McNay on Money

Rick Robinson's Political Thriller

By: Don McNay
By: Don McNay

One of my favorite writers is Fletcher Knebel. Knebel was a writer in the 1960's who mastered the art of political fiction. Knebel wrote 15 books (all which I read) and many were best sellers. Seven Days in May went to number one and became a major motion picture starring Burt Lancaster and Kurt Douglas.

Wherever there's a crisis, the President sends his envoy.
 
-Warren Zevon
 
One of my favorite writers is Fletcher Knebel.   Knebel was a writer in the 1960's who mastered the art of political fiction.    
 
Knebel wrote 15 books (all which I read) and many were best sellers. Seven Days in May went to number one and became a major motion picture starring Burt Lancaster and Kurt Douglas.
 
With his third book, Manifest Destiny, former Eastern Kentucky University student regent Rick Robinson has established himself as the Fletcher Knebel of the 21st century.
 
Manifest Destiny is unquestionably Robinson's best book.  Like his previous efforts, Maximum Contribution and Sniper Bid, the plot involves mythical Congressman Richard Thompson of Kentucky.  
 
Robinson was a longtime congressional staffer, and is a Kentucky political insider.  Robinson made an unsuccessful run to replace his boss, Jim Bunning, in Congress when Bunning moved to the Senate.     
 
The Thompson character seems to be a fictionalized version of Robinson, himself.  
 
In Manifest Destiny, Robinson's weaves a lot of "inside the beltway" background into a thriller along the lines of a Tom Clancy novel.  
 
Manifest Destiny is where The West Wing meets The Bourne Identity.
 
I don't want to give away the plot, but the book is a page turner with an international flavor.  It seems likely to be developed into a motion picture.  In all of his books, Robinson has an affinity for quoting Warren Zevon and other rock stars.  Readers will find that Zevon's Envoy is a perfect theme for Manifest Destiny.
 
In many ways, Manifest Destiny reminds me of the 1966 novel, Sarkhan, by William Lederer and Eugene Burdick.  They are both books about how government really works.  They are books that could only be written by people who have spent their lives around "real politics."  
 
Manifest Destiny is Robinson's defining novel.    
 

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