Here is the book’s description from the Amazon website:
Wichita’s struggling newspaper, the Examiner, sends veteran reporter Joe Emery to Colorado. The dam at the Herman Gunderson Reservoir, 60 miles west of the state line, has collapsed, sending billions of gallons of water coursing downstream into Kansas and killing three people. What at first seems a gut-wrenching natural disaster story, however, quickly becomes something far more sinister.
First, the Kansas governor, Mabel Hodge, bullies her way into a press conference aimed at explaining the disaster. She tells reporters that the collapse of the dam is a blessing for water-starved Kansas farmers and ranchers. These tasteless remarks are apparently intended to shore up Hodge’s candidacy for re-election. Election Day is two weeks away and her Republican challenger is ahead in the polls.
Then, a rival reporter for an upstart Internet news service reveals upstages Hodge. He suggests that the FBI’s official cover story for the disaster, that it is an ‘act of God,’ is a sham. He asserts that the dam was sabotaged and demands that the lead investigator for the FBI confirm it. Instead, the investigator shuts the press conference down.
Thrust into what could be the best story of his life, Emery, an old-school ink-stained wretch, learns that the feds not only lied about the cause of the disaster but also have detained three terrorism suspects – members of a radical environmentalist group. With the help of Carol, the lovely embattled sister of one of the detainees, Emery learns that the feds have the wrong people in custody – and know it.
Emery’s story on their deception quickly goes viral, humiliating the FBI. He’s ready to dig deeper for the truth but the Examiner orders him back to Wichita. During the trip home, he survives an attempt on his life. Two days later, the newspaper lays him off, citing declining profits as the reason. Off the story and stripped of his hard-earned identity, he sinks into despondency.
But with Carol’s encouragement, Emery shakes off his funk and starts The Vindicator, a public-affairs blog. He’s back on the story, navigating a treacherous political environment, uncertain who he can trust, trying to fend off goons sent to stop him. He soon learns that telling the story could carry a terrible cost to the people he loves, and that it may already be too late to back off.
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