‘Forward to Camelot’ by Susan Sloate / Kevin Finn – review

       A time traveller speeds into the highly dangerous political world of Dallas during 1963.

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A young actress Catherine Cuyler (Cady) has her role in a long running American TV series cut short when she is told she is no longer wanted by the show’s producer. Her disappointment is short lived when her agent informs her he has another job lined up for her. She is sent to a special effects film company for an interview with producer George Staub and from there her life takes on a more challenging role. She expects to be offered a role in a new TV series but is asked to undertake a journey through time. George describes the job he is offering her as a ‘treasure hunt.’

Cady is given the simple task of obtaining the Bible which was used by Lyndon B. Johnson after he is sworn in on Air Force One after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Her ‘mission’ is described by George ‘as simple and safe’ but nothing could be further from the truth.

Transported back to Dallas 1963, Cady soon runs into political intrigue and the usual suspects: Lee Harvey Oswald, Lyndon Johnson, Clay Shaw, Jack Ruby and the CIA. Then all she has to do is figure out who are the good guys from the bad guys; grab the Bible and clear up the mystery surrounding the disappearance of her father Donald Cuyler,  who disappeared from the family home in Dallas during November, 1963.

Once she lands in Dallas it doesn’t take long for her to find out that life is dangerous. Her co-workers go missing, her own life is threatened and she has to steer her way through the sexual mores of the sixties at steamy parties attended by suspect guys from shady companies and gun runners driven by politics.

To give more of the plot away would be to spoil what is a fast paced thriller with a plausible plot. Though I am not giving too much away to say that Cady does come face to face with John F. Kennedy.

Cady is a strong, determined character who is more than capable of navigating her way around the murky world she has landed in. Oswald shows his real colours, her father is not the man she thought he was and then there is LBJ eager to acquire the crown.

Readers who are familiar with the events of 1963 are led down an avenue where you think the story will play out as you know it from history; but Susan Sloate and Kevin Finn throw their female protagonist into a powerful twist and turn story which launches the hero into uncharted territory.

Readers who prefer their stories to have a whiff of a conspiracy will love it. Though the story is more of a will she change historical events and save the President rather than a straight ‘who-done-it.’

The style of the novel is fast paced thriller, well researched, with strong political themes and a plausible plot driven by known facts. The prose is direct and doesn’t hang about to describe the colour of the flowers in the Rose Garden. It is refreshing to read a book driven by a female character who is not simply out and about looking for love.

The climax of the book is a dash across the Gulf toward New Orleans. The book could have been too predictable in the hands of some writers but Sloate and Finn avoid that pitfall; readers will not be disappointed with the book.

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November, 2013

Interview with Susan Sloate and Kevin Finn here:

Slateone >> http://tiny.cc/5nb46w

Buy the book here ~Amazon >>> http://tiny.cc/ejb46w

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