Truth Like the Sun
Knopf, Apr 10 2012, $25.95
In 1962 young Roger Morgan ambitiously wants to make Seattle the in place in the Pacific Northwest. He successfully creates the Seattle World’s Fair.
As the fortieth anniversary of the landmark World’s Fair is coming, septuagenarian Roger decides he wants to become the city’s mayor, which means defeating the incumbent. At the same time Seattle Post-Intelligencer decides to do a series of articles on the Fair and the symbol of the city that was created as part of the 1962 gala, the Space Needle. Reporter Helen Gulanos investigates the Fair and the “Father of the Space Needle”. However, she begins to find corruption, bribes and other shady behavior on the part of Seattle’s golden boy including implications of a role in the cold case murder of a person ready to testify against Morgan. However, she has skeletons too involving libel charges that Morgan plans to deploy if necessary.
This is a super thriller that effortlessly moves back and forth between the Cold War era World’s Fair and the age of the Dotcom bubble bust in Seattle. The story line focuses on the backroom political dealings fueled by ambition that makes Lady Macbeth look like Mother Teresa. Although money in politics naively seems deemphasized (in fairness years before the Citizen United ruling), fans will enjoy the simmering release of information as we wonder whether Roger is an enthusiastic idealist or a brutal realist.