WOW – just WOW!! If there is one book that has knocked my socks off this year, it is The Washington Decree by Jussie Adler-Olsen! This is one action packed political thriller that must be read!
Adler-Olsen is most well-known for his Nordic Noir, Department Q series, which I admit that I adore. He is an incredibly talented writer who gives depth to all of his characters and The Washington Decree is no exception. The characters are so well drawn that I, literally, had a picture in my head of what they looked like, who they reminded me of, what their next course of action might be. It was as though they were people I actually knew well.
The Washington Decree introduces us to the main characters several years before the actual story takes place. However, though this introduction, we begin to get a feel for these characters’ personalities and how closely they are tied to one another. When the actual tale begins to unfold, this background is key to the hopeful outcome in the end.
In essence, this is a story ripped from today’s headlines. A president, a wealthy businessman, is overwhelmingly elected to office. However, on election night his wife is assassinated. Overwhelmed with grief, the president initiates a series of executive decisions that will alter the foundation of America’s political, economic and constitutional foundations. The result, of course, is panic and outrage that grows worse with each day he is in office until the very (!) climactic conclusion. In case you suspect that the book is written with America’s current president for an example, keep in mind that The Washington Decree was originally written in 2006 and only now is being translated into English. In addition, the president in question is a Democrat and not a Republican. It does, however, mirror today’s current events very closely, taking them headlong to their ultimate, tumultuous outcome.
ALL US citizens are subject to arrest and imprisonment without charge in the event of a “state of emergency.” Freedom of speech and the right of assembly may be suspended and censorship of the media implemented.
Just a little something that was appended at the end of the book but is, in fact, part of the government’s right in the event of an “emergency.” It is the right that FDR used in the 30s when he shut down the banks and government while crafting his New Deal. The right to executive decision has long been part of the US Presidential powers but never used to the extent that it has been under Presidents Obama and Trump. This is the premise to the book. Its characters, their actions, the re-action of the various groups and organization in America, were so perfectly depicted that I truly believed that this could happen today, right now. It was/is a terrifying read!
The book is not without faults; it is a long book and there are passages that I thought were unnecessary to the overall theme of the book. I also felt so strongly at times about some of the political actions that I had to set the book aside until I could objectively begin reading again. Regardless of your party affiliation or nationality, remember Adler-Olsen is not American, this is an incredible, gripping read and well worth getting to the end – which will knock your socks off!! Just when you thought it was safe to come out from underneath the bed…… that ending. Just WOW! WOW-WOW!