Ed Gorman has the same infallible readability as writers like Lawrence Block, Max Allan Collins, Donald E. Westlake, Ed McBain, and John D. MacDonald. His political consultant sleuth Dev Conrad, introduced during the last Presidential election year in SLEEPING DOGS, returned last year in STRANGLEHOLD. BLINDSIDE, the third novel in the series, is the best yet, combining a trickily plotted mystery, narrative wit, and appropriately cynical political satire. While it's clear which side Dev and his creator are on, they balance the scales somewhat by making the "good guy" candidate as despicable in his way as his opponent. The jaded operative notes of his candidate, "I was in no position to judge him morally. I was in a perfect position to judge him professionally." Observers of various ideological stripes might share Gorman's underlying regret at the dysfunctional state of American politics in the 21st Century. Dev Conrad's final dramatic act is a gesture toward restoring hope, a possibility that always hovers on the edge of vision even in the author's most downbeat fiction.