The Rules of the Game - Leonard Jr Downie

Leonard Downie, Jr., the former executive editor of the Washington Post, read at P&P from his new Washington thriller, The Rules of the Game, his first venture into the world of fiction. I had many dog-eared pages to ask Len Downie about. The most obvious question was whether his female vice-president, who becomes president, was modeled after Sarah Palin. No, the character was conceived some five years ago, but Downie humorously brushed aside a suggestion that his predictions for the future were remarkably accurate. A customer asked whether the main character, a female investigative reporter who receives constant 4 a.m. phone calls from an anonymous source, was modeled on anyone, and Downie revealed that actually it was he who had been frequently awakened in the early hours of the morning, and warned about terrible consequences if the Post continued its coverage, when the Post was investigating Oliver North's role in Iran-Contra! Aside from these juicy tidbits about the rearrangement of the real world into fiction, Downie's The Rules of the Game is a great page-turner with an attendant higher purpose: the ethical conundrums of politics and journalism as they are both played out in Washington.