Fever City – Tim Baker
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.
Violent, vivid, visceral: FEVER CITY is a high–octane, nightmare journey through a Mad Men-era America of dark powers, corruption and conspiracy.
My thanks to Faber & Faber for my review copy.
My friends will groan when they find I have read a book with a conspiracy theory element to it as I love ‘em. Roswell, the Moon Landings, JFK and Nessie all provide hours of fascination. Obviously from the 4 I listed one is a total fabrication of the truth but I am quite happy to believe that there was a UFO at Roswell, JFK was not killed by Lee Harvey Oswald and I have seen pictures of Nessie so she clearly is a real thing too.
In Fever City Tim Baker has crafted a phenomenal story around the JFK assassination – putting forward new observations and casting more suspicions over the ‘official’ story on the death of a President. Many famous names crop up through the story and relationships, alliances and adversaries are explored. It is a compelling read and as I reached the end of the book I could not turn the pages fast enough to see how everything would resolve.
The narrative is handled from three viewpoints and events cover three different points in history. 1960 when the child of one of America’s richest (and most loathed) men is kidnapped – Private Investigator Nick Alston is called in to help locate the kidnapped boy.
Jumping forward to 1963 when Alston is reunited with a hitman called Hastings (the two had first met during the kidnap investigation). Obviously 1963 is of huge significance and we follow events which will eventually build up to that fateful day in Dallas.
Then the narrative jumps forward to 2014 when the son of one of the key players (that of Nick Alston) is looking into all the theories which surround the assassination of JFK. As Fever City progresses Alston (junior) comes to realise that his father may have been very close to some of the key players who are implicated in one of history’s greatest cover-ups.
The switching narrative is brilliantly handled and the way the story flits across the time periods works really well. I initially had fears that this may fragment the story but these fears were short lived as Baker builds so much tension into the story you don’t mind being drawn through the years.
Fever City should come with a ‘dark’ or ‘gritty’ warning. The male characters can come across as hard, uncompromising or aggressive and the females are brilliantly balanced initially appearing to be femme fatales but ultimately showing more depth and inner steel than most of their male counterparts.
A deeply enjoyable story. Compelling, twisty and downright nasty at times. All plus points for me – definitely a bit of a favourite.
Fever City is published by Faber & Faber and can be purchased here.