THE NEXT PRESIDENT by Joseph Flynn

THE NEXT PRESIDENT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The presidential hopeful is African-American, but few are the real changes rung here on the old send-a-sniper-to-kill-the-candidate caper.

Whenever crack shot J.D. Cade misses, blame it on something spectacularly unpredictable: front-runner Del Rawley suddenly bending to take a rose from a little girl, for instance, causing Cade's .50-caliber slug to pass harmlessly over his head. In one sense, Cade is relieved. He likes Rawley, thinks he's something special in the way of politicians. All things being equal, he'd be happy to see Rawley's steady hand guiding the US ship of state. But, alas, all things are far from equal. Cade, trained as an assassin during the war in Vietnam, is being blackmailed in a particularly nasty way. Take Rawley out, or your son dies, the mysterious conspirators tell him, and not for a minute does he doubt the capability behind the wicked threat. Thus, when his first attempt fails, he immediately sets about planning a second. Still, he truly would prefer not to kill Rawley, whose presidency would be of such benefit to the country. In addition, there's the matter of sexy Jenny Crenshaw, Rawley's campaign manager, to whom Cade is more than little drawn and who would be immensely let down to discover she's been nurturing a viper in her bosom. Clearly, the only way to fend off a variety of disasters is for Cade to force his enemies into open confrontation, which he does. In a climactic scene set in the Hollywood Bowl, good killer faces bad killer, the fate of the nation hanging in the balance.

Once again (Digger, 1997), Flynn provides plenty of plot, but a lethal shortage of characterization.

Pub Date: June 13th, 2000
ISBN: 0-553-10533-7
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Bantam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2000




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