Brooklyn novelist Kurt Andersen here attempts an ambitious mystery-thriller. It’s written from the perspective of 65-year-old Karen Hollander, a high-powered lawyer and one-time Supreme Court nominee. As the novel opens, she’s working on a memoir about her days as a radical lefty in the late ’60s. But Karen’s political past is marked by issues more serious than merely attending meetings and waving placards.
As sheltered kids in the affluent Chicago suburbs, Hollander and a small group of friends become obsessed with Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels, which leads to adolescent ‘spy missions’ in the city. But once Hollander and her childhood chums enroll at Harvard, their innocuous anti-government activities evolve into a murder plot. Unfortunately, it’s a conspiracy that unintentionally owes more to Get Smart-style parody than to serious, militancy. Michael Sandlin