A few years ago Thomas Mallon wrote a book with the irresistible title of Watergate: A Novel, which it lived up to. With a few truly fictional characters and some inspired conjectures about nonfictional ones, he told a delightful tale. He even managed to make Pat Nixon interesting.
Now he’s back, with Finale: A Novel of the Reagan Years, and he’s done it again. A fine selection of viewpoint characters, including the deposed Nixon, the promising young journalist Christopher Hitchens, and the First Lady’s astrologer (in fulfillment of the prophecy in Stranger in a Strange Land), tell us a fascinating story.