On the Road to OKC
Oklahoma City’s much-decorated novelist Lou Berney will discuss and sign his new mystery “November Road,” at events this week.
Oklahoma City’s much-decorated novelist Lou Berney isn’t resting on his laurels.
His new suspense novel, “November Road,” shows him at the top of his game. It crackles with the fire — and ice — of Dante’s “Inferno.”
Frank Guidry, a canny, veteran operative for New Orleans mob kingpin Carlos Marcello, has been tasked with disposing of a car linked to the assassination of President Kennedy.
When he has done his duty, he learns that his years of loyalty to the clan won’t protect him. He flees New Orleans and races west on Interstate 40, dogged by a Marcello lieutenant, Barone, intent on finding and killing him.
Charlotte Roy, from Logan County, Oklahoma, is also headed west on the same highway, fleeing her alcoholic husband Dooley with her two girls, Joan and Rosemary.
The refugees, seeking very different sources of help farther west, collide in a cheap motel in New Mexico. Then their motives and plans shift tectonically.
The chase plays out like a house afire.
Will Barone track down Charlotte and Frank?
Will Frank find an ally in an old Las Vegas enemy of Marcello?
Can Charlotte save her children from the mob?
Lou Berney didn’t win an Edgar and the
Los Angeles Times Book Prize for nothing.
He plots deftly, inhabits the minds of characters from all walks of life.
Like Elmore Leonard — and Horace McCoy before him — he stokes empathy for nasty players and innocents alike.
A master of his craft, Berney holds his cards close. And he never breaches the terms he has set — for his characters or his plot.
“November Road” will not let you rest before its final page.
Norman writer Kris Lackey is the author of “Nail’s Crossing,” a crime novel involving a Chickasaw Nation tribal police officer and a county sheriff’s deputy. Craig Johnson, author of the Longmire mystery series, called Lackey’s book “As fine a mystery series debut as I’ve read in a long time.”