Friday, October 5, 2018

Lou Berney Literary Salon: October 24

Join Mystery Readers NorCal in Berkeley for an evening with award winning author Lou Berney

When: Wednesday, October 24, 7 p.m.
Where: RSVP for venue address (Berkeley, CA)
This is a free evening, but YOU MUST RSVP to attend. Address sent with acceptance. Space limited.
RSVP: janet @

Lou Berney is the author of November Road (October 8), The Long and Faraway Gone (winner of the Edgar, Anthony, Barry, Macavity, and ALA awards), Whiplash River, and Gutshot Straight, all from William Morrow. He’s also written a collection of stories, The Road to Bobby Joe, and his short fiction has appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, Ploughshares, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. He teaches in the MFA program at Oklahoma City University.

November Road is my favorite book of the year, so I'm thrilled to have Lou Berney as our Literary Salon guest on October 24. November Road is smart, edgy, historical but of today. Berney's characters are well formed, his writing amazing, and his setting so real. I especially love his intro with a salute to his mother. You're going to love this book!

November Road:
Set against the assassination of JFK, a poignant and evocative crime novel that centers on a desperate cat-and-mouse chase across 1960s America – a story of unexpected connections, daring possibilities, and the hope of second chances. Frank Guidry’s luck has finally run out. A loyal street lieutenant to New Orleans mob boss Carlos Marcello, Guidry has learned that everybody is expendable. But now it’s his turn – he knows too much about the crime of the century: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Within hours of JFK’s murder, everyone with ties to Marcello is turning up dead, and Guidry suspects he’s next. 

With few good options, Guidry hits the road to Las Vegas, to see an old associate – a dangerous man who, maybe, hates Marcello enough to help Guidry vanish. Guidry knows that the first rule of running is “don’t stop,” but when he sees a young housewife on the side of the road with a broken-down car, two little girls, and a dog in the back seat, he sees the perfect cover for his escape from the hit man on his trail. Posing as an insurance man, Guidry offers to help Charlotte reach her destination, California. If she accompanies him to Las Vegas, he can help her get a new car. For her, it’s more than a car – it’s an escape. She’s on the run too, from a stifling existence in small-town Oklahoma and a husband who’s a hopeless drunk. 

It’s an American story: two strangers meet to share the open road west, a dream, a hope – and find each other on the way. Charlotte sees that Frank is open-minded and kind; he discovers that she’s smart and witty. He learns that she’s determined to give herself and her daughters a new life; she can’t know that he’s desperate to leave his old one behind. Another rule: fugitives shouldn’t fall in love, especially with each other. A road isn’t just a road, it’s a trail, and Guidry’s ruthless and relentless hunter is closing in on him. But now Guidry doesn’t just want to survive, he wants to really live, maybe for the first time. Everyone’s expendable, but now Guidry can’t just throw away the woman and children he’s come to love. And it might get them all killed. 

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