Red, white, blue

Lea Carpenter

Book - 2018

"Anna is the beloved only child of the charismatic Noel, a New York City banker--and a mother who abandoned her. When Noel dies in a mysterious skiing accident in Switzerland the day before his daughter's wedding, Anna, consumed by grief, grows increasingly distant from her prominent music-producing husband, who begins running for office. One day, while on her honeymoon in the south of France, Anna meets an enigmatic stranger who will cause perhaps even greater upheaval in her life. It... will soon become clear that this meeting was no chance encounter: this man once worked with Anna's father and has information about parts of Noel's life that Anna never knew. When she arrives back in New York, she receives a parcel that contains a series of cryptic recordings and videos showing Noel at the center of a brutal interrogation. Soon, everything Anna knows about her father's life--and his death--is called into question, launching her into a desperate search for the truth."--Amazon.

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Subjects
Genres
Thrillers (Fiction)
Suspense fiction
Published
New York : Alfred A. Knopf [2018]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Item Description
"A Borzoi Book"--Title page verso.
Physical Description
301 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN
9781524732141
1524732141
Main Author
Lea Carpenter (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Carpenter's second novel—after her highly praised debut, Eleven Days (2013)—is an appropriately subtle espionage tale, told in spare prose and in short chapters, alternately in the third person, about a young woman named Anna, and in the first person by the CIA case officer who was mentored by Anna's father, Noel. Anna, whose mother left when she was a child, grew up close to the father she believed to be a banker. The day before her wedding to musical wunderkind Jake in Switzerland, Noel goes skiing and dies in an avalanche, so Anna dispenses with party plans and marries in jeans as she grieves. Jake, a natural charmer who wants to change the world, sells the music business he established and pivots to politics, an area in which Anna's father's past becomes problematic. Threaded through the personal account is the business of spycraft: recruiting, nurturing, and—most delicate of all—exfiltrating an asset. This novel is to literature what pointillism is to art, with dots that combine to make a whole picture, one that merges a moving love story with details of a profession that, by its nature, involves both loyalty and duplicity. A stunner. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Carpenter follows her debut, 2013's Eleven Days, with a beautifully written spy novel told in short segments, many of them narrated by a nameless CIA officer. Successful banker and stockbroker Noel spied for the CIA for 30 years. During this time, his wife, Lulu, abandoned the family, and Noel was left to raise their precocious child, Anna, alone. When Noel dies, Anna tries to piece together her father's life in the face of accusations that he was really a spy for the Chinese. The nameless CIA agent, who was Noel's protégé and is now missing, is wanted by the CIA for unofficially exfiltrating a Chinese double agent, who was recruited by Noel. Where most thrillers showcase familiar tips on spy craft and weaponry, Carpenter depicts the more esoteric and often byzantine facets of intelligence work. She skips the easy morality of guns, patriotic loyalty, and heroic action to slowly disclose the complexities of the secret world and how it relates to the human heart. Readers should not expect to come away satisfied with pat solutions, but rather to be seduced and enthralled with the far more challenging questions that arise and are sometimes, as in life, left unanswered. Agent: Eric Simonoff, WME.(Aug.) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Mourning the charismatic father who died suspiciously the day before her wedding, Anna becomes estranged from her new husband before meeting an enigmatic stranger who alludes to her father's secret past.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Mourning the charismatic father who died suspiciously the day before her wedding, Anna becomes estranged from her new husband before meeting an enigmatic stranger who alludes to her father's secret past. By the screenwriter of Mile 22.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A dark, powerful, and subtly crafted novel that traces the intertwined fates of a CIA case officer and a young woman who is forced to confront her dead father's secret past--at once a gripping, immersive tale of duplicity and espionage, and a moving story of love and loyalty.Anna is the beloved only child of the charismatic Noel, a New York City banker--and a mother who abandoned her. When Noel dies in a mysterious skiing accident in Switzerland the day before his daughter's wedding, Anna, consumed by grief, grows increasingly distant from her prominent music-producing husband, who begins running for office. One day, while on her honeymoon in the south of France, Anna meets an enigmatic stranger who will cause perhaps even greater upheaval in her life. It will soon become clear that this meeting was no chance encounter: this man once worked with Anna's father and has information about parts of Noel's life that Anna never knew. When she arrives back in New York, she receives a parcel that contains a series of cryptic recordings and videos showing Noel at the center of a brutal interrogation. Soon, everything Anna knows about her father's life--and his death--is called into question, launching her into a desperate search for the truth.Smart, fast-moving, and suspenseful, Red, White, Blue plunges us into the inner workings of the CIA, a China Ops gone wrong, and the consequences of a collision between one's deepest personal ties and the most exacting and fateful professional commitment.