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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Book Snapshots: "Truth Like the Sun" by Jim Lynch.

Helen Gulanos is an ambitious Seattle newspaper reporter.  Roger Morgan is running for mayor.  In Truth Like the Sun, Gulanos is investigating the 70-year old candidate who is famous in the city for being influential in civic matters and a leading force behind the 1962 Seattle World's Fair.

The novel alternates from Roger Morgan's activities back in '62 to 2001 and his campaign and Gulanos' investigation.  The chapters set in 2001 are exciting and author Jim Lynch makes great use of his journalism background.  Helen Gulanos has caught the sent of a good story, perhaps even an award winner, in Roger Morgan's campaign.  Under the pressure of deadlines, competition and her own personal life, she works to build something while managing the expectations of her editors and colleagues.  Also well done is Roger Morgan as candidate:  Knocking on doors, holding events, appearing at candidate forums.  Roger is lively, occasionally funny, and a sympathetic character.  It seems like he might be a good mayor, and we wonder what Gulanos might turn up in her exploration of the man.

The chapters set in 1962 show Roger running the fair.  Lynch vividly invokes the period through many details about that event and world news of the time.  Roger, already an important guy in the city, starts exploring and learning more about what is really going on in Seattle.  There is vice and corruption.  Will it stick to him?

Truth Like the Sun is an interesting read about what happens at the intersection of politics, influence and journalism.

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