A historical novel of political intrigue, murder, sex, betrayal and American assassinations of the 1960s.
As the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination approaches, Labrada (La Prensa Liebre, 2001, etc.) offers a novel that addresses the suspicious deaths of some of America’s greatest icons, including John and Robert Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Martin Luther King Jr. and J. Edgar Hoover. Mixing 40 years of independent research with some plausible conspiracy theories, he portrays a grim world of political intrigue and calculation, where ruthless, ambitious kingmakers and politicians control the news and the Mafia permeates every corner of American government. Was Monroe prepared to bring down the Kennedy brothers with allegations of marital infidelity and the disclosure of state secrets—and did Robert Kennedy murder Monroe, at JFK’s request, to contain the problem? What role did Hoover, the FBI, the CIA and Fidel Castro play in the assassination of the Kennedy brothers and King? The novel examines its murky world of historical truth, speculation and pure fiction in a confusing style that often falters. It alternates between capably written fiction, using thinly veiled names for historical figures (such as Kilmory for Kennedy), and historical reporting and analysis that reads more like a dry history textbook. Indeed, the historical sections seem like reams of notes for a novel, which may leave perplexed readers with the impression of an unfinished work. That said, the chapters written in novel form successfully portray a version of the Camelot era gone awry, with variations on theories, previously advanced by filmmaker Oliver Stone and authors Don DeLillo, Bryan Woolley and L. Fletcher Prouty, including Mafia, FBI and CIA involvement in the assassinations, sexual trysts, drugs, a murdered starlet and foreign operatives from Cuba.
An uneven attempt to retell recent American history that offers nothing new.