Girls, Crimes, and the Ruling Body - Book Review

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Girls, Crimes, and the Ruling Body

Author: Barry Ziman
Genre: Fiction - Mystery - General
Publisher: Archway Publishing
Date Published: August 17, 2021
ISBN-10: 1665707046
ISBN-13: 978-1665708630

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GoodReads Rating:
4.69

Book Review of :  Girls, Crimes, and the Ruling Body



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The political thriller, Girls, Crimes, and the Ruling Body, by Barry R. Ziman, begins with a fast-paced promise of mysterious undertakings. From its chilling beginning of a young woman's abduction to its unexpected conclusion, this is a story of political intrigue. The author paces the novel masterfully. His main character, Ryan McNeil, appears to be a typical, middle-class, young unmarried man with average ambitions but a decent job in the political arena. He is a likable character who is somewhat naïve and trusting. However, his conscience leads him into the political underworld when he reports seeing the young girl, who is later declared missing and presumed dead.

Ryan becomes a suspect, but this doesn't change his life until years later when he becomes a suspect in the disappearance of a second young woman. He sets out to prove his innocence in both the Albany, New York, and Washington, D.C. cases. On the staff of a rapidly advancing congressman, Ryan challenges the political lines between crime and lawful authority. While desperately trying to be a family man, he has to confront the lies of his boss, his lover, and later his wife.

How can he prove he is innocent of murder when the evidence seems to indicate his involvement? Descriptions of violence are realistic and terrifying, as are some of the underworld scenes, but reader beware that this may be an unknown and unacknowledged reality.

This quote from one of the congressmen, "Politics can bring prestige." "But nothing gains respect…like money. Wealth, not politics, is the foundation of all power" could be the novel's theme as Ryan suspects underhanded, semi-legal, and dangerous undercurrents of ruthless political nature. The plot engages the reader as Ryan and the reader try desperately to solve the method and motives of the murders.

Ryan's on-again-off-again girlfriend, Caroline, is as complicated a character as Ryan is simplistic. She seems to reappear in his life periodically, causing the reader to wonder about her implication in the political intrigue. Or is she a "red herring."

Legislation voting deals, special favors, hidden bribes, and deceit are treated as the norm. The focus is on local and state government but could easily be compared to government shenanigans in higher levels.

The plot rapidly accelerates to a totally unexpected conclusion. A night of horror and tragedy turns Ryan's world upside down.


 


Reviewed by: Carole W

About Barry Ziman


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Barry R. Ziman started his career as a Director of Legislation in New York State in the 1980s. In the 90s, he became a lobbyist first in New York City and later in Washington, DC. He is a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science and the State University of New York, College at Oneonta. In October 2021, Mr. Ziman was awarded as an "Honorable Mention" finalist in the F. Scott Fitzgerald Short Story Competition.





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