Thursday, October 17, 2019

Book Review: 'White Lies in Wisconsin (Cooper Smith Book 3)' by Joe Field

White Lies in Wisconsin by Joe Field

Exceptionally fine political drama

Minnesota author/songwriter/musician Joe Field made his formal writing debut with a homegrown atmosphere series Cooper Smith Books, BROWN SUGAR IN MINNESOTA, was his first, followed by BLACK GOLD IN NORTH DAKOTA, and now he adds WHITE LIES IN WISCONSIN. He writes thrillers and is a member of the International Thriller Writers. Joe also plays the keyboard and has published three singer/songwriter albums, including ‘Great Lakes Legends’, ‘Paul Bunyan’, and ‘Right Girl.’ 

For those for whom this is an introduction to Joe’s work, Cooper Smith is a Minnesota Public Radio reporter whose actions now spread across three states. In this Wisconsin setting – Green Bay, to be exact – the book opens with a murder scene that is so well described that it pleads continuing on with Cooper’s investigation. Or as the plot is described, ‘When the governor of Wisconsin’s mistress is found dead of apparent suicide, a long-time political operative sets off a chain of events across the state in his quest for the governor’s throne in Madison. For Minnesota Public Radio reporter Cooper Smith, this is more than a hot story—the governor’s mistress was his coworker, and he suspects foul play. Dismissed by law enforcement, Smith makes it his personal mission to resolve the woman’s death, and figure out who is behind all of the chaos in the Badger State – all the while trying to make it out before someone turns him into sliced cheddar.’

Joe Field’s way with words is so accurately Midwestern that his story comes alive on every page. This is a very well paced political drama and provides a fresh insight into political machinations – at a time when media focus is on that topic. For those of us who have followed Cooper Smith’s pursuits, this novel proves to be the finest, raising the hope that there will be more ‘episodes’ from this Field/Smith duo. Highly recommended.

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.