A Southern U.S. Senator, Jed Hawkins sets his sights on the Oval Office and with the backing of Soviet agents and sympathizers and the unwitting cooperation of a naive American electorate manages to get elected. With Hawkins in power the Soviets plan to take over the country. Only a retired CIA chief and a TV newscaster know the plot and race against impossible odds to head off what seems like certain disaster. In his first work of fiction, Gross ( The Brainwatchers ) offers a frighteningly convincing tale of espionage and intrigue. His well-drawn characters, carefully researched plot, and understanding of the Washington political scene all combine to make The Red President a sure bet for popular fiction collections. Enthusiastically recommended. Brian Alley, Sangamon State Univ. Lib., Springfield, Ill.