The first presidential election of the twenty-first century, bitterly contested by two men who are implacable political rivals but lifelong personal friends, is stolen. On the eve of the Inauguration the losing candidate presents proof of the crime to his opponent, the incumbent President, and demands that he stand aside. The winner refuses and takes the oath of office, thereby setting in motion what may destroy him and his party, and even bring down the Constitution. Washington's high-power world of enmity and friendship, loyalty and cunning, is rendered with a unique, behind-the-headlines realism that places the reader squarely inside our government. The riveting plot turns on the battle for power between two honorable but very different men, President Bedford Forrest "Frosty" Lockwood, the current occupant of the White House, and his supposedly defeated rival, former President Franklin Mallory. A remarkable cast of vivid characters, drawn with the sure but sympathetic hand that is McCarry's literary trademark, help decide the destiny of these two embattled men and the fate of the nation: the beautiful, brainy, and mysterious Zarah Christopher, who moves between the two Presidents and inspires the love of one of them; a rowdy but brilliant and adroit Speaker of the House; an ascetic, ideology-driven Chief Justice; an outcast journalist; a Machiavellian presidential assistant and his half brother from the shadowy world of espionage; a flamboyant trial lawyer and his canny investigator; an intriguing gallery of forceful women; and the members of an upper-crust secret society who seize on the constitutional crisis as an opportunity to "cure" the United States of its democratic weaknesses. Above all, out of this crowd of extraordinary men and women emerges one person of striking originality, power, and an all-too-human proclivity who will long remain in the reader's memory.
This hardback book is in new condition. The dust jacket has light shelf wear and is price clipped. It is a stated First Edition.