Blue Hearts

Jim Lehrer, Author, James Lehrer, Author Random House (NY) $20 (0p) ISBN 978-0-679-42216-7
The co-anchor of The MacNeil/Leh rer NewsHour is a Washington observer who knows the world he portrays in this brisk, breezy spy story, the kind Company men might tell each other around a fireplace on a cold winter night. Charlie Henderson, owner of a bed-and-breakfast in West Virginia, and Bruce Conn Clark, former Secretary of State, have three things in common: both are former CIA agents; both were awarded Blue Hearts, the Company's version of the Purple Heart; and both worked on a special assignment just after the Kennedy assassination, under orders from Lyndon Johnson to find out whether the Soviets were behind the president's death. Now, 30 years later, a chance meeting and conversation threaten to expose the results of their research and reveal a still-hidden secret. From the opening attempt on Henderson's life to a climax that deftly foils the reader's expectations, the pace never lags. Switching gears from his funny ``One-Eyed Mack'' novels, Lehrer has managed to come up with that rarity in spy fiction: an original and extremely plausible theory about the Kennedy assassination. More to the point for thriller fans, he has written a sharp, subtle novel about mistrust and betrayal that builds genuine excitement without the use of gratuitous violence. ( June )
Reviewed on: 05/03/1993
Release date: 05/01/1993
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