Circle William: A Novel
Jim Schmidt is a master of spin. As White House press secretary, his job is to cajole, sweet-talk, and otherwise persuade the nation's most powerful journalists to play a story the way the White House wants it played. Jim's younger brother, Bill, is equally skillful, but in a different realm. He's the charismatic captain of the USS Winston Churchill, and he leads an able but rambunctious crew with a penchant for causing well-publicized "liberty incidents" around the Mediterranean. Both men instinctively understand their jobs, but more important, they understand power and how it works: He who controls the facts controls the response. So when the United States learns of a Libyan plot to drop a planeload of chemical weapons on the Israeli Knesset, the brothers - thousands of miles apart - unexpectedly find themselves working together to defuse the plan. Their first step is to set "Circle William, " a Navy phrase meaning to prepare for chemical, germ, or nuclear attack. As Jim huddles with the country's top defense and intelligence officials to plot a viable strategy to prevent the strike, Bill, on the front lines of the crisis, prepares to implement the plan. Complicating their mission is the inconvenient presence of Sue O'Dell, a smart "Washington Post" Style reporter who wants to write a feature on the commander and his notorious ship.
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