November Road (MP3 CD)

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The following review is from the Washington Post and written by Oline H. Cogdill

Although set in the aftermath of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, “November Road” avoids being another novel about that fateful day in Dallas. Instead, this superior novel from Edgar winner Lou Berney melds crime fiction with a tale about people reinventing themselves, played out during a cross-country automobile trip.
Frank Guidry is at the top of his world as a “fixer extraordinaire” for New Orleans mob boss Carlos Marcello. Frank knows how to get things done, and that often means with violence. But Frank’s world shifts on Nov. 22, 1963, when he hears about JFK’s assassination. About two weeks before, Frank had been told to leave a car in a parking lot near Dealey Plaza. Wondering if he brought the assassin’s getaway car, Frank worries that he’s become a target, especially when another mobster who also was in Dallas for Marcello about the same time is murdered. To avoid execution, Frank takes to the road.
Also on the road is Charlotte Roy, an Oklahoma housewife who has reached her limit with her constantly broke alcoholic husband, Dooley. On a whim, she packs up her two daughters, Joan, 8, and Rosemary, 7, and their dog Lucky, who is prone to seizures, and takes off in their car. Charlotte and Frank meet on the road when her car breaks down, and he suggests they ride with him. At first, Charlotte and her family are a cover for Frank — no killer would look for a man traveling with a woman and children. But Charlotte and Frank begin to care for each other in ways neither expected.
Berney keeps the tension high as ruthless hit man Barone is hot on Frank’s trail. But the strength — and pleasure — of “November Road” is how Charlotte and Frank begin to change, finding new focus and resolve in themselves. They are on a collision course of emotions and needs. Charlotte wants a bigger life than she had, to achieve something for herself and her daughters, so their goals and dreams will never be dismissed as were hers by her teachers, family and boss. Frank needs a smaller life, one that will allow him to regain a soupcon of his soul and maybe find a piece of his heart.
While the mob’s involvement has long been one of the conspiracy theories surrounding JFK’s assassination, Berney keeps this on the story’s periphery. Instead, “November Road” gauges how a monumental event affects people and the culture.
Berney showed his storytelling mettle in his previous three novels, but “November Road” not only showcases his considerable talents but also gives an insightful look at our past.

October 2018 Indie Next List


“Lou Berney’s engrossing novel November Road unfolds in the immediate aftermath of JFK’s assassination, but the heady confusion and shock of that dark day play second fiddle to the stories of Frank Guidry and Charlotte Roy, two desperate individuals seeking to outrun the entanglements of their very different lives. Guidry, a once-trusted player for the Marcello mob, is a marked man fleeing for his life; Roy, a weary housewife, seeks better prospects for herself and her daughters, so she must escape from both her dead-end town and deadbeat husband. Told in sharp, cinematic prose, this novel explodes the boundaries of the typical crime novel and offers up something more literary, a finely tuned exploration of the will to change.”
— Mike Wysock, The Book Stall, Winnetka, IL

Winter 2019 Reading Group Indie Next List


“Set amid the tumult of the Kennedy assassination, November Road weaves a complex story of unexpected connection and self-preservation. Made man meets unmade marriage in this taut road-trip crime novel. Berney’s sensitive exploration of character and grisly depiction of a life of crime are both showcased here, and the result is one of the best crime novels and surprisingly tender stories of the season.”
— Kevin Elliott, 57th Street Books, Chicago, IL

Description


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.



Product Details
ISBN: 9781982553814
ISBN-10: 1982553812
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: October 9th, 2018
Language: English
 
 
 
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