“Red White Blue” is a literary espionage novel, written in a very unique style. The story unfolds in a slow, deliberate and fascinating way, building on itself and bringing the reader directly into the fold.
Anna is the character around whom the story revolves. Anna was effectively raised by her father, Noel, after her mother, Lulu (short for Eleuthera) inexplicably left when Anna was young. Although Lulu stayed in touch, Anna was most deeply influenced by Noel. Noel worked in finance and when asked what he did for a living he told people he “moved things around.” Noel actually worked for the CIA and that is the story Anna confronts throughout the book.
Noel bought a chalet in Switzerland and Anna and Jake are to marry in Switzerland. The day (or the day before) they are to marry, Noel dies in an avalanche while skiing. Anna and Jake marry anyway and later go to the south of France for a honeymoon. They are both mourning Noel’s death.
Jake is a musician and is in the process of selling the record label he owns and is away frequently during the honeymoon. During the trip, Anna meets an unnamed CIA operative (although she does not realize that is what he is at the time) who cryptically tells her part of her father’s story. Anna learns that both Noel and the unnamed operative spent most of their time in China working with an “asset” who deeply affected their lives.
When Jake and Anna return to New York, Jake decides to run for the Senate. At roughly the same time, Anna receives in the mail a package including a tiny silver USB with a collection of videos relating to Noel and the unnamed operative. As a result of of Jake’s candidacy Anna is subjected to numerous FBI interviews where she never discloses the USB. Jake wins the election and their lives become very public. The book ends with Anna being further drawn in to her father’s activities.
The story is told in chapters alternating between Anna’s story and the unnamed operative’s story. The writing and story telling style are unique and rhythmic. The story is compelling and at the same time has a distant foggy feel to it, probably reflective of the nature of the business the story describes. I really liked this book. Give this one a try. You can reserve this at the Cuyahoga County Public Library by clicking here.