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Murder in Foggy Bottom [Mass Market Paperback]

Margaret Truman
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 29 2002 Capital Crimes
Once it was a swamp. Now Foggy Bottom is swimming with real-estate sharks. When a man is found stabbed to death in this trendy D.C. neighborhood, it is major news. But within forty-eight hours the nation is gripped by a fear that leaves this comparatively small crime in the dark.

Three passenger planes are shot out of the sky. Everywhere–in law enforcement, in the media, and in the most secret realms of government–men and women scramble to find out who shot hand-held missiles at the planes, and why. It is a search that reaches from Moscow to the Pacific Northwest, putting some people’s lives in jeopardy and turning others lives inside out. But no one can guess the truth: that the epicenter of the terrorist outbreak is Washington D.C. . . . and a dead man behind a park bench in a place called Foggy Bottom.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The 17th entry in Truman's Capital Crimes series begins with the discovery of a well-dressed male corpse in the Foggy Bottom area of Washington, D.C. Washington Post reporter Joe Potamos is one of the first on the scene, determined to get the scoop on the dead man's identity. Two days later, three small commercial airliners plunge from the sky (in New York, Idaho and California), killing 78 people. Witnesses claim they saw missiles strike two of the planes. CIA agent Max Pauling, part of a government counterterrorist task force, gets on the case at the State Department, while in Washington State, FBI agents interview Zachary Jasper, head of a white supremacist group, as a possible suspect in the missile attacks. As the scene shifts from CIA headquarters to Russia to a Waco-like standoff with Jasper's group, all three investigations come together in a race to avert a fourth air disaster. Lacking a single main character, the novel offers a strong ensemble cast, all connected in some way to each other and the unfolding tragedies. Joe's girlfriend, professional pianist Roseann, unwittingly makes helpful contacts at her Washington gigs, while Max's flame, Jessica, has an ex-husband who'd been undercover in the white supremacist movement. The action moves at breakneck speed toward a chilling finale. More than simply an entertaining blend of mystery and espionage, this first-rate tale raises some important questions about how the U.S. government copes with terrorism. (July)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

YA-Washington Post writer Potamos has a difficult riddle to solve. How does a murder in the district's Foggy Bottom section relate to the downing of three commuter aircraft by old Soviet missiles? Meanwhile, an undercover FBI agent who has infiltrated a suspicious Western commune discovers that a domestic hate group is responsible for the deaths of the people onboard. At the same time, a CIA agent in Moscow is working to identify the seller of the weapons. Suspense, fast-paced action in many locales, a wide variety of characters, and much dialogue result in a plot sure to please Truman's fans and those new to the series.
Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Much Better Than Her Earlier Books July 1 2001
The umpteenth in Truman's detective series set in Washington DC isn't much better than those that went before. On the one hand, Truman seems to be overcoming her irritating limitation in the earlier books to do little real research about Washington's institutions, but to spend too much time writing about restaurants and cocktail bars. On the other, she shows no signs of overcoming her other, more serious, limitations. Namely, her inability to develop credible male characters -a debilitating handicap in a detective novelist- and thin plotting.
Truman clearly has done some homework about the State Department. "Murder in Foggy Bottom" begins with the death of a Canadian diplomat in Foggy Bottom, the Washington neighborhood where the State Department is headquartered. However, it could have used an editorial review by someone with more familiarity with the federal government. The State Department does not have "divisions" as Truman writes, but rather bureaus. Likewise, overseas embassies don't have divisions either, but sections. Nobody except dime-store novelists call CIA "the Company", there are no Trade Representatives at embassies, but Commercial Officers who are employees not of the State Department, but the Commerce Department. On and on. Truman just doesn't get the details of the federal bureaucracy right. The denouement, where contradictions between information provided by an FBI agent and by a Russian criminal, fails miserably. No president would stake his administration on whether an FBI agent provides better information than any other source. No, a real president would respond with caution, not hot-headed vanity to start another Waco.
Truman is weak at "guy stuff". She just doesn't draw credible male characters.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Broader Scope for Truman Oct. 7 2000
In this latest of Margaret Truman's homicidal tour of Washington landmarks and regions, the author expands her scope beyond the single homicide in DC to mass murder by terrorists. There is a Murder in Foggy Bottom to start the book, but this murder seems almost to be incidental to the story, which quickly moves to the cabin on a commuter airline which crashes soon after takeoff from Westchester County, NY. But then we learn that at almost the same time there have been commuter airline crashes in Idaho and California. Three crashes in one day is too much for coincidence, and then evidence of SAM missiles is found in the wreckage. There is the expected panic and concern as the FBI and looks into domestic terrorist organizations while the State Department and the CIA look overseas. The story is strong, the characters are believable, and the suspense is maintained. While Mac and Annabel Smith, the usual primary characters in Truman's series, are present in supporting roles, the principal characters are different. One interesting aspects of this book is the fact that there are multiple characters, almost an ensemble, who carry the story line to an interesting conclusion.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Typical Truman, but eerily prescient April 25 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you like Margaret Truman's other "Murder ... " books, you'll like this one. If you don't, you won't.
The relatively predictable characters and writing are familiar here. The only twist is that this book is about terrorists shooting passenger planes out of the sky, which gives the reader an odd feeling after 9/11.
Truman's books are great if you're looking for something to take to the beach or read on a weekend. They're easily read and the plots are interesting enough to make them page-turners.
If you're looking for serious fiction, you'll be disappointed. But my recommendation is to enjoy Truman's books for what they are -- fun novels for when you're in the mood for a quick read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Terrorists and Mass Murder of Airline Passengers Oct. 30 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Margaret Truman's mysteries are always fun to read. They are low-key, have a minimum of gory details, and have twists to keep things interesting. This time, we have the murder of a Canadian diplomat and destruction of three commuter planes in flight, killing passengers and crew. We watch the investigation of the crimes through the eyes of a Washington Post reporter, a CIA operative, and several FBI agents. Simultaneous destruction of three planes points to terrorists, but which terrorists? When the CIA man and the reporter find the answer, the story shifts into high gear during the last 100 pages for a breathtaking ending. All in all, it's an enjoyable book for relaxation.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Well Below Her Standards March 29 2001
This book is so poorly written and organized, I question if Margaret Truman even authored it. I have read all of the books in the Capital Crimes series and have come to expect much more. One of the more troubling aspects of this disappointing offering is the way Mac and Annabelle are randomly inserted into the plot. There isn't even an attempt to relate their appearances to the story. I have to believe Ms. Truman owed the publisher a book and allowed this one to be written by an overmatched editor. For anyone new to the series, give them another shot. They are all superior to Murder in Foggy Bottom.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not one of Margaret Truman's better efforts July 1 2001
The "bad guy" in this "Capital Crimes" outing is a rather generic white supremacist. We find out about him in a strained set of coincidences that will at best disappoint serious readers, if not infuriate them. Finally, the episodic nature of the book, while it gives the story a sense of immediacy, fails to develop any of the story lines with enough depth. Instead of one good story, we have three mediocre ones.
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