Palace Council
Stephen L. Carter

The much vaunted author of New England White is back with this latest lap crusher and what a tome it is. The book is set in the late 50s through the mid-70s and follows a famous Harlem-bred black writer as both his career and life get interesting. The major thread in this book is his search for his sister who disappeared with a friend of hers.

There are goings on about a plot to manipulate the election of President; a group whose name gives the book its title and is inspired by Milton. Now all this is quite interesting and at first this is a most fascinating tale with characters of the time coming and going apace. Therein lies the rub as well. The book just goes on for too long and seriously drags towards the end. One does find oneself wanting the author to get on with it and end the bloody thing.

What is worse is that the ending is blindingly obvious to anyone who pays attention while, at times, struggling, through the tome. You feel a bit cheated by the ending truth be told. The author is quite talented and I wish him well but his editors need to clamp down on all his waffling. The book could easily be shorter by 100 pages and not lose one bit of its storyline. The pace of this book is sluggish most of the time.

It is a real shame to see such a good tale mired itself so badly. This is a wonderful book and is rewarding, but only for the most patient.

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