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The Days to Come


The Days to Come

Political fixers Peter Rena and Randi Brooks return in THE DAYS TO COME, Tom Rosenstiel’s sequel to 2019’s OPPO. Like its predecessor, this gripping thriller explores high-tech issues against the backdrop of DC intrigue.

After helping Republican Wendy Upton clear her reputation and thereby win the vice-presidency on a bipartisan ticket, Rena and Brooks are now part of President-elect David Traynor's inner circle. Traynor, a successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur, has ambitions to save the planet, while ensuring that the U.S. remains an energy powerhouse. His secret plan is to fund tech companies that are exploring battery development, and his architect is Colonel Kim Matsuda, a brilliant scientist. That he undertakes this without any oversight is justified by his belief that rivals like China and Russia will move more quickly if they get wind of this initiative.

"[F]or those who enjoy political intrigue, THE DAYS TO COME is an absorbing read."

However, shortly after being sworn in, the dynamic, optimistic President dies. Upton assumes office and takes over the secret project. Concerned that her administration might be exposed to legal and political challenges, she brings in Rena and Brooks to assess how much it will cost, what its chances of success are, and how secure the program is. Silicon Valley is, it appears, replete with foreign investors and tech workers who are involved in the startups and may be acting as agents of competing powers.

Meanwhile, a subplot involving Rena, who is being smeared in order to disrupt his investigation, allows Rosenstiel to delve into how social media and the dark web can ensnare and then weaponize believers --- and how difficult it is to uncover the players and their motivations.

Rosenstiel is adept at exploring all facets of a topical issue, but at times the multiple plots, which unfold in chapters that each highlight a specific character, distract the reader from the narrative flow. Still, for those who enjoy political intrigue, THE DAYS TO COME is an absorbing read.

Reviewed by Lorraine W. Shanley on November 24, 2021

The Days to Come
by Tom Rosenstiel