Saturday, February 17, 2018

Book Review: 'The Amendment Killer' by Ronald S. Barak

California author Ronald S. Barak is a law school honors graduate and a former Olympic athlete. While still in law school, he authored a bill introduced in Congress that overnight forced the settlement of a decades-long dispute between the NCAA and the AAU to control amateur athletics in the United States. In this Brooks/Lotello Thriller series THE AMENDMENT KILLER Ron addresses ‘the country’s dysfunctional government representatives framing practical remedies to the political abuse and corruption adversely affecting too many people’s lives today.’ Ron’s in-depth legal background and insight allows him to cleverly cross-pollinate his fiction and today’s sad state of political reality.

To best understand the background of this very fine novel an explanation of Barak’s proposed 28th Amendment to the Constitution criminalizing political abuse and corruption is important. In short then, ‘PREAMBLES - Priority. The priority of our elected and appointed public representatives must be to serve and not to be served. Integrity. Undue influence in our government has reached epidemic proportions and must be eliminated. Means. Amendment of the Constitution of these United States of America by “we the people,” independent of and unencumbered by our elected and appointed public representatives, is the only perceived realistic means by which to place the emphasis back on public service and to remove undue influence in our government. And the TERMS address the maximum term of service, campaign funding, compensation and expense reimbursement, severability and more. ‘The violation of any provision of this 28th Amendment shall be a criminal felony.’ From this very brief note we can appreciate the immediacy and relevance to our current corrupt political situation.

Barak’s plot synopsis provides a terse outline of the complex plot: ‘"We have your granddaughter. Here’s what you need to do.” That's the text message Supreme Court Justice Arnold Hirschfeld receives as hearings commence in the U.S. Supreme Court to determine the fate of the 28th Amendment - enacted to criminalize abuse of power on the part of our political representatives. In court to defend the amendment, retired U.S. District Court Judge Cyrus Brooks observes his old friend and law school classmate Hirschfeld acting strangely and dispatches veteran D.C. homicide detective Frank Lotello to find out why. In the meantime, Hirschfeld's precocious and feisty 11-year-old diabetic granddaughter Cassie, brutally kidnapped to control her grandfather's swing vote upholding or invalidating the amendment, watches her insulin pump running dry and wonders which poses her greatest threat, the kidnappers or the clock. As Brooks is forced to choose between saving our nation or saving the girl.’

Timely, well crafted, realistic and pertinent, THE AMENDMENT KILLER is not only a spellbinding thriller: it is also an insightful examination of or present political situation. It is a must read. Grady Harp, February 18
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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