Big If


Big If Fiction
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Product Description

Comic novel about a Presidential primary campaign in snowy New Hampshire and the security-obsessed Secret Service.

Editorial Reviews

A surprisingly rich action story by second-novelist Costello (Bag Men, 1997, written under the name of John Flood; etc.) about the manic world of a Secret Service bodyguard who tries to keep her own life in some order while protecting the welfare of an elected dolt.Vi Asplund comes from nowhere special-the little town of Center Effing, New Hampshire. The daughter of an insurance-claims adjuster, Vi used to accompany her father on business trips to disaster scenes and at an early age got accustomed to looking at bad situations with a cold eye-perfect training for the Secret Service. After a boring stint in the Anti-counterfeiting section ("The twenties coming through the airport made Andrew Jackson look like a transvestite vampire or one of the grimmer female martyrs"), Vi is transferred to Protection and assigned to the detail watching the vice president, who is trying hard to pick up the nomination for the next election. This requires a number of stupid excursions to bad places-like the disaster-relief photo-op at a flooded riot zone in backwoods Pennsylvania that gets their section deputy killed-and keeps Vi farther and farther from her family. Meantime, her brother Jens, a computer designer back in New Hampshire, seems to be going off the deep end: He's created a sort of Dungeon-and-Dragons game called Big If that has developed a gigantic cult following and is poised to make a lot of money on its IPO, but he's also become so obsessed with the virtual world that he seems to be losing touch with the real one. Vi's Secret Service colleagues-roguish Vietnam vet Tashmo, high-strung single mother Gretchen, the slutty waif Bobbie-are as cynical and diverting as the platoon of a thousand old WWII movies, but they make good background for the inevitable climax: a loony with a gun.Nicely shaded characters and believable situations. A thoughtful variation on the usual chicks-with-guns theme. Copyright Kirkus 2002 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved

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