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A middling, uninspired political melodrama about a misfiring conspiracy to assassinate the President (ten years from now)--and how the militaristic conspirators make the best of it. The President is bland Warren Blanchard, the target of assassins--who accidentally kill N.Y. mayor Abraham Lefkowitz in front of City Hall when he makes a fractional movement toward the visiting President, intercepting a 3.8-mm. antitank rocket launched from six blocks away. Also killed is First Lady Gloria B., while the President sustains loss of his right arm, severe concussion, and a six-month recovery stay in Walter Reed Hospital. So the conspirators--a high-placed ""Committee of Six"" headed by industrial giant Wilson Garvey (who ""stands ten miles to the right of Attila the Hun"") and megalo-paranoid General Amos White--take advantage of a weak acting Prez (VP Wilton) to pack the White House with military types, reinstate the draft, up military spending, prepare a move into the Persian Gulf to secure permanent possession of the oil reserves, foment war between Israel and Syria, and start things rolling to wipe out the Commies. When Blanchard eventually returns to the Oval Office, of course, he's stunned--and he begins silently dismantling the big war-machinery buildup around him while launching into his seemingly doomed, Carter-ish reelection campaign. Will he be re-assassinated? Well, that turns out to be unnecessary, because his concussion has left him with blackouts and unfit to serve--so he resigns from the race and from office. . . but not before exposing the conspiracy. Disappointing work from the author of The Defector (1980)-a stale scenario in a leaden rerun, notwithstanding all the villainous huffing and puffing.

Pub Date: April 13th, 1981
Publisher: Norton