Plano Reads: Red, White, Blue

Check out our review of the next Brown Bag Book Club pick.

To join us at the Brown Bag Book Club session, register here. This program meets via Zoom on Thursday, November 19 at 12 p.m. and is the final Brown Bag Book Club meeting of 2020. This club will resume in January 2021.

Red, White, Blue: a Novel by Lea Carpenter

Also available as an eBook

The day before Anna’s wedding, her father Noel, a globetrotting banker, dies while skiing. Later while Anna is honeymooning on the French Riviera she is interrupted by a stranger who claims to be a CIA colleague of her late father’s. As the book shifts between Anna’s story and this nameless stranger the parallel stories, connected and yet not, bring to life a fascinating picture of what it is like to be a spy. The secrets, the many burner phones, the cultivation of sources, and the constant vigilance. But what is true and what is fiction?

As new information comes to light, Anna must reconcile what she knows with what she thought she knew and decide how much to believe the words of a stranger. A gripping, immersive tale of duplicity and espionage, and a moving story of love and loyalty.


“Carpenter follows her debut, 2013’s Eleven Days, with a beautifully written spy novel told in short segments, many of them narrated by a nameless CIA officer… Where most thrillers showcase familiar tips on spy craft and weaponry, Carpenter depicts the more esoteric and often byzantine facets of intelligence work. She skips the easy morality of guns, patriotic loyalty, and heroic action to slowly disclose the complexities of the secret world and how it relates to the human heart. Readers should not expect to come away satisfied with pat solutions, but rather to be seduced and enthralled with the far more challenging questions that arise and are sometimes, as in life, left unanswered.” – Publisher’s Weekly

“Threaded through the personal account is the business of spycraft: recruiting, nurturing, and most delicate of all exfiltrating an asset. This novel is to literature what pointillism is to art, with dots that combine to make a whole picture, one that merges a moving love story with details of a profession that, by its nature, involves both loyalty and duplicity. A stunner.” – Booklist

In ‘Red, White, Blue,’ High Peaks And Low Blows, a review with NPR


See Lea Carpenter’s biography on the Penguin Random House website.


Using NoveList (with your Plano Public Library card), we searched for similar books to Red, White, Blue by Lea Carpenter. Our list below includes links to check out the titles in our collection.

American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson
eBook | eAudiobook | Print

Decoded by Mai Jia
Print

A Map of Betrayal by Ha Jin
Print | In Chinese

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks
eBook | eAudiobook | Print | Large Print

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
eBook | eAudiobook | Print | Large Print

The Swimmer by Joakim Zander
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