LAST RIGHTS by H. H. Dooley


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Political fantasy plus psycho-suspense, heavy on implausible twists and roman-à-clef sliminess--but odd and sassy enough to generate a fair amount of energy. It's some time after the ""Scandal"" (not Watergate, but the same idea), and the party of shamed ex-President Roger Hilton is still fatally tainted by his foul image. So, if promising candidate Sen. Lincoln McAllister is to have a presidential chance, Hilton's image must be cleaned up--and a secret conspiracy to do just that is put into action by the Party's top dogs, with reluctant support from McAllister himself (who totally loathes Hilton). What most of the conspirators don't know, however, is that incorrigible Hilton is hoping to use this clean-up to springboard yet another political comeback. And what nobody knows (except N.Y. psychiatrist Peter Moss) is that young Adam Haas, a terminally ill near-genius, has decided not to die slowly but instead to become a kamikaze; brilliant Adam has quite correctly guessed that Hilton (""that prick of pricks"") is preparing a comeback, so he's determined to assassinate him. Will psychiatrist Moss break doctor-patient confidentiality and try to stop Adam's plan, with help from his old pal in the federal government? (By gross coincidence, this old pal is the leader of the Hilton-image conspiracy.) Will Sen. McAllister agree to enthusiastic support of Hilton's new image when he's threatened by Hilton with film of the Senator's one-time-only homosexual behavior? (There's ugly stuff, too, about Hilton's sexuality.) It all ends in assassination-by-grenade at Grand Central Station--which, in fact, plays into the hands of the Party conspirators. Flimsily contrived and sometimes distasteful nonsense--but written with crude-to-stylish verve (the psychiatrist scenes are best) and certainly a likely diversion for still-rabid Nixon-haters.

Pub Date: June 27th, 1980
Publisher: Doubleday