Review: Top Down, Jim Lehrer

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book on Netgalley from the publisher in return for an honest review*
Top Down Jim Lehrer cover
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.

James Charles Lehrer is an American journalist and the news anchor for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS, known for his role as a frequent debate moderator during elections. Lehrer is an author of non-fiction and fiction, drawing from his experiences and interests in history and politics.

This book touched a subject that is actually very interesting. What was going trough the mind of the people responsible for the safety of Kennedy. How did they cope. There is so much written and said on this assassination but it was the first time I ran into a book working this angle (which is not to say there are no others so if you know them link me up). Despite all the heavy subjects that are coming up the book reads easy. I guess reading the story from Jack's point of view takes out a lot of the emotion that are obviously steering Marti. This did not disturb me at all. It gave a lot of space to really consider the whole story and all the angles. The time in the story is interesting. Marti's story feels like days but is only two hours and you get fooled more like that making it feel the book is much bigger than it was.
I liked both Jack and Marti a lot. Jack was a real reporter and even though he did lie a bit to Marti (or was not really honest) he did have standards. I felt that he was believable as a character. Marti as a woman on a mission and her behavior made that clear. I guess I would try to do the same and it was easy to feel for her.

Top Down
Author: Jim Lehrer
Publisher: Random House
Pages: 224
Format: eGalley
ISBN-10: 1400069165
ISBN-13: 9781400069163
Random House : eBook | Hardcover
Top Down

3 star review

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07 October, 2013 delete

I never really followed the story of The Kennedy's (i wasn't born yet, but I do know that some people my age did still read up and was fascinated with the whole story) so I might not really be interested in the book. Thanks for the review though ;)