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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Book Review: The Founders' Plot by Frank Victoria

I loved the constitutional and immigration issue discussions in this book.
The Founders' Plot
by Frank Victoria
File Size: 406 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Frank M. Victoria; Limited edition (June 1, 2012)
  • ASIN: B0088DBQ8Q
  • Genre: Political Thriller
  • My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: June 1, 2012
When California Governor Michael J. DiGrasso pushes through a tough immigration law, the Supreme Court declares it unconstitutional, but the decorated Vietnam veteran refuses to accept the ruling. This ignites a clash between federal, state, and judicial power that threatens to jar the country’s political and justice systems. And it leaves the governor’s long-time friend, President of the United States, Martin W. Ballard, with the decision of whether to federalize the California National Guard to enforce the Court’s order.Tension increases when Elizabeth Stern, a savvy member of the opposition party tries to ram through a new immigration law that will pass judicial review. An expert in back room legislative machinations, she’ll go to any length to force the governor to obey the Court decision, and her devious maneuvers throw DiGrasso’s personal and professional life into turmoil.One sub-plot involves DiGrasso’s close personal friend, Congressman Manuel Mendoza, who is indicted for taking bribes. Another concerns two Mexican families in the country illegally and the tragedies that befall them because of the new immigration law.The unfolding of these interwoven events creates a tense, fast-paced thriller that parallels the current tumult over illegal immigration and the on-going debate on Constitutional interpretation that will leave readers craving for the eventual outcome.

Michael (Mike) J. DiGrasso was elected as Governor of California on a platform promoting a tough immigration law. He gets a strong law passed by a favorable legislature but then has to struggle to enforce it especially as sanctuary city mayors resent the law. A bigger issue arises when the law is challenged and the appeal process results in the US Supreme Court declaring the law unconstitutional. Mike has determined that the Supreme Court has overstepped its function and he refuses to abide by their ruling.

A particularly determined Senate Minority leader is intent on bringing down the Governor by any means possible. First they will try to race through a more lenient immigration bill that will not be overturned. Second they will seek impeachment. All of this stress creates tension between Mike and his wife, including the fact that the opposition is willing to stoop to blackmail with a past indiscretion.

Meanwhile Carlos and his friend, Julio, are concerned about Carlos and his family being deported to Mexico. They have managed to make good money including owning the apartment building where they live. Carlos has also earned significant funds by participating in an illegal activity. Although Carlos wants to stop this activity, his superiors are not going to take that nicely.

I loved the first half of this book that expounds on the history of the American founders, the separation of government powers, constitutional issues, government finagling and, most importantly, examples of the Supreme Court improperly stepping into the legislative realm through court orders. The description of difficulties for government dealing with illegal immigrants and for the problems the people face personally were also very interesting. I liked the secret plot that supports the title.

The second half of the book lost some momentum as it turned into more personal drama. The story followed personal issues of Mike, especially after he was the victim of an assassin attempt. The author also followed family and work problems faced by Carlos and his friends. The author did wrap up details at the end even though it felt a bit forced and incomplete.

The writing had a good flow with better pacing in the first half and drama in the second. There was good individual character development with some normal and unusual quirks. The final result was engaging although I would have liked it better if it had stayed more with the political and social issues instead of diverging into the drama issues. I recommend this to any reader who enjoys constitutional issues and stories involving political and personal effects of immigration issues.

I received this from New Shelves Distribution for an honest review.

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