A dark, powerful, and subtly crafted novel that traces the intertwined fates of a CIA case officer and a young woman who is forced to confront her dead father's secret past - at once a gripping, immersive tale of duplicity and espionage, and a moving story of love and loyalty.
Anna is the beloved only child of the charismatic Noel, a New York City banker - and a mother who abandoned her. When Noel dies in a mysterious skiing accident in Switzerland the day before his daughter's wedding, Anna, consumed by grief, grows increasingly distant from her prominent music-producing husband, who begins running for office. One day, while on her honeymoon in the south of France, Anna meets an enigmatic stranger who will cause perhaps even greater upheaval in her life. It will soon become clear that this meeting was no chance encounter: this man once worked with Anna's father and has information about parts of Noel's life that Anna never knew. When she arrives back in New York, she receives a parcel that contains a series of cryptic recordings and videos showing Noel at the center of a brutal interrogation. Soon, everything Anna knows about her father's life - and his death - is called into question, launching her into a desperate search for the truth.
Smart, fast-moving, and suspenseful, Red, White, Blue plunges us into the inner workings of the CIA, a China Ops gone wrong, and the consequences of a collision between one's deepest personal ties and the most exacting and fateful professional commitment.
“Finally, the perfect spy novel for the post-9/11 era. Carpenter’s Red, White, Blue brilliantly evokes the world of American espionage in a time of crisis, as the struggle to fight terrorism conflicts with longer-term views of American interests and agents find themselves trapped within conflicting loyalties to friends, to assets, to family, and to country. Thrilling, provocative, and powerfully moving.” (Philip Klay, author of Redeployment)
"Carpenter…brilliantly uses the conventions of spy fiction to expose the duplicity and betrayals in people’s lives. In her chilly, unsparing dissection of the trickle-down effect the muddied morality of bureaucracies has on private lives, Carpenter reveals the influence of Joan Didion. Carpenter’s mesmerizing follow-up to her acclaimed war novel, Eleven Days, is as deeply affecting as it is razor sharp." (Kirkus Review)
“Why does the stuff of espionage lie so close to essential matters of the human heart? Love, loyalty, lies, betrayal - Lea Carpenter plumbs the depths of all these in this brilliant, very possibly flawless book. I can think of no novel in recent memory that blends the personal and intimate so truly with power and conflict on the grand geopolitical scale. Red, White, Blue is a marvel and a masterpiece.” (Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk)
What listeners say about Red, White, Blue
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Some of the best narration on any audiobook
You have to pay attention to the storyline in this novel. The story is told from two and sometimes three different points of view. The author does we’ve the storylines together but you have to pay attention and I will admit that sometimes the storyline drags because of the jumping back-and-forth from different characters. Once you piece it together in your mind it flows a lot better. The performances by the narrators is fantastic! That can certainly make or break an audiobook and these narrators did a fabulous job.
In the end the book is worth listening too and probably better than reading it. The ending of the book is a little bit of a disappointment. I wanted and expected more of a “big bang“ at the end to resolve all of the issues left hanging. I didn’t get it and neither will you but The book is still a good read and/or listen.