Ruined Days by Guinotte Wise takes the conspiracy theory paranoia surrounding the assassination of John F. Kenneday and drives it to a whole new level. I made the mistake of starting this book at 11PM and was immediately sucked in and stayed up half the night reading it.
Ruined Days’ protagonist is Travis Meachem, a soldier of fortune, and his stable of crazy rednecks who whirl through the settings (a wildlife refuge/swamp, Dallas, New Orleans, and Las Vegas) like the novel’s Hurricane Oswald bearing down on New Orleans. Throw in a bunch of paranoid Feds, some high-tech assistants, a creole beauty half Travis’ age, and you have a wild ride. The coon hunt was particularly well written. The cast is vivid. The dialogue rings true. My only complaint is that it winds up too quickly to be truly satisfying. I’ve had the pleasure of reading Wise’s short stories, and his dry humor comes through loud and clear in this thriller.