John Calvin Batchelor Father's Day

ISBN 13: 9780340617069

Father's Day

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9780340617069: Father's Day
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For the first time since the Civil War, America has two sitting presidents - and the dangers and divisions run even deeper. "Father's Day" is a chilling thriller of constitutional crisis.

The reference is the Twenty-fifth Amendment: Presidential Vacancy, Disability, and Inability. The time bomb is section four: When and if a disabled president seeks to return to the Oval Office, there is a ruthless provision for the vice president, as acting president, to block him with a palace coup.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

An Acting President's power grab involves both constitutional challenge and military coup in this near-future political melodrama, with which Batchelor (Peter Nevsky and the True Story of the Russian Moon Landing, 1993, etc.) makes his own grab for a large, action-oriented readership. It's 2003. In January, Democratic President Teddy Jay, abandoned by his wife and deeply depressed, entered the hospital, using the 25th Amendment to transfer his duties to Vice President Shy Garland. The story begins five months later with a military exercise, Garland's brainchild, that culminates with the shooting of a stand-in President by Col. Red Schofield, commander of the operation. As Jay, claiming recovery, prepares to rejoin his wife and resume the presidency, Garland mounts his constitutional challenge; only if it fails will he resort to the military option (code-named Father's Day). Message: ``The biggest son of a bitch...in national politics,'' for whom life is a baseball game, will do anything to win. The contest, though, is unequal: Jay is a wimp who must rely on his political enemies to restore him to power. These include Republicans like naval war hero and presidential hopeful Jack Longfellow and Longfellow's wife, Jean, the Senate Minority Leader. They get a boost when designated shooter Schofield leaks to sister Toni, who (happy coincidence) is Longfellow's mistress. During their rush to Occupied Moldova (Uncle Sam is world policeman again) to get a written statement from Schofield, Jack and Toni behave like everyone else in the book, playing with shiny new technology and racing for planes as they hurry up and wait for a twisty, improbable denouement. That's the action here, aside from a Clancy-esque rattle of hardware at the start and close. Batchelor's dubious premise (would America really give its president five months off for therapy?) and his skin-deep characterizations make for a disappointing concoction. (First printing of 100,000; film rights to Cinergi; author tour) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Booklist:

The title designates a coded operation, 10 years hence, in which a Pentagon unit assassinates the president--or is the dead man in fact the president? A proven crafter of the genre over the past decade, Batchelor here takes advantage of a time bomb ticking in the heart of the Constitution. The Twenty-fifth Amendment sets up baroque provisions for the succession should the chief executive become incapacitated; in this scenario, President Jay checks into a hospital with depression; his no-nonsense, astronaut-hero veep, "Shy" Garland, becomes the acting prez with no intention other than becoming the actual president. So when Jay announces he's over the blues and in the pink and wants back into the Oval Office, the battle for power erupts between the contenders and their courtiers and courtesans. With such a suspensefully constructed script, with doubts dangled at fitting moments as plot and counterplot zigzag toward the bang-up ending, librarians might ready themselves at DefCon One, for Holt is whooping up its popular author with a six-figure press run. Gilbert Taylor

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780805032666: Father's Day: A Novel

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0805032665 ISBN 13:  9780805032666
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co, 1994
Hardcover

9780312958589: Father's Day: A Novel

St Mar..., 1996
Softcover

9780340617076: Father's Day

Hodder..., 1994
Softcover

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