In “The Good Lie” (Ecco/HarperCollins, $27.99), the second thriller by Tom Rosenstiel, political fixer and former Army investigator Peter Rena and his partner Randi Brooks take on their next adventure in the swamp of Washington, D.C.
The central event? A deadly attack on a diplomatic complex in North Africa.
And Rena and Brooks soon find themselves assigned by the president to figure out exactly what happened and why. Careers are at stake, including some at the White House, and so are the foreign policy goals of an administration winding up its term.
Rosenstiel, a former Los Angeles Times media reporter and longtime observer of the Washington political scene who now heads the American Press Institute, has carefully researched how such political fiascos can tie the capital city in knots.
He aims to realistically capture the unfolding events. Recreating a convoluted disaster like this diplomatic attack and the subsequent “Star Chamber” inquiries is no easy feat.
With his vivid descriptions of the city, the halls of government and the interplay of the powerful people there, Rosenstiel is up to the task.
Rena and his team learn the circumstances of the attack are very different than initially reported — and very troubling.
His first book about Rena and Brooks, 2017’s “Shining City,” was a more straightforward story about the vetting of a Supreme Court choice and the background threat of a shadowy killer. In “The Good Lie,” he takes on the tougher job of looking at how Washington descends into paranoia after the deadly diplomatic attack.