Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Review: Top Down by Jim Lehrer

Top Down
by Jim Lehrer

Publisher: Random House
Pages: 208
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  November 22, 1963. As Air Force One touches down in Dallas, ambitious young newspaper reporter Jack Gilmore races to get the scoop on preparations for President Kennedy’s motorcade. Will the bubble top on the presidential limousine be up or down? Down, according to veteran Secret Service agent Van Walters. The decision to leave the top down and expose JFK to fire from above will weigh on Van’s conscience for decades. But will it also change the course of history?

Five years after the assassination, Jack gets an anguished phone call from Van’s daughter Marti. Van Walters is ravaged by guilt, so convinced that his actions led to JFK’s death that he has lost the will to live. In a desperate bid to deliver her father from his demons, Marti enlists Jack’s help in a risky reenactment designed to prove once and for all what would have happened had the bubble top stayed in place on that grim November day.

For Jack, it’s a chance to break a once-in-a-lifetime story that could make his career. But for Van the stakes are even higher. The outcome of a ballistics test conducted on the grounds of a secluded estate in upstate New York might just save his life—or push him over the edge.

Kritters Thoughts:  On November 22, 1963 in Dallas, TX something happened that changed the life for individuals, families and the country.  Most everyone talks about Kennedy and his death that impacted his family and the future of our country, but this book takes a look at one Secret Service agent and how this day changed the course of his life forever.  

Jack Gilmore is a reporter based in DC now, but he was there on the scene the day in Dallas, TX and he remembers interacting with the head of the Secret Service team on THAT day.  During a panel he speaks about the decision to take the top off the car before the fated drive and this peaks the interest of the daughter of the agent and together they try to figure out how to help her father recover from that day.  

It was so interesting to see the affects of this day on someone that was more on the sidelines of the day.  This book felt like both a non fiction and fiction read and could be because the author was really close to the main character and was a journalist himself.  

If you have read all of the books that focus on this day in history, this is a good addition to your collection; it felt unique because of the different viewpoint and focus.

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2020 Challenge: 15 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Netgalley.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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