NEW DEAL FOR DEATH by Elliott Roosevelt


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 The second in this posthumously published series featuring Boston banker-playboy Jack Endicott (The President's Man, 1991) is set in 1932, just after FDR's nomination for President. Roosevelt has lots of enemies besides Republicans; a powerful group of Hollywood movie men is among them--and his ideas on labor laws might considerably lessen their profits. Enlisting local gangsters, a plot is hatched to disgrace the nominee's California-based son Elliott. It misfires, thanks in large part to Jack, who has come to California with mistress Charlotte Wendell to protect his friend Roosevelt's interests. But a more menacing scheme soon develops- -this time no less than a plan for Roosevelt's assassination as he rides in an open car down the main avenue of L.A.--the hired gun an eccentric loner who's also a crack shot. How Jack foils this plan lends some badly needed excitement to a story slow to build and heavy with names dropped--from Douglas MacArthur to Rudy Vallee, along with a veritable catalogue of gangsters of the era (Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel, etc., etc.). Painstakingly depicted details of food, dress, transportation and upper-class mores--along with a skirting glance at the Great Depression--provide a superficial lesson in recent history. The rest is mildly interesting and totally forgettable.

Pub Date: July 20th, 1993
ISBN: 0-312-09267-9
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1993


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