Author: Steve Piacente
Genre: Political Thriller
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication Date: May 2012
Description: In the summer of 1959, two black teens hoping to sneak a beer in the South Carolina woods stumble on a Klan lynching led by the local judge. One bolts. The other freezes and winds up with a choice: join the man about to die, or begin hustling black support the judge needs to advance in politics. In trade, he will enjoy a life of power and comfort. Decades later, Big Ike is about to become the state’s first black congressman since Reconstruction. Instead, he finds himself in the same forest, a long rope in his fist, muttering the hated nickname again and again: Bootlicker.
I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review.
Bootlicker keeps your interest from the beginning. The characters are compelling. Ike is a guilt-ridden rising politician being covered by Dan, an ambitious reporter with the Charleston Herald-Leader. Both of the characters are realistic and it’s easy to understand why they do the things they do.
The author draws on his own experience as a New Yorker transplanted in a southern newspaper and as a Washington correspondent to write this intriguing political novel. He does a good job not only with showing how politics and reporting work but also with race issues and how things progressed from the 50’s to the 90’s.