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Local Consultant Releases Political Thriller Based in Providence

Providence, RI – As a consultant in the Democratic primary to replace Buddy Cianci as Providence mayor, John Houle had a front-row seat to how politics works – and now he is sharing his insider’s perspective in a fictionalized retelling of that race, The King-Makers of Providence, due for release March 3.

The King-Makers of Providence is for local political aficionados as well as those seeking a better understanding of how politics works in a mid-size city, along with anyone looking for a suspenseful thriller with relatable characters.

“My ultimate hope is to get people involved in politics both by showing them how it works, and also by illustrating what happens when good people don’t step up and participate – special interests and corrupt individuals can end up running things,” Houle said.

In The King-Makers of Providence, the sitting Providence mayor, Jack Donovan, faces an investigation for extortion and embezzlement. Instead of facing arrest and indictment, he flees to Europe. Enter Henry Mercucio, a political consultant and the book’s main character, who is tapped to spearhead a campaign to replace the fugitive mayor.

Mercucio soon finds himself plunged into the world of dirty politics, forcing him to put everything on the line – his job, wealthy fiancé, and personal values – in a tale of love, power, and greed that mixes the Machiavellian with the Shakespearean.

The novel is a “must-read for anyone who likes the twists and turns of a suspenseful novel, layered over a fast-paced political story that can only be emanating from the State of Rhode Island,” according to one local politico who reviewed it, Michael Levesque, a former West Warwick mayor who authors a column for the Cranston Herald.

Far from feeding cynicism, The King-Makers of Providence elicits the sympathy of readers by depicting the full humanity of its characters – their noble intentions along with their misdeeds, their self-serving ambition along with their sense of higher purpose.

“Service in government is still the highest calling,” Houle said. “While Providence has seen its share of corruption, there are many fine people working hard to serve their constituents. These people deserve a lot of credit.”

After his own role in the 2002 campaign, Houle went on to run several successful private and political campaigns through his firm, JH Communications, which recently rebranded as Main St. Media to reflect his commitment to helping small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Houle has also been active in the Chamber of Commerce and was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce in 2022. He was also appointed by Governor Gina Raimondo to serve as a member of the Workforce Partnership of Greater Rhode Island.

The King-Makers of Providence is his first novel, but Houle has already completed a sequel, The Siberian Candidate, scheduled to come out this fall.

A graduate of Boston College, John lives in Cranston with his wife Susan, and their two children, Jenna and Christopher.

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