Den enkla sanningen

The Game Maker

by Mark Johnson

Prime Minister Anders Ekholm is facing a tough election, and all the polls predict that he will lose. What the PM desperately needs is a game change and puts his trust in Jonatan Stark, a young policy coordinator on energy issues. From a secret source, the PM has learned that Lionshare, a consulting agency, holds a groundbreaking formula for a pigment in its possession. The pigment can preserve vast quantities of solar power and if made public, it would fundamentally change the world’s ability to produce energy. But Lionshare’s clients hold large investments in other kinds of energy sources, and therefore the pigment is meant to be forgotten.
Ekholm knows about Jonatan Stark’s background as a scientist in solar power, and convinces him to accept a job at Lionshare and obtain the formula. After all, Stark would be the only one who would know what to look for. With the formula in the government's possession, the PM would be able to inspire new hope and win the election. It’s the game changer they all need.

Meanwhile the PM’s press secretary, Betty Lind, discovers that an unknown number of people close to Ekholm are taking bribes and that she herself is the target of similar accusations. She must act fast to control the damage before the media reveals it to the public. As Lind tries to follow the money, she finds links to Lionshare and someone very powerful, who is using the agency as a front to buy up large stakes of the Swedish energy market.

In 30 dramatic hours, we follow Jonatan Stark and Betty Lind as they chase the truth hidden behind the respectable façade of the consulting agency, and within the intricate power play of the governmental headquarters. The security of the nation is at stake, Jonatan and Betty's lives are at risk, and there is no one they can truly trust.

Den enkla sanningen/The Game Maker is smart political power play and high-paced action, written by an author with unusually good insight in the corridors of power.

Mark Johnson about Den enkla sanningen/The Game Maker

“I was working as a political advisor when the story hit me, beckoning me with its questions like a demanding muse: To what extent would a Prime Minister go to be re-elected? What would that person need to know about its constituency, its political opponent, the media, lobbyists and other moulders of opinions in order to succeed? Which pull on the tightly woven threads of power could turn the public opinion?

Swedish politics serves as a perfect arena for thrillers. Transparency and lack of corruption often characterize the image of our country.

But there’s trouble in paradise.

I devoted ten years of my life to politics and I’ve seen many serpents. I experienced the hard and bitter conflicts that are an inevitable part of a politician’s life. Everyone wants more power, but there’s not enough seats for everyone. The only way to get ahead is to be seen and to be heard, break convention, stick your chin out, do the unexpected, take risks and keep your fingers crossed that people sympathise with your point of view.

The same goes for the author.

I learned quickly that there are no secrets, no short-cuts to writing. You sit alone in a room and write words in a succession that you hope no one has seen before. Sure, there are voices reminding me of my limitations and my hopeless insufficiency. But a good story is a persevering parasite. If I believe in the story just enough, the noise give in to the silence and the writing comes as naturally as breathing. I write because a story wants to be told.

And if a reader would believe in it just as much, then that would create a ‘Big Bang’ between us. After all, that is what creation is about – reaching the point where my craft ends and the reader’s own impression and imagination takes over.”

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