Favorite Son

Steve Sohmer, Author Bantam Books $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-553-05205-3
Ever since Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald to death before the cameras, the dirty little secret of American news broadcasting has been that public assassination has become the most obscenely fascinating form of modern voyeurism. Former top exec at Columbia Pictures, NBC and CBS, Sohmer launches his first novel with such an assassination on live TV. The victim is a Nicaraguan Contra leader, and the wounded senator beside him, Terry Fallon, is elevated to shallow popularity just days before the 1988 presidential nominating convention. Following this garish beginning comes the author's calculated choice of two foul-mouthed FBI washups, Dave Ross and Joe Mancuso, to find the killer. But Sohmer has more subtle aims than are at first apparent. With Fallon a hope to bolster the sagging reelection bid of President Sam Baker, and V-P Dan Eastman unwilling to step aside for Fallon, this thriller unexpectedly becomes the kind of deeply involving novel that hardball-playing Washington serves up best. The vanities of the power-obsessed and politically conniving characters and the events they set in motion mix with the hunt for an assassin whose identity isn't nearly as intriguing as that of the conspirators who chose him. Favorite Son speeds up to become an intensely plotted, fast-moving narrative that makes the nation's capital as classic a city for excitement as the New York of Lawrence Sanders's First Deadly Sin. 75,000 first printing; $75,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild main selection; author tour. (November)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1987
Release date: 10/01/1987
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-553-27310-6
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