May 2, 2015

The Last Man Standing

“The past is never dead. It's not even past.” 
     William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun

On November 22, 1963, an assassin shot and killed President John F. Kennedy. The assassination generated several conspiracies theories: it was the CIA; it was Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, it was Cuban President Fidel Castro; it was the KGB; and it was the Mafia. In his sixth CJ Floyd novel, THE MONGOOSE DECEPTION, Robert Greer suggests it might have been the Mafia and “The High Cabal” of 11 men who "were the power behind government and corporations and organized crime."  

Greer’s bail bondsman/antique dealer, CJ Floyd, gets involved in the conspiracy theory that the Mafia assassinated President John F. Kennedy when some 30 years after the Eisenhower Tunnel was completed in the 1970s a frozen arm is found behind the tunnel wall following an earthquake. Based on the tattoo on the arm, Cornelius McPherson, the worker who found the arm, identified it as belonging to a fellow worker named Antoine Ducane who disappeared in 1972. Cornelius is later killed when he attempts to locate Antoine’s next of kin. The gruesome find and the McPherson killing set in motion a series of events that everyone involved thinks might lead to the real JFK assassin. 

CJ tries to protect his long time friend, 86-year-old, former Denver mob boss Mario Satoni, the last Mafioso who might have knowledge of the assassination. The three mob bosses who allegedly planned the operation are dead. Once evidence connects Antoine Ducane to the assassination, an FBI agent goes after Mario Satoni. Mario’s nephew Rollie Ornasetti, who supervised a failed assassination attempt in Chicago in 1963, tries to frame Mario. Carmine Cassias, the young boss of the Louisiana crime family, wants Satoni and Rollie dead for fear they will reveal the Mafia’s role in the assassination.

As he searches for the hitman Rollie sends to kill Satoni, CJ finds himself working with Satoni’s enforcer Pinkie Niedermyer and Gus Cavalaris, the Denver Homicide detective investigating the murders of Ducane and McPherson. Eighty-year-old Willette Ducane travels to Denver from Louisiana and hires CJ to find out what happened to her son Antoine.

The unknown villains manipulating events behind the scene don’t want the truth about the assassination revealed either. CJ, however, believes he might change history: "…I think we might have stumbled across something that could put a new twist on history." He thinks he “can shed just a little bit of truth on that killing…”

The Mongoose Deception is a good “what if” novel. What if it was the Mafia and some leaders in industry and government who wanted President John F. Kennedy dead? The novel is an entertaining fantasy with unknown villains manipulating the known villains. Greer does a good job of keeping the plot tight, not going off on a tangent exploring other theories.

If you are a member of a “who killed JFK” conspiracy club you will enjoy The Mongoose Deception more than the previous five novels.