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Paper Gods: A Novel of Money, Race, and Politics    by Goldie Taylor order for
Paper Gods
by Goldie Taylor
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2018 (2018)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Goldie Taylor's Paper Gods: A Novel of Money, Race, and Politics is set in Atlanta and centers on the life and actions of its politically savvy, attractive, and ruthless Mayor, Mayor Victoria Dobbs Overstreet. Her life seems golden. She had her legal training at Harvard and is married to a heart surgeon. They have twin girls.

Tragedy strikes. Victoria's mentor and longtime political ally, Congressman Ezra Hawkins (a former civil rights leader), is shot and killed in Ebenezer Baptist Church. Victoria finds (and keeps to herself) a piece of origami (a paper god) nestled in his Bible. A similar piece of origami shows up at scenes of later killings of people close to the Mayor.

Another key player in the story is investigative reporter Hampton Bridges, who has had repeated run-ins with the Mayor. His career has been in a serious slump, since a scandalous accident (he was driving with a high blood alcohol level) left him in a wheelchair. He suspects that the mayor's henchmen had sabotaged his car.

After Victoria decides to run for Congress in Hawkins' place, the action heats up. The political machine primes another candidate and Victoria fights back. Meanwhile, Hampton's continuing investigation puts a target on his back - and on his wife's - as he tracks down a key witness. Finally, he and Victoria share what they know.

Though I found the characters all very hard to like, Paper Gods is a well written political thriller, in which the political shenanigans dominate over the mystery.

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