Nick Alston, a Los Angeles private investigator, is hired to find the kidnapped son of America’s richest and most hated man.
Hastings, a mob hitman in search of redemption, is also on the trail. But both men soon become ensnared by a sinister cabal that spreads from the White House all the way to Dealey Plaza.
Decades later in Dallas, Alston’s son stumbles across evidence from JFK conspiracy buffs that just might link his father to the shot heard round the world.
Hotly tipped to be one of the must reads of 2016, Fever City is one those books you’ll find irresistible to put down. Before you know it you’re immediately immersed in the Mad Men era of the 1960’s where we meet Detective Nick Alston in 1960 and Hastings, a killer who appears in numerous years of that decade. Bringing up the rear and 21st century is Nick Alston’s son, Alston Jr in 2014.
The book moves around a lot and it does get a little confusing at times with numerous time switches but stick with it for you’ll be rewarded with a complex but intelligent storyline with numerous clever sub plots and twists. It certainly won’t leave you wanting that’s for sure.
I’ve never been a fan of the sixties, I can’t watch a drama on television set in that period and I very rarely listen to the 60’s music but despite this mental baggage I wanted to give Fever City a go as I do have an interest in history and as soon as I discovered the connection with JFK I was hooked – before I’d even opened the book. One thing Tim Baker did was make me enjoy the 1960’s and that’s one thing I never expected to take from this book!
It’s not only JFK that Tim Baker references, Rex “Old Man” Bannister’s son has disappeared, a powerful man who not only has connections with the aforementioned Kennedy but FBI supremo J Edgar Hoover and Howard Hughes who to this day remains an enigma and eccentric! Bannister’s relationship with Ronnie is questionable to say the least and I’m certain he couldn’t care less about whether he returns or not. With a bounty of one million dollars placed on his head, who knows how the situation will unfold, you’ll just have to read it!
One of the most intriguing aspects of the book for me is Hasting’s role in it. A killer who becomes embroiled in a plot to assassinate John F Kennedy because the President isn’t playing ball with those who want to control him, JFK is no puppet president. Hastings has no alternative than go along with the plot or face being silenced himself. After years of supposition and conspiracy over JFK’s death it was great to read another take on the president and another author’s viewpoint. I really enjoyed it and Tim Baker has done a cracking job of bringing that era and history alive.
Finally we have the modern era where Alston Jr, a newspaper man in Dallas, talks to conspiracy theorists who claim to know what really happened to JFK. Alston is shocked to discover his father may have played a part in the assassination.
One element I did find interesting – and this will come as no surprise to anyone here – was the lack of technology in the 1960’s narrative compared to the 21st century and it somehow seemed to sit a lot more comfortably with me, despite being a self confessed techno geek! I didn’t miss the world of mobile phones and internet that’s for certain.
A terrific read with a healthy sprinkling of fact, fiction and history, Tim Baker has created a violent and powerful narrative to flow from one page to another effortlessly. This is a must read for 2016.
- Hardcover:432 pages
- Publisher:Faber & Faber; Main edition (21 Jan. 2016)