THE SOONER SPY by Jim Lehrer


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TV newsman Lehrer returns with the third in his whimsical series (Kick the Can, 1988; Crown Oklahoma, 1989) affectionately featuring One-Eyed Mack, the buffoonish Lieutenant-Governor of Oklahoma. As "Second Man" of Oklahoma, Mack has to sub for Governor Buffalo Joe at various boring functions; as the story opens, Mack is making an impassioned commencement address at a small college and meets a young Indian student named Calvin Howell Youngfoot. Calvin's dream is to join the CIA; he plans on doing so by uncovering a Russian spy somewhere in the state, and reporting him to the feds. Mack mentions the boy's crackpot scheme to his friend C. Harry Hayes, Director of the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation, and is astonished to learn that there is a spy in the Sooner State--in fact, it's a man named Art Pennington, who is managing a branch of a drivein grocery chain started by Mack's wife, Jackie. But the plot thickens: it turns out that the aforementioned Calvin is not an Indian at all, but rather an Afghan hired by the KGB to kill Pennington--because Pennington is in reality a KGB defector. By this time the CIA has become involved, as have Mack's son Tommy, who is running a grease-collection business, and his old buddy, Brother Walt, the evangelist. Before the smoke clears, the plot will have taken many unexpected twists, and a good time will have been had by all--even the CIA. Far-fetched but entertainingly loony--especially for fans of One-Eyed Mack and his pals.
Pub Date: March 22nd, 1990
ISBN: 1571780416
Page count: 232pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1990


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