Wrath - the life and assassination of a United States Governor

Five U.S. presidents have been assassinated. Only one governor has: William Goebel of Kentucky. This is his bloody story.

As a state senator William Goebel killed a man in broad daylight standing next to the Attorney General. Five short years later - through legislative tricks, an election con and plain old meanness - he put himself into the governor's chair. He held the office for three days before a bullet ripped into his chest.

In Wrath - the life and assassination of a United States Governor, I write about how a man could become so hated from his boyhood to his deathbed. Wrath also tells the story of the man who pulled the trigger.

Howard McEwen is a writer living in Bellevue, Kentucky.

Amazon review:

Two specific moments in Wrath: a novel of Kentucky were utterly breathtaking. The rest were merely intriguing and masterfully constructed--a narrative authentically written and irresistibly imagined by an author who appreciates the importance of culture in history. McEwen knows the lay of a political arena like he knows the bluegrass and hills of Kentucky.

His two main characters, William Goebel and The Mountain Man, are artfully developed with touching depth and consistency. Supporting characters are colorful and unique, offering multiple perceptions and contributions to the storyline. I found myself wanting to learn more the more I read--more about these historical people, more about the Civil War, more about the American monetary system, more about the Appalachian culture of Kentucky. McEwen delves into it all with a robustly woven narrative. The ludicrous power ruthlessly sought by Goebel is accentuated all the more by McEwen's subtle tone and matter-of-fact progression from one event to the next.

Wrath is indeed a story that begs to be told. Parts of it are quaint nods to an era long gone; others offer savvy insight into the power dynamics and philosophies whose legacies have clearly influenced, if not dictated, the present-day political climate of the Midwest. I wholeheartedly recommend this novel, only if you don't mind being kept up by a story you can't put down, or haunted by a character you loathe, but perhaps surrender to root for in the end.