9780786218097 / 0786218096

Purple Dots


Publisher:Thorndike Press



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About the book:

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

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