‘November Road’ by Lou Berney – On the Run Across the Southwest after JFK was Shot

‘November Road’ by Lou Berney (2018) – 299 pages

Among my first forays into the adult world were my Kennedy scrapbooks. I was only 12 years old when John F. Kennedy was elected President, but I was entirely fascinated with Kennedy and his family and put together a meticulous scrapbook of the 1960 election using pictures cut out from Life and Look magazines. Then I made another scrapbook of his first year in office. These scrapbooks are buried somewhere in my basement, but I hope they are still intact.

Of course I still recall the devastating report that came over the loud speaker at my high school on noon on November 22, 1963 that President Kennedy had been shot.

‘November Road’ is a thriller and road adventure story that is driven by the Kennedy assassination. Frank Guidry is a low level operative for his crime boss Carlos. One of his last assignments was to park an unlocked car with its key in the ignition near Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas. When Guidry hears the news of the assassination, he quickly realizes that the car he parked was the get-away car for the real murderers of Kennedy, and that Lee Harvey Oswald was just a decoy in the murder conspiracy.

The suspicious circumstances of the murder and the ensuing murder of Oswald lead one to suspect there was a conspiracy. ‘November Road’ assumes it was an organized crime conspiracy, but there are definitely other possible political conspiracies.

Guidry realizes that his organized crime boss will want to cover his tracks by getting rid of anyone who was involved in the crime, and that includes Guidry himself. He leaves his apartment in New Orleans and heads west through Texas. And Guidry is right; there is a paid assassin named Barone chasing after him.

In Oklahoma Guidry encounters a small town woman named Charlotte and her two small daughters. She has left her drunk husband. Guidry figures the woman and her kids would provide a good cover in his efforts to escape the hired assassin who is behind him

A love story across the west to Las Vegas ensues. Will our small-time playboy organized crime operator fall for this poor wife with her daughters who represent everything that is nice and decent in this world?

I usually don’t read thrillers, but ‘November Road’ got particularly good reviews. I listened to it on audio, and it was very exciting in that format. We follow Guidry and Charlotte and the girls on the run with the hired assassin Barone right behind them.

‘November Road’ certainly does not have the depth of good literature, but as a thriller and road adventure it was entirely enjoyable and compelling.


Grade :    A-



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