Mack to the Rescue ) will be disappointed by this subpar crime novel set in 1956 almost entir"/>

Super

Jim Lehrer, Author . Random $25 (209p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6763-3

Those expecting an Agatha Christie homage from TV journalist Lehrer (Mack to the Rescue ) will be disappointed by this subpar crime novel set in 1956 almost entirely aboard the Super Chief, the train that ran for years between Chicago and Los Angeles. Passengers include a mysterious sickly man, Dale Lawrence, who gets on in Chicago after bribing a porter for a sleeping berth, as well as celebrities like Clark Gable and former president Harry Truman. Many pages of superficial character development pass before the first corpse appears. Arch attempts at satire (e.g., a movie producer's plan for a film set on the train is clearly meant to be a nod to Hitchcock's North by Northwest ) don't mix well with earnest scenes like the one in which Lawrence confronts Truman about his decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan and later authorize nuclear tests in Nevada. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/01/2010
Release date: 04/01/2010
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