A squeaky clean Senator is set to become the Democratic candidate for President. His campaign manager has a campaign worker contact a geneologist to trace his ancestry. That’s when the trouble starts.
John Leyden is a shoo in for the nomination. He and his ex movie star wife have six adopted children from various ethnic backgrounds. One day he climbs a hundred fifty feet up a tree to bring down one of his daughters’ kittens. The public is now his. He really is the Mr.Clean he appears to be.
His campaign manager Zee Quist has James Hamilton look into his ancestry. He inherited his father’s newspaper business. Leyden’s father died in a plane crash before John was born. His name was Connor. His Irish grandfather was run over by a carriage and John’s father was adopted by the carriage driver whose name was Leyden.
Hamilton goes to England and hires Warwick Todd to look into the Connor family. He finds that Grandpa Connor was tossed out of the army and spent time in jail as a child molester. He escaped and made his way to Australia where he continued his criminal life and then eventually came to the United States where he met his fate under the wheels of the carriage.
Hamilton asked Todd to send in reports anonymously. John’s half brother Bill thinks it could ruin his chances for the presidency and takes matters into his own hands. He arranges for Hamilton to die in a car crash. Now he has to find Todd.
Bill hires a crooked geneologist names Rabbet to get Todd’s identity and follow his trail and destroy any papers relating to Grandpa Connor. The President finds out anyway and tries to smear Leyden. It backfires. Now there’s another revelation and Bill will stop at nothing to keep it from coming out.
This is a good read from one of the best thriller writers.