The Capitol Game by Brian Haig

January 2, 2011

Plot summary (from the publisher): It was the deal of the decade, if not the century. A small, insignificant company on the edge of bankruptcy had discovered an alchemist’s dream; a miraculous polymer, that when coated on any vehicle, was the equivalent of 30 inches of steel. With bloody conflicts surging in Iraq and Afghanistan, the polymer promises to save thousands of lives and change the course of both wars.

Jack Wiley, a successful Wall Street banker, believes he has a found a dream come true when he mysteriously learns of this miraculous polymer. His plan: enlist the help of the Capitol Group, one of the country’s largest and most powerful corporations in a quick, bloodless takeover of the small company that developed the polymer. It seems like a partnership made in heaven…until the Pentagon’s investigative service begins nosing around, and the deal turns into a nightmare. Now, Jack’s back is up against the wall and he and the Capitol Group find themselves embroiled in the greatest scandal the government and corporate America have ever seen…

Warning: Spoilers below!

Liked:

  • To be honest, the most intriguing part of this whole book was the story of the old lady going missing, with no heirs for her millions. I couldn’t help but think that would have made for an awesome murder mystery. Too bad it was wasted as an unnecessary subplot. I mean, come on… only the most naive reader would believe Saint Jack did anything to the woman.

Disliked:

  • I had Jack pegged as trying to take down the Capitol Group right from the start. There was just NO WAY the kind of deal he was offering was legit. The plot therefore became extremely transparent and ridiculous, making for a very boring book.
  • Why was everyone associated with the Capitol Group such a frigging doofus? This was a terrible miscalculation on Haig’s part. First of all, the Capitol Group was supposed to be the biggest, most powerful company around. Well, you don’t get that way being run by a bunch of idiots. It just didn’t seem remotely possible that those guys were as stupid as Haig made them out to be, yet somehow managed to build a company worth billions. Whatever. Second, there was absolutely ZERO suspense along the way because Jack got the better of the Capitol Group EVERY SINGLE TIME. Books like this need a formidable opponent in order to succeed. Haig should have let the Capitol guys win a few of the battles every now and then instead of getting beat by Jack at every turn.
  • Sorry, but what kind of company makes a $100 million investment without doing any kind of due diligence at all??? Yeah, I get that the investment was “time sensitive” and the guys were greedy, but come on… They were just going to trust some schmoe off the street like that??? Yeah, right. This particular plot contrivance was just far too convenient for my tastes.
  • I had Mia being with Jack the moment she was introduced. Why else would she be described as being extremely beautiful and as being from the top of her class at Harvard? Why else would Jack rebuff Eva’s advances for seven months? Again, this “reveal” lacked any kind of surprise at all.
  • How likely is it that Jack and Mia’s grand plan worked out EXACTLY as plotted, without ANY missteps at all???? Give me a break. This involved far too many people and variables to have worked 100 percent smoothly. Seriously, not one single thing went wrong. Whatever.
  • I knew the whole CG takedown was meant as revenge for that scene from the prologue. Except I figured it was Jack’s buddies he was taking revenge for; I didn’t guess that the revenge was for Mia’s family.
  • Oh, I just thought of another example of how stupid Haig made the Capitol Group. After the stunning success they had (not!) of planting drugs in Jack’s house, they tried the SAME stunt at Mia’s house???? WTF????!!!! In a book positively filled with stupid characters doing stupid things, that had to be one of the worst decisions of all.
  • Of course Jack managed to score a billion dollars and avoid jail time for his involvement. Again, a big fat “whatever” to that. He was such an arrogant, unlikable, holier-than-thou guy that I couldn’t root for him to succeed. Not at all.

Rating:

There were just too many dumb elements in The Capitol Game for me to ever get into this book. From bungling bad guys to unlikely plot scenarios and a distant, unsympathetic “hero”, this was one of the worst efforts I’ve read this year. I give the book 1 star out of 5.

2 Responses to “The Capitol Game by Brian Haig”

  1. I like your style of reviews. I found myself reading each one and going to the next because you have a direct and organized way of presenting your thoughts and your overall take on the subject. I have read some of the books on your list and enjoyed seeing your views on them. I enjoyed this site.

  2. Thank you very much for your kind comments!

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