THE PLAN by Stephen J. Cannell


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First novel and political thriller about the Mafia setting up an unknown Rhode Island governor to nab the US presidency. New Jersey crime family leaders Mickey Alo and his dad Joseph are irked by new RICO laws and want their own man in the White House, especially with four new Supreme Court appointments coming up (shades of Grisham!). They've got offshore billions in unlaundered money (more Grisham!), funds perfect for backing a presidential run, and what's more, the Mafia-owned UBC, one of the top TV networks, will throw its weight and prestige into the race. To film a documentary about candidate Haze Richards, Mickey chooses his prep-school buddy Ryan Bolt, a TV reporter downed by divorce after the drowning death of his son, but Ryan films a damning tape of Richards as a milklivered washout. As more hindrances to Mickey's plans arise, bodies start dropping, including that of candidate Haze's divorce-bound wife. Ryan goes on the run, accompanied by ex-FBI agent Solomon Kazorowski and Mickey's gorgeous sister Lucinda, who has fallen for Ryan. Mickey, however, is bent on rubbing out Ryan and sends hit man after hit man to kill him, only to have ""Kaz"" blast them away man by man. An incriminating FBI tape from 20 years ago, of Joseph Alo's old cohort Meyer Lansky beginning to set up the presidential takeover by buying UBC, is in the hands of the wife of a late Israeli judge, so the team flies off to Israel to find the tape. But even there, things go boom, Kaz dies heroically helping the group escape, and when Lucinda, Ryan and a Reuters photographer reenter the States, they find themselves identified on CNN as fugitives while Haze Richards heads toward a landslide win. Early touches of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell awaken hopes for a superior thriller -- but TV scriptwriter Cannell (The Rockford Files, The Commish, etc.) trots out the same old song and dance.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1995
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Morrow