On the 22nd November 1963, the crime of the century that shocked the world was the assassination of President Kennedy. I remember it well. As a child watching the endless news footage replays on my parents’ TV with them.
Afterwards it became part of popular culture to be asked ‘where were you when you heard of President Kennedy’s assassination?’
With my parents I watched the news footage of Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged perpetrator of murder, shot to death by Jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub owner in the Dallas police headquarters. Later the coverage of the funeral of the president. I can remember it all vividly. As I’m sure most of my generation can too.
Endless speculation and conspiracy theories unfolded throughout the years about another shooter on the ‘grassy knoll’ has kept the assassination in the news.
In this work of fiction by Lou Berney he has used facts and key characters from that time and woven them all into a reconstruction of what may have occurred, who was responsible and what events took place later to cover up the crime.
The main character is Frank Guidry, a charming, charismatic lieutenant of New Orleans mafia mob boss Carlos Marcello. Guidry was asked to drive a car up to Dallas. Later he realised that the car may have been used by the killer of President Kennedy. As one by one of Marcello’s employees who may also have been involved and used are killed off, Guidry is fearful of his fate and goes on the run. There is no escaping however the long and deadly arm of Marcello who has contacts everywhere throughout America and uses them in the hunt to catch and silence Guidry
On his journey to an escape that will hopefully save his life, Guidry meets up with a woman who along with her young daughter is on a journey of her own, escaping from an unhappy marriage and travelling towards a new life in Los Angeles. Guidry falls in love, something alien to him and he finds himself caring about the fate of mother and daughter. Are they safe travelling with him or will his involvement with them put their lives also in jeopardy?
Hunted by a ruthless mob enforcer who is closely following behind them. Their journey to freedom is a tense action packed page turner of a book. I literally could not put this book down.
Marcello the mafia boss was in real life one of the suspects of the murder of President Kennedy and his brother Robert Kennedy, his attorney general who had vowed to bring mafia bosses to justice. Robert Kennedy was a thorn in Marcello’s side as he tried to have him deported as an illegal alien. Marcello was freed from one attempt to jail and deport him on the day President Kennedy was killed. He had allegedly remarked to an associate that if he cut of the head of a dog, the tail would die – believed to be alluding to the fact that Robert Kennedy held his important job because of his brother, John Kennedy.
I can’t praise this book highly enough. A truly excellent read. Recommended by Don Winslow and brilliantly written by Lou Berney Edgar Award-winning author of The Long and Faraway Gone.