Wednesday, October 10, 2018

November Road by Lou Berney

Good morning, everyone! Today I'm a stop on the TLC blog tour for Lou Berney's latest, November Road. 

Frank Guidry is a trusted part of the Marcello crime family. If a job needs doing, Frank gets it done. But Frank's latest job is destined to be his last thanks to circumstances beyond his control. Kennedy has just been assassinated and Frank has enough pieces to know that Marcello himself is behind it. So when Frank is asked to head to Houston to drop a car, he's well aware that he won't be coming back. 

Opting to stay alive rather than the alternative, Frank decides to run. But to do that, he needs to evade Marcello's connections long enough to get out of the country. When he runs into a single mom and her two kids, he thinks he may have found the perfect cover. He just didn't plan to fall for the woman. 

Charlotte has had it with her husband's drinking. Her life isn't the one she'd imagined and it's not what she wants for her daughters either. And so, she finally gets the courage to leave and head west. But her car has other ideas when it spins out on the road, stranding her little family in a tiny New Mexico town. And when a stranger offers help, she's just desperate enough to take it. 

Lou Berney's latest is an example of excellent storytelling! Set in 1963, in the days just after Kennedy's assassination, it's a story of crime and love. It's also a story of starting over.

Frank is a Cajun boy who's happy with his life in New Orleans. He has a fancy apartment, fancy clothes, and power. All things he's gained working for a local mob boss. The job has given him all the things he never had growing up but control isn't one of them. And so when he becomes an inconvenience, he's out.

Charlotte has tried and tried to make it work at home but has finally come to the realization that it'll never be enough. If she wants change, she's going to have to be the one to make it. This includes both her marriage and her career, neither of which are going anywhere in the small Oklahoma town she calls home.

They meet through coincidence but Frank's own scheming brings them together. The story moves fast, as is the case with all of Berney's books. It made for great entertainment during the wee hours as I fight insomnia in these last weeks of pregnancy, that's for sure!

I loved Frank and Charlotte. As I mentioned, Frank is a Cajun boy and I appreciated that little detail as a fellow Cajun. (And was glad Berney did it well.) Plus, even though he's not a great guy as outlined by his job and his actions in the beginning of the book, he is basically a decent guy who's put himself in a bad situation. In other words, it's easy to sympathize with him and want to follow his story. Charlotte is quite likable, as is her family, so she's a given one you want to get behind. Together, they drive the story and the reader's desire to see exactly how that story will play out.

Another excellent outing from Berney!

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Lou Berney and his work you can visit his website here. You can also like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


techeditor said...

I read this

Although it is not at all like his award-winning THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE, this is sure to be another winner for him. It is his writing style that will get you now just as it did then.

My only criticism of NOVEMBER ROAD, and anyone who has been married to a drinking alcoholic will agree, is that the explanation for Charlotte’s unhappiness is inadequate. Her reason for suddenly taking off with her two children does not seem to be enough. Berney says that Charlotte’s husband frequently stays out late and comes home drunk but does not show how this has impacted his family’s lives.

But NOVEMBER ROAD is a great story otherwise. It looks like Berney is another go-to author for me.

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for being on the tour!