The Special Prisoner by Jim Lehrer
A Novel

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BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Jim Lehrer's Tension City.

Following the enormous success of his two bestselling previous novels, White Widow and Purple Dots, Jim Lehrer takes on a new and controversial subject in this ambitious story about an Ameri-can soldier who, many years after the fact, is forced to relive his harrowing experience in the Second World War.
         The Special Prisoner takes its title from the designation the Japanese government gave U.S. airmen held prisoner during World War II--an indication of the severity with which these foreign devils responsible for bombing Japanese cities were to be treated. John Quincy Watson was a skilled young pilot flying B-29s over Japan when he was shot down and taken prisoner in 1945. Fifty years later, now a prominent religious figure nearing retirement, Bishop Watson believes he has long since overcome the excruciating memories of his months as a POW. But a chance sighting of the now equally elderly Japanese officer who repeatedly tortured him instantly transports the Bishop back to that unendurable time, and he finds himself overwhelmed by an un-controllable desire for vengeance. The result for Watson is both a vivid return to the horrors of his past and the triggering of a new series of events that are also horrific--and tragic.
        Engaging and emotionally poignant, The Special Prisoner delves into the complicated issue of war guilt and forgiveness, starkly portrayed in the characters of an officer from a country that refuses to admit any wrongdoing and a clergyman who is committed to a belief that to forgive is divine. This is new and controversial territory for Lehrer, and he treats it with passion and respect, while writing in the highly readable, engaging style that is his trademark. This fascinating story of what's fair in war--and what's fair afterward--is a dramatic new novel from the veteran Washington author and newscaster.

About Jim Lehrer

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Jim Lehrer is the author of twenty novels, two memoirs, and three plays, and for years was the executive editor and anchor of The NewsHour on PBS. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his novelist wife, Kate. They have three daughters.
Published September 19, 2000 by Random House. 241 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction, History, War, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

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He's become the much respected, almost revered, now retired Bishop Quincy Watson of Boston, but 50 years ago he flew a B29 that rained firebombs on Tokyo until the Japanese shot him down.

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Publishers Weekly

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In this case the pivotal meeting is between retired Methodist Bishop John Quincy Watson of San Antonio, Tex., an elderly ex-B-29 pilot and POW, and a Japanese businessman in whose eyes Watson sees the stare of the interrogator who tortured him.

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