Bleeding Kansas 2.0
What do you get when right-wing ruffians set out to destroy all that's noble about Kansas? You get The Curator, a pissed-off liberal who takes up arms to terminate homophobes, anti-abortion fanatics, Bible-thumpers and other radical reactionaries, in the belief he can restore the state's progressive spirit by intimidating the crazies into silence. More
In the second decade of the 21st century, some Kansans worry that their state is descending again into bloody factionalism, which almost destroyed the Kansas Territory in the 1850s. Right-wing ruffians, who’ve taken over state government, are strangling the state’s progressive spirit. In reaction, an angry liberal who calls himself The Curator is killing homophobes, anti-abortion activists and other radical reactionaries one by one, in the belief he can intimidate the crazies into silence. An unhinged fugitive businessman has stolen a doomsday weapon activated with the tap of a smartphone or tablet screen, and is intent on using it to enslave his former partners.
Into this cauldron of misery and uncertainty steps Harvey Rothko, a failed Wichita lawyer working as a fixer for the Democrats. His bosses want him to mine The Curator murders for mud to sling at the far-right Republicans. Instead, to their displeasure, Rothko butts into the investigation, struggling for headroom against proprietary cops while falling in love with one of them.
The deeper Rothko digs, the weirder – and more terrifying – things get. Way too many elected officials, including the governor, seem to be lackeys for big contributors. A global arms dealer with a nasty temper and dangerous friends takes an unhealthy interest in him. Rumors persist that some members of the business elite indulge in strange sexual antics in a rehabbed barn outside Wichita.
Meanwhile, The Curator’s body count rises and rises. …
Rothko and his cohorts can’t fix what’s wrong with Kansas. Only the people can do that. But he can help hunt down and otherwise thwart the folks who’ve disrupted and plundered the state. The trick is staying alive long enough to do it.
Part thriller, part mystery, part political drama, part romance and even part science fiction, Bleeding Kansas 2.0 is a cautionary tale for our troubled times.
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