Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Legacy, by Stephen Frey

Many times you discover an author that you like after he has had several novels published, and you have to go back in time to catch up with him. "The Legacy" was published in 1998, but my first experience with Frey was "The Day Trader", 2002. Frey writes financial thrillers, but this one is much less about the stock market and hedge funds than it is about a government conspiracy to cover up the investigation of the JFK assassination. The main character, Cole Eagan, just happens to work for an investment house.

JFK conspiracies are not my bag. But it is an indelible memory for most people my age, who all remember what they were doing when they heard JFK had been shot. (I was in kindergarten when the room dividers were all pulled apart, the teachers stayed huddled together, and a TV was rolled in for us to watch the news instead of the story lady on our local PBS affiliate.) And although I have shrugged off much of the JFK genre as something that has been overdone, this was a very good spy novel, with enough double crosses to keep you guessing right up to the end.

And it goes beyond being a fictional diversion when you consider how much of a story like this could actually be true. It's depressing, but not entirely surprising, which is probably what depresses me to begin with. That, and the idea that with all those people in a large public place, many of whom owned cameras even then, that there is so little incontrovertible proof of anything. You gotta wonder. It's just not very profitable.

Give it 3 stars for good story, characters, and the ability to bother the level-headed.

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