Monday, November 18, 2019

November Road
by Lou Berney

Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 320
Format: book
Buy the Book: HarperCollins

Goodreads:  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.



Kritters Thoughts: This book was on my to do list and in my pursuit of a historical fiction book not set during World War II for a book club I host, this one came up.  Without reading too much into the book, I thought it was deep into the conspiracy of JFK's assassination and I am here to say no, it is in the outer works of it, but not as close as I would have liked!

If you are a fan of road trip books, then this one is right up your alley.  A road trip set in 1963 which gives it some interesting color without cell phones and google searches made the book more entertaining than if it occurred this November.  I liked the road trip married with the mafia hunting down one of the road trippers making it a fun pursuit across the country.  The cat and mouse kept me on my edge of my toes and reading where I read this book in just two sittings.

The characters in this book were just great to follow on this journey.  I am so glad that I cared deeply for all of them because that made the story that much better.  I was rooting for Charlotte and her two girls to find happiness however that ended up - with Frank or without.  Knowing the moment in time and how big this was for Charlotte to make such a bold move that defies her husband's wishes, just made me fist pumping for her!

I wish the book had a much closer connection to the assassination, but having it in the backdrop at least set it in a grounded sense of time.  I would suggest this book to a reader who may avoid historical fiction, but like the road trip book.


Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.


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