Friday, November 08, 2019

Blog Tour & Review: November Road by Lou Berney

Title: November Road
Author: Lou Berney
Published: October 2019, William Morrow Paperbacks
Format: Paperback, 320 pages
Source: Publisher via TLC Booktours

Set against the assassination of JFK, a poignant and evocative crime novel that centers on a desperate cat-and-mouse chase across 1960s America—a story of unexpected connections, daring possibilities, and the hope of second chances from the Edgar Award-winning author of The Long and Faraway Gone. 

Frank Guidry’s luck has finally run out.

A loyal street lieutenant to New Orleans’ mob boss Carlos Marcello, Guidry has learned that everybody is expendable. But now it’s his turn—he knows too much about the crime of the century: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Within hours of JFK’s murder, everyone with ties to Marcello is turning up dead, and Guidry suspects he’s next: he was in Dallas on an errand for the boss less than two weeks before the president was shot. With few good options, Guidry hits the road to Las Vegas, to see an old associate—a dangerous man who hates Marcello enough to help Guidry vanish.

Guidry knows that the first rule of running is "don’t stop," but when he sees a beautiful housewife on the side of the road with a broken-down car, two little daughters and a dog in the back seat, he sees the perfect disguise to cover his tracks from the hit men on his tail. Posing as an insurance man, Guidry offers to help Charlotte reach her destination, California. If she accompanies him to Vegas, he can help her get a new car.

For her, it’s more than a car— it’s an escape. She’s on the run too, from a stifling existence in small-town Oklahoma and a kindly husband who’s a hopeless drunk.

It’s an American story: two strangers meet to share the open road west, a dream, a hope—and find each other on the way.

Charlotte sees that he’s strong and kind; Guidry discovers that she’s smart and funny. He learns that’s she determined to give herself and her kids a new life; she can’t know that he’s desperate to leave his old one behind.

Another rule—fugitives shouldn’t fall in love, especially with each other. A road isn’t just a road, it’s a trail, and Guidry’s ruthless and relentless hunters are closing in on him. But now Guidry doesn’t want to just survive, he wants to really live, maybe for the first time.

Everyone’s expendable, or they should be, but now Guidry just can’t throw away the woman he’s come to love.

And it might get them both killed.

My thoughts: I love reading historical fiction and I love all things to do with JFK, but I have to say I was a little skeptical about this book when I first came across it...I wasn't sure how a thriller plotline was going to work against the JFK assassination, so I didn't rush to pick this one up. Well, that was my bad because this book is amazing! I could not get enough of this book and it just so happens that the weekend prior to me reading this I was in Dallas and happened to visit the exact spot where the assassination took place which just added to the emotional connection of this book, not that it is necessary, but it made it feel a little more heavy in my heart if that makes sense.

This book really took my by surprise in such a good way. I immediately fell in love with the characters, especially the main two, Frank Guidry and Charlotte and her two daughters. If ever there were two characters - Frank and Charlotte - who needed a do-over in life - it is these two, and I was rooting for them the whole way. This book is a character study in the lives of these two characters. Frank isn't really a character you want to like at first, but there is just something about him that makes you want to root for him. 

This book is a multilayered story set against not only the backdrop of Kennedy's assassination but also the civil rights movement happening at the time. It's rich with history and ripe with crime with a little romance is thrown in to lighten it up. It truly is a memorable and fantastic read and I'm so glad I picked it up. This was my first time reading anything by Lou Berney but it certainly will not be the last!

About the author: Lou Berney is the author of three previous novels, Gutshot Straight, Whiplash River, and multiple prize-winning The Long and Faraway Gone. His short fiction has appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, Ploughshares, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. He lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Authors Links:  Website   |   Twitter   |   Facebook   
Purchase Links:   HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Be sure to check out all the other stops on the blog tour and follow the tour on Twitter (hashtags:  #TLCBookTours & #novemberroad).




  1. I have this one on its way to me and I can't wait to get into it. Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours

  2. This sounds like a good read and a page turner.


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