B y Les Lynam on March 2, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a story that you can't exactly put in a genre box (not that one HAS to do so). It has elements of Romance, then kind of like a Cosy mystery, then a dash of Suspense/Thriller. As anyone can glean from the sub-title, the assassination of JFK plays into the plot.
Told in first-person from the point of view of Olivia (Livvy) Roberts, we quickly learn that she is widowed from her husband of many years (George) and that George's best friend (Bill) and close neighbor has sworn to watch over her. Bill seems to be a nice enough guy though there are some sketchy doubts about him thrown at the reader.
As someone who vividly remembers the assassination of the president and the subsequent murder of Lee Harvey Oswald, I thought the early clues were a little too obvious, but perhaps not to someone born after the tragedy. Also obvious is the inevitable romance that blossoms between Livvy and Bill, though that blossom seems to take a long time to bloom. Still, George had been the only man in Livvy's life, and the couple no longer fell into the youngster category, so maybe the build up is logical even though drawn out.
Towards the beginning of the story, Livvy develops an acute interest in the Kennedy assassination, spurred by multiple TV programs featuring the 50th anniversary of the tragedy (2013). She decides she wants to go to Dallas to see for herself if any of the floated conspiracy theories might have legs in reality. Bill tries to dissuade her from the quest but ends up accompanying her as he feels the need to watch over her.
Along the trip, Livvy begins to wonder about Bill's history, and at the same time begins to give into her romantic feeling for him.
Pacing quickly changes after the Dallas trip, and there are a few chapters of 'fugitive on the run' before Bill needs to separate from his beloved. Back home, Livvy has to figure out whom she can trust as the media and government agents rain down on her normally quiet neighborhood.
The characters are believable, the plot solid (in a what-if kind of way), and overall, the writing is pretty good. One little annoyance that distracted me was the wandering paragraph indentation. It would hop two or three characters one way or the other from the previous indentation. Was this stylistic, was there some kind of message? Maybe I read too much into that and it was just a technical formatting flaw. There were also a few words missing here and there but easily mentally popped in to fit the given context.
If you are hunting for that perfect conspiracy theory that explains it all, you might be disappointed, but otherwise, Horton-Newton delivers an enjoyable read.