The Water Lord by Matt Minor
Genre: Political Suspense
Publisher: Dead Tree Publishing
Date of Publication: April 2, 2018
Number of Pages: 249
A town has gone dry, and the general manager of a water district is found dead, presumably a suicide. His crazed widow is in denial and recklessly loose-lipped. Texas House District 100 is again in turmoil, and the interests of the landed class against urban sprawl are at odds.
Enter John David Dothan (The Representative). The world’s hippest legislator is back, but he is a changed man. Post-stroke Dothan dons an eccentric cane and is married to his former chief of staff, Tryphena Taylor. The two lovers reside peacefully tucked away in a country cottage with their rescued cat. But they are swimming against the tide.
Caught between the past and the future, the rural and the urban, the representative is trapped in a no-win situation both politically and emotionally. When a constituent brings to his attention a mysterious ‘retention pond’ things grow increasingly murky. The waters turn completely dark when Dothan learns his forbidden first love, former State Senator Rachael Logan has been hospitalized.
Armed with only his cane and sidekick, Mason Dixon (The District Manager), who serves as his new Chief of Staff, Dothan sets aside the ambiguities of politics and love in search of clarity and righteousness. But the cost of doing the right thing might not just be his young marriage…but Tryphena’s life.
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Matt Minor presently serves as a Chief of Staff in the Texas House of Representatives. In the Texas House he has served under the Pensions Committee, Government Efficiency and Reform, Investments and Financial Services, Bond Indebtedness, and Way and Means. He has worked as a political campaign manager and is a public speaker. Matt has authored official state publications, oversees syndicated editorials, (both political and cultural) and is a speech writer and district radio legislative commentator. Prior to his life in state politics, Matt was a professional musician and entertainer. Matt’s hobbies are centered on the arts, including the craft of poetry, an interest that has brought academic recognition and numerous awards.
His first novel, The Representative was an Amazon Political Fiction Bestseller the summer of 2015, and was accepted and archived into the Texas State Legislative Library. In April of 2016, The Representative won an IPPY Gold medal for Southern Fiction. In the summer of 2016 he released his second novel, The District Manager.
Matt Minor resides on his ranch property in Wharton County, Texas. He lives in Austin during legislative session.
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No research needed on this one. It was fun to realize this book was written by the current Chief of Staff in the Texas House of Representatives. The Water Lord is a high-energy political suspense novel and Matt Minor was able to write what he knew while adding some flair, drama, and mystery. The story also held some heavy ties into music accenting the pages throughout, which again in Matt's past life was a huge influence and most probably still is a great hobby. I don't usually read the author bios before getting into a book, but I'm so glad I read his. In some scenes I'd just smile thinking of him making his work days so much more fun by envisioning these scenarios play out and getting to make an unfavorable coworker into a villain.
The Water Lord held great stamina and excitement til the end. I even got a little refresher course on the way the government works and bills are passed. Mineral rights is a huge issue in Texas with everyone selling their land, but keeping the possible goldmine down below, so it was fun to hear a tale of how crazy things can really get in a more straightforward fight for water rights. Small town strength and small town crazies was my favorite part. So much backstabbing and manipulation in this book, that it's fun to guess who the true master of manipulation is and who will come out in the end the victor. The Water Lord gets personal, which provides a very relevant story line to politics nowadays. When someone doesn't like your political stance, they find a way to drag you down and hit below the belt by involving irrelevant and extremely personal matters. They kick you where it hurts and this story involves a whole lot of stomping on hearts.
My only complaint can be told in Tryphena's words:
"Goddamned, you're beautiful," he remarked.
"I'd feel better if when you said that it didn't reference eternity in hell," I (Tryphena) jested.
"Madam...you are so beautiful," he countered, taking me by the waist with his free arm.
There was a lot of language throughout and being more conservative, it was a bit distracting and seemed unnecessary when you can convey that same passion in nonverbal looks and body language and it might even hold more sway.
I was able to read one of Matt Minor's previous books, The District Manager, years back and I do remember Mason Dixon as the main character in that one, and although he does play a key supporting role in this one, I don't think it's necessary to read before diving into The Water Lord.
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