ó As congressional aides with vulnerable bosses wonder
if theyíll still have a job come 2019, a former
Capitol Hill staffer wrote a novel about just that.
Library of Congressí Colleen Shogan decided to set the
fourth installment of her Washington Whodunit series,
"K Street Killing," in the middle of a tense
Ö a matter of fact of what happens here on Capitol
Hill ó the uncertainly, particularly in the past 20
years, of the fact that either house usually has a
chance of flipping during most election cycles,"
Shogan said. "It really places additionally stress
on congressional staff due to the unpredictability of
protagonist, Kit Marshall, works for fictional
vulnerable North Carolina congresswoman Maeve Dixon. At
a fundraiser for Dixonís campaign, a powerful K Street
tycoon plummets to his death when he tumbles off the
roof of lobbyist haunt Charlie Palmer Steak.
I was thinking about the series and different situations
that I can put Kit in, I always thought that basing it
around an election season and a really close campaign
would make a lot of sense," Shogan said. "I
worked for a senator who was in a very tough re-election
race when I worked in Congress, and I just remember that
it was a very stressful and tension-filled time in the
her own years racing the Capitol halls, she feels for
staffers there now.
donít fully appreciate sort of the difficulties that
people who work in Washington, the difficult conditions
that they work under," she said. "Thereís
not a lot of job security, and a lot of times, some of
the decisions that are made are decisions that you canít
control. You canít control how people vote in a
district or a state."
readership beyond the Hill could learn a lesson from the
novel, Shogan said.
also trying to provide some information and educate them
about what Capitol Hill is actually like Ö to sort of
educate them, yeah thereís an election going on but
this is how it affects real people, I think is
important," she said.
for current staffers reading it, she thinks the story
will seem familiar.
lot a staff, I think theyíll self-identify with that
sort of feeling that Iím trying to convey in this
book," she said. "Itís not supposed to have
any great revelations in it, I donít think, except to
validate some of those feelings."
her previous novels focused on murders inside the
Senate, the House, and an exclusive D.C. club, the
lobbying world was the logical next stop.
really difficult to tell a whole story about Capitol
Hill without talking about interest groups and lobbyists
because theyíre such a big part of the business, the
transactions here on a daily basis," Shogan said.
from her writing career, she is the deputy director of
national and international outreach at the Library of
Congress. The D.C. native likes her books to read like a
tour of the city, with mentions of iconic local spots
like We the Pizza, Sonoma, the Kennedy Center and Barrel
Street Killing" was released July 15.