My biggest memory of the JFK assassination is the morning my dad came rushing into the rear of the house shouting, “They killed him, they killed him …” He was not talking about the killing of John F. Kennedy, but the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby a few days later. As a twelve year old, national news was not high on my agenda at the time. Now, 50 years later, as we approach the 50th anniversary of those events in Dallas, TX, I am much more aware of how they altered the character of our country, both in 1963 and in the years following those terrible events.
Will Mara has written a believable thriller that begins where history leaves off. The story begins with The Babushka Lady, Margaret Baker, sneaking away from work to observe her idol - John F. Kennedy as he made his way through Dealey Plaza. She brought her family’s camera to the scene in order to film the day’s events. She filmed the assassination. But it would be 50 years before that film would see the light of day. Her daughter, Shiela Baker, heard her hint at it on her death bed and her lawyer would hand her a key to a safe deposit box that would contain the old film.
What was on that filmed had scared her mother for 50 years - now it scared Shiela. Who could she trust? The FBI? The CIA? A lawyer she barely knew? She would eventually turn to a famed billionaire/researcher, Jason Hammond, who had the habit of solving unsolvable puzzles - most recently the truth of Amelia Earhart. (Note, It might be fun to read a prelude that would discuss Jason’s involvement in that puzzle, but that would be another story.) But once she did, it would put her life and his, as well as many others in danger.
Once started, the reader did not want to stop reading - though sleep and daily duties demanded that I do so. The plot was realistic, the historical facts upon which the book was based came alive. From Texas, the action flows to New Hampshire to Washington D.C. and its environs and includes a clandestine trip to Cuba.
The author’s foundational beliefs about the assassination can be found here. More about the book can be found here. The afterward in the book has additional information about the author’s own conclusions about the Kennedy assassination.
I found the book intriguing - well worth the late night hours I spent reading it. I expect most readers will as well, regardless of how familiar they are with the events of November 1963. Perhaps, like it did me, it force other readers to learn more of the events of that fateful day - both as seen in the official reports and the numerous conspiracy theories which arose in the decades since the death of John F. Kennedy.
This review is based on a free copy of the book provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.