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Tuesday, 2 June 2015

'Behind The Text’ 20 ’Endgame At Watergate’

Behind The Text’ Part 20_’Endgame At Watergate’

Fun & Games In ‘The Last Chance Saloon’

Endgame At Watergate’ was published in 2015 and is the 16th chronological novel  in the ‘Jonas Forbes Saga’. The Reader may note that its opening reflects that of ‘Cuban Rummy’ and its closure may evoke memories of ‘And Death Will Have His Day’. There are reasons for this but they certainly aren’t there as carbon copies!
Jonas Forbes is hired to investigate the murder of a UK diplomat and quickly becomes embroiled with the Mafia. The novel is set in 1973 Washington, absorbed in the Watergate Scandal which was to cause the downfall of President Nixon the following year. The Mafia were certainly involved but here I've intruded a fictional ‘Gibellina famiglia’ (especially Vespasianu & Cettina), supposedly linked to the Factual group run by Santo Trafficante Jnr. Jonas’s usual support (Vanessa & John Wyatt) can only worry from afar about events as Jonas once again has to go on the run. This time, however, he retains some contact with the MPD ( Detectives Hamilton & Estevan) and the FBI (Special Agents Bosquet & Domenici). Fortunately that contact is limited as Jonas goes deeper into hiding collecting evidence. For once he actually reports his findings promptly to the authorities.

My title suggested employing chess as a commentary on the action. In practice it was of limited use because, although there were a pair of Knights, a pair of Bishops and a mass of Pawns, there was no King to be checkmated – unless he was sitting in the White House. I’ll leave the Reader to identify who was what in the book. I enjoyed the activities of such minor characters as Magda Wallenstein, Amos Anderson and Dr Titus Archer Peacock. Even the ‘wise-guys’ such as Miceli Vultaggio, Adrianu Cascio & Gesu Poma proved entertaining; because, for both you & me, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? I should add the ‘surprise guest’ on the last couple of pages who’d carry the Reader back to the 2ndand 7th chronological novels in the series if they wish.
The factual background was carefully researched, both political and criminal, and, I must admit, it easily outdoes the Profumo Affaire (see Book 9) as ‘the scandal of the century’. I must apologise for any errors in handling what is sometimes confusing evidence of the Watergate Scandal (and, indeed, the structure & activities of the Mafia)  and stress  this remains a work of FICTION.

Next, a look at some villains - always the mainstay of a thriller.

Bob Hyslop

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