In a riveting novel rooted in a single of yank history’s nice “what ifs,” Jim Lehrer tells the tale of 2 males haunted via the occasions prime as much as John F. Kennedy’s assassination.
November 22, 1963. As Air strength One touches down in Dallas, formidable younger newspaper reporter Jack Gilmore races to get the news on arrangements for President Kennedy’s motorcade. Will the bubble most sensible at the presidential limousine be up or down? Down, in response to veteran mystery carrier agent Van Walters. the choice to go away the head down and reveal JFK to fireplace from above will weigh on Van’s sense of right and wrong for many years. yet will it additionally swap the process history?
5 years after the assassination, Jack will get an anguished cell name from Van’s daughter Marti. Van Walters is ravaged via guilt, so confident that his activities ended in JFK’s demise that he has misplaced the desire to dwell. In a determined bid to carry her father from his demons, Marti enlists Jack’s assist in a dicy reenactment designed to turn out as soon as and for all what would have occurred had the bubble best stayed in position on that grim November day.
For Jack, it’s an opportunity to damage a once-in-a-lifetime tale which can make his profession. yet for Van the stakes are even better. the end result of a ballistics try out performed at the grounds of a secluded property in upstate big apple may well simply retailer his life—or push him over the sting.
A page-turning old novel with the thrashing center of a mystery, Top Down may possibly in basic terms have sprung from the fertile mind's eye of Jim Lehrer. Drawing on his personal adventure as an eyewitness to the occasions defined, one among America’s most precious newshounds has crafted an engrossing tale out of the emotional aftershocks of a countrywide tragedy.
Praise for Top Down
“Lehrer (formerly the anchor of PBS’s NewsHour) attracts upon his reviews as a reporter in Dallas on November 22, 1963, for this strange tackle the Kennedy assassination. . . . A fresh swap from the standard conspiracy thrillers concerning the J.F.K. assassination.”—Publishers Weekly
“A great fictional counterpoint to the [many] nonfiction books popping out this yr to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination.”—BookPage
“PBS newsman and veteran fiction author Jim Lehrer asks an exciting query. . . . What if the key carrier agent who made up our minds to not equip the presidential limousine with its bubble most sensible ended up blaming himself for John F. Kennedy's assassination? . . . It’s a promising plot, specially as a cultural tackle the development that rocked the rustic a half-century ago.”—Associated Press
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Extra resources for Top Down: A Novel of the Kennedy Assassination
A similar attitude and distance? ” he stated to me. “Yes, sir,” I stated. “Almost precisely. ” He acknowledged: “I be aware of Lindenwald from again whilst i used to be a child. I performed up there within the tower … threw rocks, shot BB weapons down from there at birds and squirrels. Wasn’t imagined to, after all, yet we did it. bought stuck a couple of times yet not anything got here of it. the key provider may have by no means employed me if I had a juvenile checklist. Did Marti ever let you know approximately Martin Van Buren Bates? ” I shook my head and stated, “No, sir. ” Marti rolled her eyes and acknowledged quick: “Dad advised me approximately him. He was once the tallest guy within the world—seven toes 11 inches tall, married a girl seven ft. They met in a freak express whereas on travel in England. Love at substantial sight. Now let’s get directly to the enterprise to hand …” yet I had query. And out of easy interest, I requested: “Why did his mom and dad identify him Martin Van Buren? used to be he from Kinderhook? ” Van Walters laughed—for the 1st time ever in my presence—and responded: “No, Kentucky. Van Buren was once president whilst their son was once born so that they named their very own mammoth guy for the largest guy of the day. ” That was once adequate of that for Marti. “Let’s disregard the freaks now, Dad. Jack says the view downward from the Lindenwald tower particularly is an ideal fit for Dallas,” she acknowledged sternly, underlining my prior element, after which including an important new one. “You’ll have the capacity to see that for your self, in fact. ” the sunshine in Van Walters dimmed somewhat. “You’re coming to Lindenwald, Dad, with us—that’s the plan and that's what you'll do,” stated his daughter. “I don’t learn about that,” he mumbled. “Yes, you do. I simply advised you. ” your next step within the Marti-directed show-and-tell used to be the rifle that may be used. She motioned to me. “Take a glance at this,” I stated, maintaining the Finnish game rifle throughout my chest with either palms. “You are looking to carry it, sir? ” Walters tossed his head to the aspect. No thanks, reporter/friend, whoever you're. yet he did provide the rifle a gentle glance from the top of the barrel down during the sight and bolt to the wood inventory. “Some weapon,” acknowledged Walters. “Almost similar to the single Oswald used, sir,” I stated. “How have you learnt that? ” Walters acknowledged. there has been a snap to it. probably all of this was once, in reality, attending to him. “A marine firearms professional informed me, sir. ” Van Walters moved his physique common as though he used to be going to face up. “What is some time line, Marti, for this reenactment of yours? ” he requested, turning on to his daughter. “Two days from this day, Dad—Tuesday morning,” she acknowledged. She was once approximately to burst with strength and whatever just about excitement. “It’s going to be chilly in the market, isn’t it? ” Van Walters stated. “Yes, yet we’ll package you up good. ” That pissed off him. “I was once wondering the taking pictures, now not my actual comfort,” he snapped. “Cold climate can impact the accuracy of a bullet’s trajectory. ” one other signal of genuine lifestyles from this guy! “I needs to do a little jogging over the subsequent days … and even perhaps outdoor … to get myself ready,” he stated, as though he used to be speaking to himself.