Santa Fe, NM, October 15, 2020 — In the real world, our government is ineffective and the promise of any real change is short-lived when our elected officials focus solely on how to get re-elected. Could a fictional story that offers a viable, alternative way to govern be a catalyst for change?
Author Martin Laurent uses real-world challenges to inform his novel A Hand Up, and the result is an opportunity to explore without boundaries the progress that could be made when two people, from opposing parties, embrace a collaborative approach for the greater good.
The third installment in a continuing series about Democratic President Bob Jordan and Republican House Speaker Mitchell Lawrence (who have known each other for years), A Hand Up tackles the topic of urban decay and the risks — both political and personal — taken by those brave enough to threaten the status quo.
A Hand Up finds Jordan and Lawrence frustrated with 50 years of failed governmental attempts to improve inner-cities, so the pair chooses a public-private partnership as the mechanism to institute change.
The project, dubbed A Hand Up, has an ambitious vision: transform the inner-cities that are beset with urban blight into safe, vital municipalities with great schools, thriving businesses and other options for recreation. In other words, give people a reason to want to be there.
Recreating a “new” city from the ashes of urban squalor, however, requires the cooperation of and support from city, county and state governments, as well as law enforcement and school districts — and the current leaders aren't willing to cede this much power and control.
Money and power are vested in the status quo. Politicians from both parties, big companies, unions and the media thrive in this environment. Change threatens their power and they must do all they can to stop Jordan and Lawrence. Out of this need for the status quo a plot to assassinate begins to grow.
While first and foremost a novel written to entertain, A Hand Up resonates with real-world problems that plague big-city projects and the political divide that prevents progress. Laurent's narrative compellingly underscores the critical need for government entities to collaborate on even the most fundamental challenges. Perhaps a novel that supports neither (or both) sides of the political divide offers the best chance for building bridges.
Author Martin Laurent worked for General Motors for 32 years. His educational background is in mechanical engineering and business. Practical experience in corporate strategic planning and manufacturing management, along with his expertise in change management lend authenticity to A Hand Up, in which he skillfully describes a common sense process for inner-city improvement.
Since his retirement, he consulted for a time before deciding to simply concentrate on life in Santa Fe, where he lives with his wife of over 50 years, Keren. The couple has travelled extensively.
Laurent has also served on the board of the Santa Fe Recovery Center since 2008. When he began, the center was a 23-bed residential treatment facility that provided a 30-day recovery program. Today, the center has expanded its capacity by five times and offers a wider array of services. The center has been recognized by the State of New Mexico for its excellence. Additional expansions are planned.
Laurent is also the author of The Third Bounce and Pray for Rain, a series that centers on these same two politicians and their wives.
For more information, please visit www.martylaurent.com.
A Hand Up
Publisher: Lithe Excel
Available from Amazon.com and www.martylaurent.com