Jim Lehrer Purple Dots: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9781586480325

Purple Dots: A Novel

3.21 avg rating
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9781586480325: Purple Dots: A Novel

Charles Avenue Henderson claims to want nothing more than to relax in rural West Virginia with his beloved wife Mary Jane and live the genteel life of a successful bed-and-breakfast proprietor. But readers of Lehrer's Blue Hearts will know that Henderson can turn at the drop of a hat from the lovely dinners of Rappahannock oysters with sweet potatoes allumettes to his old tricks as a CIA agent whenever he or someone he cares about is in trouble. In Purple Dots, it is Henderson's longtime friend and CIA protege Joshua Bennett who is threatened by a group of senators seeking to derail his nomination as director of the CIA. Purple Dots is both a page turning thriller and something of a spoof of the thriller genre. Henderson, our hero, gathers together all of his retired CIA friends in order to launch a counteroffensive against the senators and their efforts are sometimes ridiculously over the top. As with Blue Hearts and the Last Debate, Lehrer takes the reader on another tour of Washington with all of its vanities and local curiosities exposed. And the search for the famous and mysterious purple dot, the ultimate Washington perk, continues....

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Review:

Charlie Henderson's favorite poet is Po Chu-i, a 9th-century Chinese who wrote, when he hit 60, "I have put behind me Love and Greed. I have done with Profit and Fame. I am still short of illness and decay and far from decrepit age." But Mary Jane, Charlie's wife, "sometimes saw Charlie's fondness for the words less a belief in a poetic creed than as proof that he had simply moved into his second childhood. Charlie claimed he had been lucky enough never to have had to end his first, having gone directly from high school to college to the U.S. Navy and then to the Central Intelligence Agency without missing a beat or being forced to do anything other than little-boy work." Charlie now helps his wife run a small, upscale West Virginia hotel where for $450 a night guests get to eat turtle soup amontillado and hear about how George Washington once had a meal in the same room. He's also one of the two narrators of veteran PBS newsman Jim Lehrer's sly and satisfying new political thriller. The other is a much tougher and more ambitious young Republican senatorial assistant named Marty Madigan, who works for a New Mexico conservative bent on keeping Henderson's best friend Josh Bennett from becoming the new CIA director.

Lehrer mostly plays fair with both sides, poking fun at Washington/Langley treats and privileges--such as the purple dots on license plates, which warn off police tow trucks. But you might come away thinking he's more sympathetic to Charlie and his gang of past and present spooks, who cluster in the lovely country towns around Washington and run antique toy stores or restore old dairy trucks while hatching plans to make sure Bennett gets the top job. Purple Dots is a richly detailed, highly amusing, and even occasionally suspenseful story from the author of Crown Oklahoma, Kick the Can, The Sooner Spy, and White Widow. --Dick Adler

From the Inside Flap:

D.C., is a town full of powerful people with powerful, often conflicting agendas, and no one knows this better than Jim Lehrer, the preeminent capital newscaster and novelist. His new book is a witty, provocative political mystery about power play and favor swapping at the highest levels of government, written with his own unique blend of political savvy and irreverent humor.
        
Joshua Bennett has just been nominated by the president to be the new director of the CIA. He's the ideal candidate, and everyone agrees his confirmation hearing should be a mere formality. But this is Washington, where nothing as straightforward as choosing the most qualified person for a crucial job can be counted upon. Unfortunately for Bennett, someone's political agenda hinges on his confirmation being vetoed, but he's damned if he can find out whose. In need of good covert help he can trust, Bennett turns to a little known but highly efficient cadre of former CIA

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