Saturday, September 6, 2014

Back Channel

Trust. One pleasure that I get from reading novels is the escape from any contemporary concerns while visiting a different time and place. I spent many satisfying hours visiting a global situation even more frightening that the hotspots causing so much anxiety today. Stephen L. Carter’s novel, Back Channel, is set in Washington in 1962 during the Cuban missile crisis. Kennedy and Khrushchev and the countries they lead are poised for disaster as the temptation to use nuclear power to disable an adversary becomes almost irresistible. Warhawks on both sides are gaining influence and need to be contained to avoid nuclear war. Direct communication between leaders is missing, so actions can be subject to erroneous interpretation. Carter injects 19-year-old Cornell student, Margo Jensen, as protagonist and a trusted intermediary between Kennedy and Khrushchev. The action in the novel is thrilling, the situation fraught with tension, and Carter’s prose kept me interested from beginning to end. Rating: Four-star (I like it) Click here to purchase Back Channel from

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