November Road: A Thriller

November Road: A Thriller

by Lou Berney


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"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

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, and the Oklahoma Book Award for Best Fiction 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062663856
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/22/2019
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 45,374
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

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.

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November Road: A Thriller 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it!! Couldn't put the book down, highly recommend. Will read more from this talented author.
CharlotteLynnsReviews 9 days ago
I love reading historical fiction and November Road is a wonderful addition to my favorites list. JFK has been shot. Even now no one really knows what happen in Texas on a horrible day in 1963. While this is not a book about JFK it centers around people who know too much about what happen to him and who was involved. Guidry is on the run from the person who wants to rid the world of everyone who knows something about what did happen concerning the assassination of JFK. The other story is Charlotte's. She has taken her two adorable little girls and left her drunk husband to find a better life for herself and her daughters. Between Oklahoma and California, she manages to cross paths with Guidry and the two combined efforts to get to where they need to be. The storylines come together, there are second chances for both Guidry and Charlotte, and I enjoyed the historical aspects that were thrown in throughout the story.
SheTreadsSoftly 11 days ago
November Road by Lou Berney is a very highly recommended novel that is part thriller, part character study, and thoroughly exceptional. Set in 1963 after the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, this is an incredible story of fugitives making connections while on the run across America. Frank Guidry is a smooth operator and loyal lieutenant to Carlos Marcello, the mob boss of New Orleans. Within hours of JFK's assassination, it becomes clear to Frank that everybody is expendable and he may now be on that list. He did a small errand for Marcello and now it looks like that errand might tie him, thus Marcello, to the assassination. Frank realizes that he is being set up to end up dead, so he goes on the run, covering his tracks as best as he can. Frank decides he needs to head to Los Vegas where he knows a man who hates Marcello and might help him. Along the way Frank meets another person on the run. Charlotte Roy has packed up her two girls and the dog in the car, leaving her drunken husband Dooley, and Woodrow, Oklahoma behind. Charlotte can't take another stifling day of her existence in the small Oklahoma town and hopes to make it to California. Charlotte and Frank find themselves staying at the same motel after her car breaks down in New Mexico. Posing as an insurance salesman, Frank convinces Charlotte to travel with him to Los Vegas, where he knows a man who can give her a new car. Along the way the two make a connection with each other. Both are trying to escape, but they also see part of what the other wants. Charlotte sees a strong, kind man, while Frank sees a determined, smart woman. Both of them want a new life. What Frank knows and Charlotte doesn't, is that a ruthless killer, Paul Barone, is looking for him and traveling with her and the girls might get him off Frank trail. The writing in this novel is absolutely exceptional and perfectly presented. The pacing is outstanding and the writing and storytelling will keep you glued to the pages. This is a brilliant just-one-more-chapter novel. The narrative alternates between the point-of-view of three characters, Frank, Charlotte, and Barone. As the tension keeps rising incrementally, it soon becomes impossible to set this story aside. You have to keep reading to find out what happens next. And you will be invested in these characters and what happens to them. The character development in November Road is impressive and memorable. Berney gets into the heart of his characters, exposing their flaws, but also their dreams and goals. These characters all go through a transformation and growth. Barone, the killer, is a cruel and cold hearted as you would expect and the thought of him coming after anyone will send a shiver down your spine. Along with the great character development, the historical setting is perfectly captured. There is a play list of music in the novel included at the end of the novel for anyone who wants to listen to the songs in the novel. Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from HarperCollins
Anonymous More than 1 year ago