Mark Costello Big If

ISBN 13: 9781843542186

Big If

3.11 avg rating
( 327 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9781843542186: Big If

Mark Costello's kaleidoscopic novel weaves together the stories of three people who guard the life of the Vice-President of the United States. Their problems multiply when their chief, Felker, realizes that he is better at planning attacks than foiling them, and disappears. While the team struggles to protect the V.P. and discover the whereabouts of their most dangerous threat, they must also contend with their unravelling personal lives. With Felker on the loose, the election just days away and family traumas abounding Costello seamlessly interlaces the team's burgeoning troubles. Big If juggles assassination threats with school runs and political victories with growing personal crises. It is a gripping, giddying, utterly original novel that will exhilarate and unnerve its readers in equal measure.

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Review:

Substantial insider detail and highly developed, creatively drawn characters help make Mark Costello's Big If a highly memorable work. Struggling to find her place in the Secret Service, Vi Asplund has accepted the high-stress position of guarding the vice president during his New Hampshire primary run. Her brother Jens, co-creator of the realistically brutal computer game Big If, can cash in his lucrative stock options soon if his increasingly troubled conscience and mental imbalance don't overwhelm him first. Both are reeling from the death of their father Walter, a respected insurance-adjusting atheist. Vi's boss Gretchen, a single mom, is trying to maintain unity among her team as well as a connection to her troubled son. Her diverse crew includes Tashmo, a veteran agent with an overactive libido, and Lloyd Felker, a revered protection theorist and creator of The Dome, the Service-implemented area of safety.

While Jens reluctantly bows to pressure from his superiors to create human-like monsters for Big If, Felker's mysterious disappearance heightens apprehensions among the team, who are increasingly uncertain about their ability to protect the vice president against a dense and volatile public. Costello offers a remarkable level of accessible and fascinating governmental information, and he's rendered his cast with inventive depth, such as Tashmo's fixation on Ronald Reagan and the woman on the Land O'Lakes logo, or Walter's habit of crossing out the word "God" on every dollar bill. Big If is a rare novel: a complex examination of conflicting American ideals that's also accessible, fun, and totally worthwhile. --Ross Doll

About the Author:

Mark Costello worked as a Federal Prosecutor for five years before writing his first novel, Bag Men. Big If was published in 2004.

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Mark Costello
Published by Atlantic Books (2005)
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Mark Costello
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Costello, Mark
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