Review: Knoll

Knoll by Stephen Hillard

SelectBooks, 2017.  Hardcover, 256 pages.Cover: Knoll

Knoll is a novel that reexamines the John F. Kennedy assassination in a more contemporary context.  There are two different modern storylines.  The more cryptic and shorter one is that of Banner McCoy, a NSA agent who discovered her project is meant to destroy anyone remotely connected the assassination.  She flees Edward Snowden-style and her story is recounted through blog posts.

The more prominent storyline features Columbus “Bus” MacIntyre, a small town lawyer and son of a murdered police officer.  He has just obtained a copy of the file on his father’s murder and learns of a family connection to Mafia Kingpin Carlos Marcello.  Marcello had a strong dislike for JFK and it has been theorized that he or his underlings may have had a role to play in the former president’s murder.   Bus takes a motorcycle trip to learn more about this connection and to attempt to track down his father’s murderer.  However, he encounters various roadblocks along the way.  Is he now in the crosshairs of the people Banner once worked for and/or of a more dangerous foe?

As a whole, the book was well-written.  The writing was tight, believable, and descriptive.  There were also many hooks to lure the reader in and the danger did feel real, signs of a good thriller.  The novel also touched on the different theories behind the JFK assassination, mainly the Marcello connection.  However, I thought that there would have been more historical content in the novel based on the topic.  Most of what was in the prose was through Bus’ memories and reminiscences or excerpts from his father’s journal.  Because of that, this was very much a contemporary novel.

What are your thoughts on the JFK assassination?  And your thoughts on books that play up the various conspiracy theories?  Do you have a good history or biography book to recommend for those who want to learn more about JFK’s final days?

I was offered this book for review by FSB Associates.


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