cover image New Deal for Death: A ""Blackjack"" Endicott Novel

New Deal for Death: A ""Blackjack"" Endicott Novel

Elliott Roosevelt / Author St. Martin's Press $18.95 (251p) IS

Before his death in 1990, the author completed this follow-up to The President's Man , again taking as his protagonist Boston bon vivant ``Blackjack'' Endicott, who serves as friend and protector to Franklin D. Roosevelt. Although the narrative succeeds in conveying a certain amount of period atmosphere (readers learn how airlines of the '30s accommodated passengers who needed to use the bathroom), the story is outlandish, the characters cartoonish and the constant name-dropping tiresome. Endicott, a yachtsman, race car driver, flier, lover and crack shot, must travel to Hollywood to foil an unholy alliance of film producers and crooked union leaders out to stop the newly nominated FDR from carrying out labor reform. First they plot to smear the presidential candidate through his son Elliott, falsely accused of impregnating a 16-year-old schoolgirl; then they attempt to assassinate Roosevelt when he visits Los Angeles. Abetted by Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel, William Randolph Hearst, Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney, Blackjack saves the day. Pure pulp. ( July )