiction. Mine was a work of fiction, and while the titles themselves were similar, mine referred to the term applied to terrorist networks, drug cartels and other organized crime groups.
But when I finally read Mayer’s book, while I was finishing edits on Dark Network, I realized we were pointing at many of the same things, if not the same precise people–mine are fictional characters, after all. Nevertheless, her book and my books are animated by the same fear that a small group would seize power by exploiting (and in Mayer’s telling, creating!) weaknesses and loopholes.
You should see for yourself.
James McCrone is the author of the Imogen Trager political suspense-thriller series Faithless Elector and Dark Network. Find them through Indybound.org.
They are also available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powell’s Books. Link to REVIEWS