Tales of political corruption have been in the news a lot lately. It is a trap that has snared many a politician – although I would have thought former journalists would know better.
The background to these stories of corruption are usually very intriguing, often involving secret cash, secret lovers, blackmail, and so on…
No surprise but it is also very rich fodder for fiction. Here for your reading consideration are a sample of novels – mystery, romance, suspense, thrillers and historical fiction- that contain elements of political corruption.
First published is 1946. Set in the 1930s, this Pulitzer Prize-winning novel traces the rise and fall of Willie Stark, who resembles the real-life Huey ‘Kingfish’ Long of Louisiana. Stark begins his political career as an idealistic man of the people but soon becomes corrupted by success.
Also made into a feature film twice. Once in 1949, starring Broderick Crawford, as well as a 2006 feature film, starring Sean Penn and Jude Law.
Senator Andrew Foster has it all: charm to spare, a loving wife, a beautiful daughter, and a fast-track career that will surely land him one day in the White House. And with the sudden resignation of the vice president, that track may have gotten a lot faster. But there’s a problem. There are people who know that Andy Foster’s charm can get the better of him, and they have bugged the Shelter Island bungalow where he is enjoying a midnight tryst with a beautiful campaign adviser.
HE’S USED TO GETTING WHAT HE WANTS… A former football star and one of Chicago’s top prosecutors, Assistant U.S. Attorney Cade Morgan will do anything to nail a corrupt state senator, which means he needs Brooke Parker’s help. As general counsel for a restaurant company, she can get a bug to the senator’s table at one of her five-star restaurants so the FBI can eavesdrop on him. All Cade has to do is convince Brooke to cooperate—and he’s not afraid to use a little charm, or the power of his office, to do just that.
Murder at Union Station (M)
by Margaret Truman
A thriller about suspected corruption in the highest office in the land. With a mix of skepticism and respect woven through a story about how a young writer’s zealous pursuit of success causes him to compromise his ethics. When the writer prints an unsubstantiated story told him by an old mobster, all hell breaks loose: a right-wing senator attempts to use the story to unseat the president, and the mobster is murdered at Union Station before he can testify for the senator’s committee.
Power corrupts. Power and money corrupt absolutely. In Washington, Senator Landon Meyer – leading presidential candidate and pivotal voice in a divided senate – imposes his choices to fill two Supreme Court vacancies on the President. In San Francisco, Charlie Palmer – a specialist in burying the crimes of the political and financial elite – lies paralyzed by a gunshot. Linking the two is the senator’s all-too-cunning brother – a federal judge secretly managing his campaign.