Senator is in the process of ebookification, so expect some political blogging, alas.
Senator is about a conservative Republican senator from Massachusetts in the middle of a difficult reelection campaign. Things don’t get any simpler for him when he discovers the body of his mistress, who has been brutally murdered in her Back Bay apartment. Many interesting complications ensue! And I look forward to recalling what they are when I reread the novel to discover what interesting typos the scanning process introduced into the text.
One of my goals in writing the novel was to make the senator (Jim O’Connor) as sympathetic as possible (so it’s written in the first person, for example). Who wants to read a novel whose protagonist is a creep? One of the challenges of meeting that goal is that, as a knee-jerk liberal, I needed to find a way to sympathize with a conservative. I have to say that I found that easier in the early 90s, when I wrote the novel, than I would find it today. Because to be a Republican in 2012 is to sign on to the crazy.
I’ll just assert the craziness here; listing the many examples would be too depressing. But a question of some interest is: what happened to the Republican party? Is the craziness a recent phenomenon? Or was it always there? Rick Perlstein, the author of the infinitely depressing Nixonland, argues that it has always been there. The standard response to this (which you can see in the comments to his article) is: hey, some liberals believe crazy things too! Well, sure. But the crazy liberals are not running the Democratic party. George Romney could stand up to the crazies in the 60s; Mitt Romney saw what happened to his father, and apparently decided that the only way to become president was to embrace the craziness.
I don’t have sufficient imaginative powers to sympathize with someone like that.