A few years ago Senator Pell observed that in politics, ""People only leave by way of the box, ballot or coffin."" It has become prophetically true not only in real life but in Mr. Drury's novel, the fourth in his Advise and Consent series, which begins when the President's plane crashes (for suspect reasons) and ends with an assassination involving the candidates for the next election. In the interim--for the country, Speaker of the House Abbott becomes the temporary ""Caretaker President""; for the book, there is a considerable debate with more violent repercussions on the Hill as to whether to have another Convention: Orrin Knox (defeated several times in his presidential hopes and the most likely to carry on the dead president's policies--necessary war against the Communists on two continents--Gorotoland and Panama) is the best man or at any rate Drury's concept of the best man; while California's favorite son Jason, a ruthless figure with the ""power to lead or mislead"" is opposing him, affiliates himself with the Peace Party which is again a composite of all the vigilante elements in the country. Familiar figures from the earlier books reappear; now subdued former President Leffingwell; that unctuous/ominous ""philosopher-statesman of the press"" Walter Dobius; etc., etc. But most of this is engaged in the controversy over the re-convening of the Convention, settled on the Hill with mob violence flaring up outside. Once again the characters are not much more than their tags or tickets and it's very talky.