happy Thursday everybody!
This is one of those books that snuck up on me. I was definitely not expecting to love it as much as I did! Love it when that happens!
Lou Berney has a way with words, this stunning story was both mesmerizing and memorable. A story about second chances, heart crime thriller, part romance, set against the backdrop of 1960s America. The Kennedy assassination, civil rights, Vietnam, the time was as much a character as the characters were. Frank Guidry has it made snappy dresser smooth talker a lieutenant in the mob, one of Carlos Marcello‘s best men. Then things change after he has delivered a Cadillac Eldorado to Dallas days before the JFK assassination. Guidry knowing that he is now a disposable loose end those on the run. Charlotte is fed up! She’s tired of dealing with her drunk husband and a job that won’t take her seriously. So she packs up the car with her two daughters and heads to LA. When Frank and Charlotte’s paths cross they become friends and possibly even more. Meanwell Barone has been hired to hunt Frank down and eliminate him.
This book was so good, these characters so Multi dimensional. I was rooting for all of them even the mobster and the hitman, and I could not figure out how this could turn out well for everybody. The bond that forms between Frank and Charlotte was quite remarkable I was both hopeful and afraid for them. The overlying theme of the story really was second chances, but sometimes these characters second chances weren’t necessarily better then there previous situation. Out of the frying pan into the fire if you will. Beautifully told, captivating characters, compelling storyline, what more could you want?
This book in emojis: 🏩 🛣 🏙 🚗 👩👧👧
*** Big thanks to William Morrow for my copy of this book ***
• Paperback: 320 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (October 22, 2019)
“When people say they want to read a really good novel, the kind you just can’t put down, this is the kind of book they mean. Exceptional.” –Stephen King, New York Times bestselling author
Named a Best Book of the Year by Entertainment Weekly • Washington Post • AARP • Newsweek • Dallas Morning News • South Florida Sun-Sentinel • Crime Reads
Set against the assassination of JFK, a poignant and evocative crime novel that centers on a desperate cat-and-mouse chase across 1960s America—a story of unexpected connections, daring possibilities, and the hope of second chances from the Edgar Award-winning author of The Long and Faraway Gone.
Frank Guidry’s luck has finally run out.
A loyal street lieutenant to New Orleans’ mob boss Carlos Marcello, Guidry has learned that everybody is expendable. But now it’s his turn—he knows too much about the crime of the century: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Within hours of JFK’s murder, everyone with ties to Marcello is turning up dead, and Guidry suspects he’s next: he was in Dallas on an errand for the boss less than two weeks before the president was shot. With few good options, Guidry hits the road to Las Vegas, to see an old associate—a dangerous man who hates Marcello enough to help Guidry vanish.
Guidry knows that the first rule of running is “don’t stop,” but when he sees a beautiful housewife on the side of the road with a broken-down car, two little daughters and a dog in the back seat, he sees the perfect disguise to cover his tracks from the hit men on his tail. Posing as an insurance man, Guidry offers to help Charlotte reach her destination, California. If she accompanies him to Vegas, he can help her get a new car.
For her, it’s more than a car— it’s an escape. She’s on the run too, from a stifling existence in small-town Oklahoma and a kindly husband who’s a hopeless drunk.
It’s an American story: two strangers meet to share the open road west, a dream, a hope—and find each other on the way.
Charlotte sees that he’s strong and kind; Guidry discovers that she’s smart and funny. He learns that’s she determined to give herself and her kids a new life; she can’t know that he’s desperate to leave his old one behind.
Another rule—fugitives shouldn’t fall in love, especially with each other. A road isn’t just a road, it’s a trail, and Guidry’s ruthless and relentless hunters are closing in on him. But now Guidry doesn’t want to just survive, he wants to really live, maybe for the first time.
Everyone’s expendable, or they should be, but now Guidry just can’t throw away the woman he’s come to love.
And it might get them both killed.
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About Lou Berney
Lou Berney is the author of three previous novels, Gutshot Straight, Whiplash River, and multiple prize-winning The Long and Faraway Gone. His short fiction has appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, Ploughshares, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. He lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.