Philip Kerr has won widespread critical acclaim for this imaginative reworking of the mythology surrounding the John F. Kennedy assassination. The Shot offers fresh twists and turns while capturing the colorful and turbulent America of 1960. Tom Jefferson is a hitman - and a good one. He’s just taken down a former Nazi from 150 yards away. His talent is noticed by the Mob, which is fresh off rigging the presidential election for Kennedy. Tom accepts a contract to eliminate Fidel Castro, which would open Cuba to organized crime. But when he uncovers stunning information about the new president, Tom drops Castro from his agenda and fixes his crosshairs on Kennedy instead. Now the very people who hired him are his enemies, and the race to a gripping climax is on. The Shot is filled with enough plot twists and nail-biting suspense to captivate conspiracy theorists and anyone who loves a taut thriller. Narrator George Guidall moves the excitement along at a feverish pace.
Kerr is a terrific historian. He's terrific with conjecture and machismo and the florid imprint of an era. He's totally solid painting the picture of "feasibility" - as any tale of Camelot and its assassins is want to do. He takes you there and immerses you, just as he does in Nazi Berlin in the Bernie Gunther books. He takes you through men's heads and intentions, through their frustrations, exhortations, brave and bombastic culminations, unexpected fulminations, tall blond or red headed palpitations, and very often their last exhalations. All plans, of mice and men, are set straight as arrows and end crooked and scattered throughout the gutters of history. Only one thing is sure, the men who run the politics of this country, and the men who run its crime are all hell bent with the same intentions, the same laments and facades, the same self-serving noblesse and in their oblige they often hire the same hit men. The Shot is a great sketch of what made the 50's become the 60's and how and perhaps why there arose so much anger toward the till then so vaunted American way.
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Conspiracy theorist I am not -- but somehow, Kerr has suggested a course of events relative to US/Cuba relations in the 1950/60 era and the assassination of JFK so plausible that it is terrifying. It is a long story filled with lots of backstory on all the major characters, which include some wise guys, soviet spies, US intelligence agents, FBI, and more. And it is just a story. But it suggests that US government agencies, while warring against each other in the day could have been guilty of covering their ***es and thus, allowing the death of JFK. I enjoyed this one for its historical settings during the golden ages in Las Vegas, New York and Miami. Very good story that will stun you in the end!
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