The novel’s vast cast of characters showcases the turbulent fight for justice and what’s right for the country, while some use the power struggle for their own purposes. In the midst of this horror is a beacon of hope. Adler-Olsen writes as if he’s lived in the United States his entire life, and the novel reads as if it were written recently, not years ago. This thought-provoking and timely political thriller shows the author can craft more than compelling crime scenarios.
Congress is shut down. Undocumented immigrants are deported, borders are closed, and the press is censored. Opponents disappear. White House employee Dorothy 'Doggie' Rogers and press secretary Wesley Barefoot must work with their old friends from the PR campaign—Sheriff T. Perkins, charismatic Rosalie Lee, and NBC journalist John Bugatti—to convince Americans that the new order is the product of a treacherous coup ... this nightmarish portrait reveals how easily democracy can slide into autocracy, scaring the apathy out of readers.
Stepping away from his Department Q series to deliver this politically-charged standalone novel, Jussi Adler-Olsen’s timely new thriller offers a terrifying glimpse at what could happen under the right circumstances should the president ever lose his mind and begin acting out of control to serve his personal agenda instead of serving the American people. Overall, The Washington Decree has a great setup for a conspiracy thriller, but the execution, while not bad, isn’t great, either ... it...never really lives up to the hype ... In the end, there is a somewhat valuable message for readers, and the timely plot threads will no doubt resonate with some Americans, while, quite frankly, others (depending on their political leanings) will absolutely hate it.
The idea of a top-notch Danish thriller writer setting his sights on Washington seems like a good one, but it turns out that tackling unfamiliar turf is a lot harder than it may look from across the ocean ... The book has its fair share of issues—including a foreword by the author with a date of 2007, though it refers to Brexit; odd idioms such as “it titillated the back of his mind” and 'his legs were tripping nervously'; and a reference to a 'geographical show' that mimics NatGeo’s geography bee. But the real problem is a plot that reads like a screenwriter’s fantasy of political Armageddon: outrageous coincidences, bizarre character motives, tanks and bodies in the streets, and an outcome that strains the credulity of even the most avid disaster movie fan.
Adler-Olsen’s complication is his decision to focus not on a single American oppressed and powerfully radicalized by the new regime but by an oddly assorted group ... Despite a disturbing and all-too-plausible concept duly supported by an appendix listing real-life executive orders ripe for tyrannical misuse, this nightmare gradually turns into a standard-issue lots-of-good-guys-versus-even-more-bad-guys scenario populated by characters you’ll hardly miss when they’re killed, as so many of them are.
First published in Denmark in 2006, Adler-Olsen’s far-fetched political thriller plays out in a near-future Washington, D.C., where newly elected President Bruce Jansen tries to centralize power by suspending parts of the Constitution ... The ponderous plot moves in ways that strain belief. Fans of the author’s long-running Department Q crime series...won’t find much to like.