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Trust But Verify
BY Karna Small Bodman

Regnery Fiction
Sept 25, 2018/ ISBN 9781621577799

Reviewed by  Elise Cooper

Trust But Verify by Karna Small Bodman brings to life the inner workings of the White House in a financial thriller. Realistic political intrigue and suspense mirrors the current issues. The story is propelled by her past experiences as deputy press secretary and senior director/spokesperson for the National Security Council, in the Reagan Administration.

The idea for the story came from “My having a summer home in Jacksonville Wyoming and knew of the annual summer conference hosted by the Federal Reserve Board attended by financial leaders from all over the world.I also attended arms control talks with the Soviets and thought of one of President Reagan’s famous phrases. I used it for the title and for the plot ideas. After the fall of the Soviet Union there was the rise of the Russian mafia and oligarchs and it is estimated they are now involved in four out of ten businesses there. By putting these two ideas together I came up with the “what if:” a pair of Russian oligarchs who have lost a lot of money from sanctions devise a heinous plot to target that conference. Then the stock markets would take a dive.”

The plot has Russian oligarchs with the help of the Russian mafia attempting to create havoc within the United States. First, they attempt to kill Samantha Reid, the Director of the White House Office of Homeland Security, not to be confused with the Homeland Secretary She works within the White House, reporting to the head of the National Security on possible threats. Having been foiled in their first attempt the Russians decide to wipe out an entire group of the world's bankers and other prominent money people by blowing up the Federal Reserve’s annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where Samantha is speaking. FBI agent Brett Keating, who’s investigating the attempts on Samantha’s life realizes something is going to happen at the conference and with some luck and high-tech gadgetry he saves the day.

“I have a source that worked at the DOD. I call him my “Q” from the James Bond series. He tells me of products that he wishes the government would develop. I have in the back of my mind the quote by George Bernard Shaw, “The best way to get your point across is to entertain.” I hope to call attention to different things. I remember a reviewer once said of my books, ‘Instead of calling it fiction why don’t we call it faction.’”

This story is realistic, harrowing, and compelling. Combining real facts with a riveting page-turner makes it a fun read.

Reviewed 2019