In the peaceful countryside of the midwest a conspiracy has been born, its leaders among the most respected names in America. They believe their cause is just: to save the nation from leaders too timid to make the tough decisions. Their goal is the White House, and their principle weapon is so preposterous that no one would believe it exists.
Ben Driskill, Wall Street attorney and longtime buddy of President Charles Bonner, gets the first hint of the conspiracy when he finds his mentor Drew Summerhayes shot, an apparent suicide, at his Shelter Island home.
Summerhayes himself is so closely linked to the White House that the avid rumors about his death taint President Bonner, battling a re-election challenge from within his won party. Not trusting those closest to him, Bonner asks Ben Driskill to investigate quietly.
Then there are two more killings, this time on the bluffs above the Mississippi, at a serene little town in Iowa called Saints Rest. And before long Ben Driskill is trying to save more than Charlie Bonner's presidency. He's trying to save the future of free elections in the United States.
As in Thomas Gifford's New York Times bestseller, The Assassini, Ben Driskill is the quintessential ordinary man moved to extraordinary measures--too stubborn and too angry to see the odds against him.
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A paranoid political fantasy elevated to the level of absorbing melodrama by the irresistible narrative talents of old pro Gifford (The First Sacrifice, 1994, etc.). When US President Charles Bonner vows in a state-of-the-union address to make an open book of the domestic intelligence community's budgets, he doesn't realize the consequences for the country or himself. Already preoccupied with a bloody revolution in earthquake-ravaged Mexico, the Chief Executive soon faces a stiff fight for renomination as the Democratic party's presidential candidate in the upcoming election. His challenger is Bob Hazlitt (Perot-like founder of the Heartland Group, an Iowa-based pillar of the military/industrial complex whose stock-in-trade is spy satellites). With only a few weeks to go before the convention, an elder statesman who helped orchestrate Bonner's victory over incumbent Sherman Taylor, a retired USMC general and Medal of Honor winner, dies under suspicious circumstances. His demise puts Ben Driskill on the case. A Wall Street attorney who serves as First Chum (by dint of shared experiences on the Notre Dame football team), the deniable Driskill follows a twisty trail that convinces him Hazlitt and Taylor (now an avowed supporter of the prairie populist) are co-conspirators in a sinister stop-at-nothing plot to seize control of the US government. While Driskill is able to bluff the defense contractor into withdrawing from the campaign, the turncoat marine (who wants another White House tour), his attack- dog subalterns, and a fifth columnist take their fight to the convention floor. As a result, more blood must be spilled before President Bonner can get back on track for a second term and, with heartfelt thanks for helping to keep America safe for democracy, let Driskill resume his Manhattan law practice. An enthralling tale of a convulsive power struggle that's notable for liberal doses of violent action and a minimum of ideological prattle. -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
Is Gifford, one of the most robust and intelligent thriller writers of the past two decades, running out of ideas? Counting this new novel, two of his last three books have recycled elements from his earlier works. The First Sacrifice (1994) was a sequel to his debut, The Wind Chill Factor, while here he brings back Ben Driskill, hero of his last major bestseller, The Assassini (1990). Despite generating substantial tension, moreover, this near-future yarn is driven by a turgid political conspiracy: a group of right-wingers seeks to remove President Charles Bonner after he threatens to dismantle the intelligence agencies that supposedly run the country from behind the scenes. The action starts with the mysterious death of Drew Summerhays, an elderly, prominent friend of the President. For advice, Bonner turns to Driskill, a lawyer with Summerhays's firm, who is quickly drawn into the murder investigation. Evidence points to the small town of Saints Rest, Iowa, where Driskill connects the murder to two other killings, indicating a conspiracy to sabotage Bonner's reelection campaign. Peeling away layers of duplicity, Driskill finally reveals the man he thinks is behind the plot, but another death takes that suspect off the hook and leads to a dramatic finale on the floor of the Democratic Convention in Chicago. Gifford keeps the action moving through hard-driving narration, but the excitement of the climax is undermined by his tendency to magnify each minor revelation as if political Armageddon were imminent. Equally dismaying is the lack of inventiveness in his post-Watergate tricks, save for a doomsday weapon that can replicate a natural disaster with the push of a button. As usual, Gifford tells a compelling tale, but in this one he's writing below his peak.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Crimeline, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0553762699
Book Description Crimeline, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110553762699