BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Jim Lehrer's Tension City.
April 1956: Climbing aboard the Sante Fe railroad’s famous Super Chief is an amazing spectrum of passengers. There’s Darwin Rinehart, a once great Hollywood producer who now faces bankruptcy. In a dark recess of a train car hides a mysterious, disheveled man who has not paid for a ticket, smuggled inside by an unscrupulous porter. Millionaire Otto Wheeler arrives in a wheelchair; deathly ill, he knows that this will be his last trip on the great train. Clark Gable causes a stir when he steps aboard, and though he’s ridden these rails for years, indulging in booze and women with equal fervor, those around him sense that this time, something is different. And finally there’s former President Harry Truman, distinguished, congenial, and constantly accompanied by a railroad detective.
As the Super Chief pulls out of Dearborn Station, the passengers—famous and infamous, anonymous and enigmatic—can’t possibly imagine what lies ahead. For as the train gains speed, a series of deadly events unfolds.
About the Author
This is Jim Lehrer’s twentieth novel. He is also the author of two memoirs and three plays and is the executive editor and anchor of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS. He and his novelist wife, Kate, have three daughters.
Praise for Super…
"Many of Lehrer’s 19 previous novels showcased his abiding love for simpler times: mid-twentieth-century America, the small-town Midwest, and the intercity bus lines of that time and region. This time out, he focuses his attention on the Super Chief, the luxurious Sante Fe Railroad train that carried the rich and famous from Chicago to Los Angeles in just over 39 hours. Set in 1956, the tale involves three mysterious deaths, former president Harry Truman, actor Clark Gable, a movie producer whose last picture flopped, and a callow, movie-loving Sante Fe passenger agent. It’s Lehrer in typically fine form: wonderful detail about railroad operations and life on the Super; small prairie towns that owed their existence to the Sante Fe; Hollywood’s worries about television; rail’s apparent lack of worry about airlines; gossip about Gable’s prodigious womanizing; and concerns about radiation from nuclear tests in Nevada. Remarkably, however, the book’s central events are true, as Lehrer testifies in an epilogue. Lehrer is a national treasure, and Super is, well . . . super." —Booklist