The Second Lady by Irving Wallace – review
Does the likes of CIA, KGB, Federal cop finds favour with you as a reader? If yes, then ‘The Second Lady’ satiates your desire to read political fiction with lots of turns & twists thrown in.
Billie Bradford is the First Lady of United States of America; beautiful, intelligent and enchanting and married to Andrew Bradford. As she is preparing and throwing herself in the preparations for the next upcoming President’s election and conferences, there is another First Lady who is also getting ready for replacing the original First Lady.
This lady is the Second Lady, who steals the thunder from Billie and she is the one who sleeps with the President, just long enough to know the state secrets and about the steal the power from West. She is Vera from Russia, a theatre artist and who is plain lucky to have the same features of Billie rather to put it correctly a lookalike body double. The Russian counterparts spend enough time to train and mould Vera into Billie, almost 3 years. The preparation of lookalike is so precise that they even did the touching to her teeth and vagina so that no one can make out if the First Lady is Billie or Vera.
Billie is supported in her day to day schedules by her secretary Nora; she has to find time to be Guy Parker who is working with Billie on her autobiography. These two people play a pivotal role from beginning to end in the lives of Billie and Vera. Then there is Alex who loved Vera and who was crucial in turning Vera into Billie. As the story progresses, readers get involved more & more into the preparations on both sides namely USA for the upcoming Conference with Soviet, Russia for replacing Billie with Vera. How it happens is what readers need to find out? The story moves at a rapid pace with the standard rhythm of thrill & drama thrown in. There are enough explicit love scenes to make readers going through the book and hold their attention. No, these love scenes are not just thrown in for the sake of ‘sex sells’ tag to the book but rather these intimate scenes hold too much of the story in themselves and actually make the story come to a standstill stage and make readers’ think – what next?
The replacement happens and from then on it is a roller coaster ride for the readers. It doesn’t take much of time for Nora & Parker to find all about the plot but whether those two are able to convince the President of the truth is what makes the story a worth read. Will Andrew Bradford believe them? For Vera, it was a performance of the lifetime and a live one! Will she be able to perform flawlessly and will Billie be able to come alive from the prison? All these questions and much more keep teasing the readers till end.
As we near the end of the story, there is only one person who knows in the end whether she is the First Lady or not….the First Lady herself.
Do read the book; it will sure keep you on tenterhooks.