Crime in Progress: The Secret History of the Trump-Russia Investigation is a book you struggle to put down, but one you desperately want to stop reading.
Through the inside tale of the famous ‘Steele dossier’, Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch lay out the extent of the US President’s alleged ties to the Kremlin – and the US media’s failure to expose it.
The authors are ex-investigative journalists who set up Fusion GPS (a commercial research and strategic intelligence company) after leaving the media world.
Before 2015, the company had worked on a variety of cases, such as opposition research on Mitt Romney and investigating on behalf of Planned Parenthood, but none had landed them in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee before.
The company’s mission began with some typical political research.
Fusion was initially hired by The (Republican) Washington Free Beacon to investigate Donald Trump and other candidates vying for the right-wing nomination.
The money from the Republican establishment inevitably dried up once it emerged former property tycoon and television star Mr Trump would battle the election for the reds.
But Mr Simpson and Mr Fritsch had already seen too much after clambering down the rabbit hole of Mr Trump’s misdemeanours and finding an array of red flags, including damning court files, evidence of bankruptcies and multiple connections to organised crime.
Fusion continued its investigations with backing from the Democratic National Committee, hiring former agent Christopher Steele to dig further into the now-President’s connections to Russia.
Mr Steele’s work only exacerbated fears within Fusion that Mr Trump – then well on his way to the White House – was at best connected to Russia and at worst at risk of being blackmailed by the Kremlin.
The agent compiled 17 reports for Fusion, alleging Russia had interfered with the election to benefit Mr Trump.
Mr Steele’s sources also reported that Russian authorities had cultivated Mr Trump for at least five years and that the Kremlin had compromising information on Mr Trump that could be used to coerce him once in power.
As Mr Simpson writes in the book: “We threw a line in the water and Moby Dick came back.”
Crime in Progress is essentially a series of anecdotes from the view of duo behind the dossier, giving a bucket of colour and flavour to the story that has dragged the US and the Potus for the past three years.
The pair of ex-journalists tell their tale in a dry, entertaining way, keeping the reader’s experience light and enjoyable without taking away from the severity and seriousness of the situation.
It goes on to explain how both Mr Steele and the Fusion bosses tried to alert various authorities to what they saw as a serious threat to national security, but the trio claim to have hit a number of brick walls in raising the alarm.