Shall We Tell the President?
In the first edition, a plot to kill the President of the United States, Edward Kennedy, is foiled by Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Mark Andrews working with the head of the FBI. A love story complicates the plot. The book includes descriptive details of official Washington, for which the author lists sources.
The U.S. edition of the novel was published by Viking Press, where Kennedy's sister-in-law Jacqueline Onassis was then a consulting editor. Although Onassis was not involved in editing Shall We Tell the President?, she was criticized for not trying to deter her employer from publishing a novel about an assassination plot against a member of the Kennedy family. She resigned from Viking Press shortly after the publication.
After the success of Kane and Abel and The Prodigal Daughter, Archer published a revised edition of the novel, replacing Kennedy with the fictional character of Florentyna Kane (who became President in The Prodigal Daughter) so as to link this novel with the other two. He also replaced original Vice President Dale Bumpers with the real-life Senator Bill Bradley of New Jersey. The author makes frequent references to William Shakespeare's play, Julius Caesar.
In the novel, some United States Senators, both real-life and fictional Democrats and Republicans, are suspected as a part of the plot to kill the president, many of them just because they were present in D.C. at a certain time.
- Ralph Brooks (D-IL), enemy of President Kane
- Marvin Thornton (D-MA)
- Robert Duncan (later Harrison) (R-SC)
- Henry Dexter (R-CT), father of Mark's girlfriend, Dr. Elizabeth Dexter
- Amit Ranjan (D-DE)
- www.jeffreyarcher.co.uk — Jeffrey Archer's official site
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