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Book Nook: November Road, by Lou Berney

The assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas in November 1963 spawned numerous conspiracy theories. The Warren Commission established that Lee Harvey Oswald was acting alone when he began firing down upon the presidential motorcade from the Texas Book Depository Building. Rumors circulated that JFK had been the target of mobsters and that organized crime figures commissioned the killing. But it was never proven.

In Lou Berney's latest novel "November Road" readers are treated to an alternative history of those tragic events. As the book opens it is November 1963 and a man named Frank Guidry has been enjoying the good life as an enforcer for a New Orleans hoodlum named Carlos Marcello. His easy life in the Big Easy is about to end though.

The assassination takes place and as soon as Guidry hears it happened in Dallas he knows. Marcello had to be the person who commissioned the crime because Guidry had just completed a routine task, he had driven to Dallas to drop off a car that he now realizes must have been intended as a getaway vehicle for a professional hit man.

Guidry immediately flees the city and tries to cover his tracks as he goes. He knows that Marcello will be eliminating every potential witness to the crime. When he hears that Oswald has been assassinated by Jack Ruby while in police custody that only spurs him on. He heads west with the hope that a hood in Las Vegas who hates Marcello will offer him protection and a new life away from New Orleans.

Along the way he encounters a woman who is fleeing a bad marriage in Oklahoma along with her two young daughters. Guidry attaches himself to the family with the hope that his pursuers will be looking for a single male on the run instead of what appears to be a family man now traveling with his family.

The one person who will not be fooled is the Marcello hit man who is relentlessly chasing Guidry across America. In "November Road" Lou Berney has written one of the great chase novels of all time.

The Book Nook on WYSO is presented by the Greene County Public Library with additional support from Washington-Centerville Public Library,  Clark County Public LibraryDayton Metro LibraryWright Memorial Public Library, and Microsun Lamps.

Vick Mickunas introduced the Book Nook author interview program for WYSO in 1994. Over the years he has produced more than 1500 interviews with writers, musicians, poets, politicians, and celebrities. Listen to the Book Nook with Vick Mickunas for intimate conversations about books with the writers who create them. Vick Mickunas reviews books for the Dayton Daily News and the Springfield News Sun.