November Road

November Road

by Lou Berney

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Overview

"When people say they want to read a really good novel, the kind you just can't put down, this is the kind of book they mean. Exceptional." —STEPHEN KING

“Berney’s emotional, empathetic writing keeps . . . the pages turning.” —ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, “Required Reading”

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY Entertainment Weekly Washington Post • AARP • Newsweek • Dallas Morning News • South Florida Sun-Sentinel • Chicago Public Library • Real Book Spy • CrimeReads • Litreactor • Library Journal • LitHub • Booklist

Winner of the Barry, Macavity, and Anthony Awards, the Hammett Prize, the Left Coast Crime “Lefty” Award for Best Mystery Novel, the Oklahoma Book Award for Best Fiction Novel, and the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger award for Best Thriller Novel!

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.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

★ 09/01/2018
Frank Guidry is a fixer for the New Orleans mob in 1963, the kind of guy who greases palms and makes things happen. When the subject of his boss's fury, President Kennedy, is assassinated, Frank realizes he recently stashed a getaway car in Dallas as a favor. Everyone connected to him starts disappearing, so Frank decides to hit the road. He meets aspiring artist Charlotte Roy and her two daughters, who are headed to California. Charlotte is running from a broken marriage to an alcoholic and sees no future for herself or her children in small-town Oklahoma. Using the family as cover on the road, Frank forms a connection and finds that protecting is more worthwhile than escaping. Wistful and complex, Berney's confident portrait of a roadside America traumatized by Kennedy's death gives the novel literary heft, while the ticking clock of the mob closing in on the family to settle accounts lends a genre bite. VERDICT Berney's follow-up to The Long and Faraway Gone explores relationships between two complicated and realized characters. With depth and genre crossover appeal, this literary crime thriller will please fans of Dennis Lehane or George Pelecanos and also satisfy a wider audience. [See Prepub Alert, 4/23/18.]—Gregg Winsor, Johnson Cty. Lib., Overland Park, KS

Publishers Weekly

★ 08/06/2018
Edgar-winner Berney (The Long and Faraway Gone) takes a familiar plot in unexpected directions in this moving novel. In 1963, Frank Guidry serves New Orleans mob boss Carlos Marcello as a fixer, assigned to take care of loose ends—permanently. In November of that year, Guidry is tasked with leaving a car in a Dallas parking lot near Dealey Plaza. After President Kennedy’s assassination, Guidry realizes that, because he provided the getaway vehicle for the real killer, he’s become a loose end, and he begins a desperate flight to evade execution. Eventually, he crosses paths with Charlotte Roy, an unhappy Oklahoma housewife, who has resolved to make a better life for herself and her two young daughters, away from her alcoholic husband, by starting afresh in California. While Berney creates nail-biting suspense by placing Marcello’s top hit man on Guidry’s trail, the book’s power derives from Charlotte, who finds hidden strength as she confronts unexpected challenges. This is much more than just another conspiracy thriller. Author tour. Agent: Richard Parks, Richard Parks Agency. (Oct.)

Steve Hamilton

In November Road, Lou Berney shows you everything that crime fiction can be—a tightrope story that takes you across the entire landscape of America, lived by characters as real as anyone you’ve ever known... It’s the best book I’ve read this year—and second place isn’t even close.

Austin Chronicle on November Road

Berney is the kind of writer who knows how to tickle a reader’s expectations with the familiar, then raise the bar with superb character development, humor, and gritty fun.

Laura Lippman

Lou Berney has quickly become one of crime fiction’s stand-outs, a quietly subversive writer who can surprise the most jaded readers. November Road delivers everything we have come to expect from him — and then some.” 

Megan Abbott

From its first frenetic pages to its wrenching final ones, Lou Berney takes us on the ride of a lifetime...It’s a crime story, a love story, a deeply American story. With November Road, Berney proves beyond doubt that he’s one of the most talented crime novelists working today.

Ivy Pochoda

November Road is a thriller that defies categorization. A triumph of plot and prose and a brilliant depiction of the contradictions of 1960s America, the innocence, the violence, and the longing.

Don Winslow

“November Road is a remarkable and unforgettable reading experience... You will recommend it to friends. You will read it again. Berney is a writer to be read and admired. This is a staggeringly brilliant book and a flat-out terrific read.

Associated Press

This superior novel from Edgar winner Lou Berney melds crime fiction with a tale about people reinventing themselves, played out during a cross-country automobile trip.… An emotional story about the power of love and redemption through sacrifice with the backdrop of a crucial historical moment.

Stephen King on November Road

When people say they want to read a really good novel, the kind you just can’t put down, this is the kind of book they mean. Exceptional.

A. J. Finn

Nothing less than an instant American classic. Haunting, thrilling—and indelible as a scar.

CriminalElement.com on November Road

“November Road is a transcendent, immersive novel that melds elements of many genres—crime, travelogue, and romance among them—seamlessly against the backdrop of a nation divided.

Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star on November Road

Conceived in ingenuity, executed with vision and steeped in carnage, November Road... examines hope lost, hope found—and the upshots, expected or otherwise, of love.

Gilly Macmillan

“November Road is an absolute gem of a crime novel. Utterly immersive and pitch perfect in every way.

Entertainment Weekly

Berney’s emotional, empathic writing keeps the dynamic between these two lost souls intriguing, and it resonates on a larger scale, placed as it is against such a vivid backdrop... and there’s no complaint from this reader on his keeping the pages turning.

Booklist (starred review) on November Road

Berney bends his notes exquisitely, playing with the melody, building his marvelously rich characters while making us commit completely to the love story, even though we hear the melancholy refrain and see the noir cloud lurking in the sky. Pitch-perfect fiction.

Associated Press Staff

This superior novel from Edgar winner Lou Berney melds crime fiction with a tale about people reinventing themselves, played out during a cross-country automobile trip.… An emotional story about the power of love and redemption through sacrifice with the backdrop of a crucial historical moment.

Associated Press on November Road

[T]his superior novel from Edgar winner Lou Berney melds crime fiction with a tale about people reinventing themselves, played out during a cross-country automobile trip.…An emotional story about the power of love and redemption through sacrifice with the backdrop of a crucial historical moment.

A.J. Finn

Nothing less than an instant American classic. Haunting, thrilling—and indelible as a scar.

Booklist (starred review)

Pitch-perfect fiction... “Breakout novel” is an overused phrase, but it just may fit this much buzzed-about jewel from a writer who easily reaches across the aisle separating thrillers and literary fiction.”

Chicago Examiner.com

Fast and funny . . full of memorable moments and characters that you won’t soon forget.

Times Record News (Wichita Falls

A fast-paced, sexy novel, packed with spine-tingling intrigue and money-induced lust...Excellent.

Parkersburg News and Sentinel

A taut, engrossing thriller.

Examiner.com

Compelling and dark . . . five stars out of five.

The Barnes & Noble Review

A delirious caper in the spirit of Hiaasen and Leonard.

Abraham Rodriguez

An exciting read you can’t put down. A definite must read.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062663870
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/09/2018
Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 11,315
File size: 3 MB

Customer Reviews