Brendan DuBois is an award-winning U.S. author of mystery stories: this alternate-world thriller is very much in the tradition of Robert Harris's Fatherland
. Consider this striking blurb line: "Everyone remembered exactly what they were doing the day President Kennedy tried to kill them." History went awry in this world's Cuba crisis, leading to a 1962 nuclear war that devastated Russia, crippled America, and left Britain a major world power smugly giving aid to the USA. Cut to 1972 Boston and ex-soldier Carl Landry, now a newspaper reporter whose coverage of a routine murder is suppressed by military censors. He's unwisely curious, investigates further, and inevitably stirs up a hornets' nest. Attacks, deaths, and disappearances follow. With a new-found girlfriend--an English Times
reporter who is not all she seems--Landry uncovers a succession of red-hot secrets about abandoned New York, perfidious British and military plotting, and crucial documents coveted by several factions with different beliefs about their contents. Is Kennedy unjustly despised for starting World War III? Is the rumor that he's still alive just this timeline's version of the Elvis myth? After building up terrific tension, DuBois delivers satisfying answers. Grimly plausible (apart from a few lapses in "British" dialogue) and worthy of the Fatherland
comparisons. --David Langford, Amazon.co.uk
From Publishers Weekly
In his first novel outside of his acclaimed Lewis Cole mystery series (Shattered Sand, Forecasts, Feb. 15, etc.), DuBois delivers an alternate-history thriller that deserves to be as popular as Robert Harris's Fatherland. DuBois postulates an America that has been politically devastated by a nuclear exchange arising from the Cuban missile crisis. It's now 1972. Washington, D.C., is a radioactive crater; Nelson Rockefeller is running for president against George McGovern; and Boston Globe reporter Carl Landry is investigating the shooting death of a 60-year-old retired serviceman. Warned off the story after it gets spiked by the military's in-house censor, and emboldened by Sandra Price, a beautiful reporter from the London Times, Landry keeps digging at Swenson's past. What he uncovers is the truth behind the rumors of what really happened in the White House as the missile crisis spun out of controlAand evidence of an unholy alliance that is poised to reverse the course of American history. From cryptic references to post-bomb chaos in California to clever reworkings of '60s history (e.g., antidraft demonstrators chanting, "Hell, no, we won't glow!"), DuBois creates a sobering and imaginatively detailed vision of an America that has been crippled by tragedyAa nation where John F. Kennedy was not the King Arthur of Camelot but its Mordred, the man who brought down everything. One of DuBois's many brilliant touches is an underground of diehard Kennedy supporters who scrawl the graffiti "He Lives" on every available surface, because they believe that JFK was not only innocent, but is still alive and broadcasting from a pirate radio station. Cohesively plotted and smoothly written, steadily exciting and rife with clever conceits, this is what-if thriller fiction at its finest. Foreign rights sold in the U.K., Germany and Holland. (June)
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