I have been involved in politics for 40-plus years, so I understand politics. Yet, to date, I had not read a novel about Washington or politicians that captured the true nature of the city, its players or what goes on with any real understanding or believability until I read Evil Town.

J. David Bethel's novel is immensely entertaining (I couldn't put it down). Evil Town informs the reader accurately about how things work in Washington on all levels of government, and he warns – not by hitting the reader over the head but by keeping us thoroughly engaged – what the consequences of these competing power plays might be. There is no partisanship, proselytizing or advocacy, he just pulls back the curtain on what goes on the behind the scenes. Evil Town is fiction, but reads like the backstory of headline news.

Bethel has taken current events and weaved them together with historically accurate incidents to create a compelling story that sucks the reader in with mounting suspense. He peoples the novel with characters who anyone with even a passing knowledge of the players in Washington will recognize as men and women of influence and power in the city today. In my opinion, this is something that has not been accomplished with such compelling and believable results before in political fiction.

Most entertaining for me, and I imagine for anyone who has worked or even visited our Capital City, is the way Bethel has made the city itself a vibrant, living part of the novel. He describes its beauty – the monuments and magnificent architecture – with great skill. He is one of a few authors who know Washington well enough to guide the reader accurately through its streets and around its corridors of power.

Bottom line: Bethel is a very talented and knowledgeable writer. He has contributed a truly remarkable novel to the genre of political fiction. It is a wonderfully entertaining and cautionary tale that will remain with you long after finishing Evil Town.

Buy it now: