About the author:
Born in Iowa, Chuck Waldron lived in Ontario, Canada, before relocating to Florida’s Treasure Coast. Over the years, he’s held many jobs. The ones he can mention in print include US Army soldier, truck driver, office manager, mailman, real estate salesman, social worker, hardware store clerk, and shuttle driver.
Fate played a crucial role when he walked into his first writing class, and he still honors the memory of the teacher, Henrietta. She gave him permission to write. That—along with countless writing groups, classes, seminars, and much sweat—has resulted in over fifty short stories and four novels.
Waldron often likes to pretend interest, lacks perseverance, and could generally use a good talking to—until it comes to his writing, that is. He and his wife Suzanne reside in Port St. Lucie, Florida. While keeping an eye out for hurricanes, alligators, and Burmese pythons, he’s busy writing his next novel
About the book:
Matt Tremain publishes Verité, a modest blog dedicated to writing about the truth and exposing scams. Currently, he’s following up on rumors concerning something called CleanSweep, a mysterious project in Toronto, Canada.
Matt gets his break when a whistleblower connects CleanSweep to billionaire Charles Claussen. Claussen plans to rid Toronto of undesirables, beginning with street people and extending to any citizens who don’t match Claussen’s restrictive screening matrix.
With the help of a high-ranking government official, Claussen plans to incite riots and violent unrest, conning Torontonians into sacrificing privacy and civil liberties for illusionary security and safety. Toronto will be reduced to a repressive city-state.
The information overwhelms Matt, who doubts he has the courage, skill, or readership to take on CleanSweep. But the murder of his source convinces the blogger to take a stand—although he’s too late to prevent chaos from gripping Toronto’s streets.
To get the word out, Matt’s going to need allies. He may have found some in a Toronto police detective and a local TV reporter pursuing the same story—presuming they aren’t allied with Claussen. If they are, Matt’s going to become yet another victim of CleanSweep, and the truth will be buried forever.
Review of ‘The CleanSweep Conspiracy’:
There are a couple of aspects to this book that deserve attention as part of this review.
Author Chuck Waldron’s writing style is engaging but heavy at times, making parts of the book a little heavy to read despite the fast-paced plot. Speaking of which, the plot during the first half of the book is very tight and well weaved; however, the timeline starts unravelling at the halfway point when the story’s tension increases a notch, i.e. at the worst moment for it to unravel. Thankfully, although it does take a little bit away from the reading experience, the book remains overall easy to read.
Something that was very powerful for me to read was the racist rhetoric of the reasons behind CleanSweep. I won’t go into too many details here as I do not want to spoil the book, but this is a point that is worth keeping in mind when entering Waldron’s world. We hear racist rhetoric all the time but I personally only hear bits and pieces or only philosophical thoughts or such random calls for action that I can’t take it too seriously. I have a feeling that this is the relationship the average North American has with racism.
So to see written black on white a systematic plan for modern day race cleansing is chilling, all the more that this plan brings together the above-mentioned bits and pieces that we hear all the time. I personally suddenly realised how dangerous these seemingly bits and pieces can be if they are put together.
I usually tend to stay away from books that are too dark; I feel that it is important to remain hopeful in the face of all the darkness that surrounds us, as delving too much into the darkness can make us forget about the light of unity we should be working on spreading. The CleanSweep Conspiracy does touch upon some extremely dark matters, but because some very normal people arise together to the challenge of bringing it down, it brings an overall sense of hope as to our common future.
Another interesting concept Waldron explored is that of the relationship between the individuals in a community and the institutions that govern the community. It is not that a certain level of security measures set by institutions is inherently wrong; quite the contrary, institutions are amongst others responsible for the safety of the people living within the geographic boundaries they are in charge of.
However, when you have a dissonance between personal development and service on such institutions, then that’s when you have institutions overstepping their power. That defines the difference between institutions making honest mistakes that can easily be forgiven by the people they serve versus institutions that can’t be trusted. I can’t say much more unfortunately without spoiling the book, so instead I’ll wait to hear from readers to continue the discussion!