THE CIRCE FACTOR by Barry Nazarian


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A sleazy, sex-murder plot to assassinate the President--with ERA-amendment motivations but little novelty otherwise. Idealistic Lynn Crawford, a divorced, well-off gallery owner, is bitterly upset when congressional candidate Tom Benett suddenly comes out against ERA after having wooed Lynn to work for him as a pro-ERA candidate. So Lynn is agreeable when zillionaire John Pope, an art collector and Picasso lookalike, urges her to work for Benett's opponent--who wins the election, thanks to Pope's advice and Lynn's canny use of a videotape proving Benett's hypocrisy. In no time, then, she finds herself sought out by the Committee to Re-elect Pres. David Chase. Pope tells her: ""You have no idea of who you can become. . . . Do what you must to be that person."" He is, in fact, grooming her to be a power/sex Circe--and Circe she becomes, her beauty and old friendship with President David Chase leading from the re-election offices to assignations in a back street house in Georgetown. But then Lynn learns that, once again, her candidate isn't really for ERA: ""He wants your stunning face in front of his campaign and your shapely ass in his bed. . . ."" So she agrees to a plot with Pope (who's after an inside track on waterfront shipping) and kills the President in Georgetown during his next climax, using a rectal cyanide capsule. Then she goes to bed with Picasso-Pope, who hardly needs changing into a male chauvinist swine. . . . Unconvincing, not well-written, and ultimately distasteful--but the initial plot hooks do exert a certain pull.

Pub Date: April 20th, 1981
Publisher: Playboy--dist. by Harper & Row