This offering spans the period from Brown v Board of Education (school desegregation - 1954) through the end of the Vietnam War (fall of Saigon - 1975). As usual the book provides a seamless mixture of historical events with the narrative. In this case, the mysteries involve a radical black woman terrorist (or not, nothing is clear cut), her two children, both missing, dead, underground, or not, and a group called the Palace Council which plans to control the President, successfully or not.
The protagonist, Edward Trotter Wesley Junior, is a famous writer, searching for his sister, the missing woman, who apparently left Harvard Law School to lead a black terrorist group, for many possible reasons, or not. Eddie goes everywhere (South Carolina, Vietnam, ...) unsuccessfully, either helped or hindered by Edgar J Hoover, Richard Nixon, an assassin who works for the CIA or a Senator, and several others.
As you might have noticed, I did not feel the plot was as clear or comprehensible as the previous efforts, but the characters and scenes as so good, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, even as my confusion ebbed and flowed. If you are new to Stephen L Carter, even though each book stand on its own, I'd recommend you start with the first novel: New England White.
Smith College History (circa late 1940s), or not:
"Remember when we first met? The mixer at Northampton?"
"The Smith girls and their chaperons," he corrected lightly. "There were so many chaperones, you almost had one each."