The Stainless Steel Rat For President, by Harry Harrison
Five out of five stars
James (Jim) DiGriz, a con man that calls himself the Stainless Steel Rat, is back engaged in another adventure. A man has been found dead while trying to contact Jim and it is learned that he is from the tourist-trap planet of Paraiso-Aqui. As a consequence Jim, his jealous and deadly wife Angelina and their two talented adult sons Bolivar and James plan a trip to the planet.
When they arrive, they discover that it is ruled by a ruthless man named Julio Zapilote. With the aid of anti-aging treatments and a ruthless and totally loyal police force, General-President Zapilote has won 41 straight terms as president of the supposed democracy. As a consequence of what he experiences, the Stainless Steel Rat decides that he and his team will engage in a big con in an attempt to defeat Zapilote in the next election.
The Rat is once again at the top of his game, reacting quickly to the counter actions of the Zapilote forces, wisecracking and toeing a fine line in avoiding angering his easily enraged wife. Harrison is once again at the top of his game in creating a story where DiGriz demonstrates his intelligence, cunning and willingness to be an ethical con man.
The Stainless Steel Rat is one of the best characters of light science fiction, he is an honorable man willing to engage in dishonorable actions in order to right what he considers to be major wrongs. This is one of the most entertaining science fictions stories ever written.