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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
Picture a highly sophisticated, technologically advanced organization controlled by a clever control freak of superior intelligence, whose personal agenda is world domination of key areas of politics, society, entertainment and media. Envision a limitless access to money that allows Victor Youngblood to hire the best people for a multitude of positions in his organization, Mousetrap. Yes, his organization is just like the board game you enjoyed as a child, but once you get caught in Youngblood’s mousetrap, there is no escape. When Youngblood discovers Jeremy Prince, he knows he has found the perfect person to succeed him once he reaches his goals. Together with the other talented members of Mousetrap, they work on assuring that the presidential candidate who will best serve Youngblood’s plans gets elected. But then there’s the good Elijah, an independent who begins capturing the hearts and minds of American voters and poses a serious threat to Youngblood’s dreams. As the days to the election count down, good people get trapped and die, and tensions reach an all-time high for Youngblood, Jeremy and, best of all, for the readers of Manipulated.
Oh boy! If you follow President Trump’s incessant tweets and roll your eyes at his every mention of “fake news”, Manipulated by John Ford Clayton might make you wonder if Trump has a point. Furthermore, don’t be surprised if, as you read this unique and riveting book, you find yourself again thinking about what happened during the 2016 US elections. Could that outcome have been the result of a situation similar to that presented in Manipulated? The possibility is mind-blowing. I can honestly say I have never read a novel quite like Manipulated. The entire concept is brilliant. It’s also downright frightening. I challenge readers to close this book and not wonder if we too are being manipulated each time we read or listen to the news. Is that news real or fake? John Ford Clayton is a remarkable writer with a great command of plot, characterization and dialogue. And here’s the best part: he has two sequels already underway. Hurry up and write that next book, John. Your newest fan can’t wait!