An engrossing journalistic thriller inspired by the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Two murders occur in different parts of New York City. The tenuous connection between them is the discovery of the uncommon Kennedy half dollar coin at both scenes. Police make little of it, but disgraced Daily News reporter Gil Malloy thinks it odd. Is a JFK-obsessed serial killer making a statement around the 50th anniversary of the president’s murder? Malloy has already ruined his own reputation with a big prostitution story he seems to have fabricated, but “maybe we do get second chances in life,” as he speculates. Lucky to still have a job, he persuades his editor that the Kennedy connection is worth pursuing. Meanwhile, a young man dies of a heart attack 15 years after being shot in the spine by an unknown assailant. Malloy promises the victim’s mother he will investigate her son’s shooting, but dazzled by the prospect of a journalistic coup, he spends all his time on the JFK case. He receives a Kennedy half dollar in the mail at his newsroom, and colleagues think he might have fabricated this detail to support yet another bogus story. A manuscript about the JFK assassination turns up, written by a previously unknown son of Lee Harvey Oswald. Malloy soon wonders whether Oswald, said to have been a mediocre marksman, could have been the lone gunman. Malloy and others face dire threats as he digs for the truth and displays his true character. Will this story blow up in his face as the hooker tale did? Author Belsky once worked at the Daily News and delivers a fast-moving and well-plotted yarn with twists the reader probably won’t see coming. They're mostly bad news for Malloy, but that’s good news for the reader.
The truth about that awful day in November 1963 may never be known, but it’s provided grist for a terrific story.