The Hellfire Club by Jake Tapper is his first novel. Jake is a CNN anchor and I thought it was interesting and fun that he wrote a novel, especially about Washington DC in the 1950's! It wasn't the best political thriller I've ever read, but it was good.
Charlie Marder was kind of thrown into the political scene from academia. Charlie was a history professor who unexpectedly was appointed to Congress when a seat was vacant. It turned out that his father had pulled some strings to make the appointment happen. Charlie had served in World War II and immediately after his appointment to Congress went after a company who had made defective gas masks, of which one had not worked and led to the death of one of Charlie's soldiers. His fellow Republicans didn't like Charlie opposing the appropriations to the company.
One early morning, Charlie woke up in a wrecked car that wasn't his. Then he saw that there was a young woman lying dead. He had no recollection of being in the car, or of anything happening, since he had been drinking at a party/gathering at the Hellfire Club the night before.
I felt like the story was a bit disconnected and predictable at times, but also interesting. Charlie's pregnant wife was a zoologist who went off to study wild horses in Maryland a couple of times and that was kind of hard to figure out with the story as I was reading it, but it tied together in the end. Although I thought that the tie-in was a bit far-fetched.
Tapper had Roy Cohn, Joe McCarthy, John and Bobby Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and others tied into the story at times.
The Hellfire Club is a good first novel. I'm hoping that Tapper continues to write.