By Jim Lynch
Knopf, $25.95, 254 pages

In 2001 Seattle, a young reporter, Helen Gulanos is given the assignment of writing an article for the fortieth anniversary of the 1962 World’s Fair. Alternating chapters describe first her investigation, and then the Fair itself. Her assigned story explodes into a complex and interesting mystery when Roger Morgan, the man behind the Fair, announces in 2001 that he is running for Mayor. As Helen tries to learn more about Morgan, she finds the man and his history as elusive as they are fascinating. Hints of illegal activities during creation of the Fair, involving all layers of authority from street cops to the mayor are uncovered. Morgan, a consummate politician appears to have been involved.

Award-winning author Jim Lynch also wrote the novels Border Songs and The Highest Tide. He grew up in the Seattle area and now lives in Olympia, Washington, with his wife and daughter. This intriguing look into the inside workings of politics in middle of the twentieth century and the results that still exist decades later reads more like history than fiction. Every chapter is filled with interesting people and suspenseful events. It is an imaginative journey into what may have occurred then, and how the city of Seattle earned recognition and fame by throwing a fabulous and futuristic party.

Reviewed by Fran Byram