In­trigue in McCarthy era

Havelock North Village Press - - News - — Mar­garet Reilly

Fever City by Tim Baker, Allen& Un­win, $32.99 ................................................ Tim Baker sets his de­but crime novel in mid-cen­tury Amer­ica. Here he paints a lurid pic­ture of the rich and the fa­mous, a novel for all those con­spir­acy the­o­rists. It con­sists of three in­ter­re­lated sto­ries.

Nick Al­ston is a LA pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tor hired to cap­ture the kid­napped son of Amer­ica’s rich­est and most pow­er­ful man. Hast­ings is a mob hitman also in­volved in the search. Both men then be­come in­volved with a sin­is­ter ca­bal with ten­ta­cles from the White House to Dealey Plaza. Decades later in Dal­las Al­ston’s son comes across ev­i­dence from JFK con­spir­acy the­o­rists that his fa­ther may have links to the shot that killed Kennedy. He sets out on amis­sion to dis­cover the truth.

This novel is set mainly in the 60s dur­ing the McCarthy era. It is filled with fa­mous names, film stars, ma­jor gang­sters of the time and, of course, the Kennedys.

It is fast-paced, well­writ­ten, with twists all the way through but, for me, the most dif­fi­cult crime story I have read for a long time. It darts from the 60s with dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters’ sto­ries then back to the present day. There is graphic vi­o­lence.

None of the char­ac­ters is at all like­able. Jack Kennedy’s per­sonal life is luridly de­tailed. The­main premise of the con­spir­acy the­o­rists ap­pear to be that Kennedy was as­sas­si­nated by the gang­sters with the nod from the rich and pow­er­ful. They saw their own in­ter­ests be­ing threat­ened by amore lib­eral Pres­i­dent.

It was not my most en­joy­able read , but it might well be some­body else’s.

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