Ask Not by Max Allan Collins - Book Review

Category: Books and Music

This year is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John Kennedy. There have been many new documentaries, films, and books about JFK, and Ask Not is one of them. This one, however, is a work of fiction. Written by Max Allan Collins, Ask Not is the sequel to his previous book Target Lancer, although it is a stand-alone book and readers do not have to read Target Lancer to understand this story.


Ask Not is set in the time immediately after the assassination. Private detective Nathan Heller finds himself in the middle of a far-fetched situation. As he delves into the clues he receives, he is drawn into the nitty gritty of the assassination. The Warren Commission is set to find that there was a lone gunman without any ties to any others. The case of the assassination of JFK is cut and dried. But what Heller discovers is that it is far from that.


Witnesses to the assassination are dropping like flies, either by “accident,” murder, or “suicide.” Where do the clues lead? Back to the new president, Lyndon Johnson? Things get dicey for Heller and his cohort, journalist Flo Kilgore, when they start looking into the mysterious happenings that lead to high places. With the approval of Heller’s friend Bobby Kennedy, he and Flo set out to get to the bottom of this mystery. Heller, as readers know from the past novel, is not a stranger to CIA plots and the mafia. He has friends in high and low places. So, he is the perfect PI for this job.


What makes this book intriguing is the way Collins weaves together fiction and non-fiction. He writes like he is telling a true story, and with names we all know, the story takes on an eerie realness. His previous Nathan Heller novels have forged into the assassination plans for killing JFK, the case of Marilyn Monroe, and more. He is magically able to integrate facts with fiction to create his mesmerizing stories.


Ask Not is a timely tale in the sense that it hits the shelves at a time when our consciousness is being flooded by JFK anniversary stories on the news, in the theaters, on bookshelves, and especially on TV.


This is a fun detective story for anyone who knows anything about the 1960s.


About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment business for 20 years. She also writes about technology and has been a travel writer for the past 12 years. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet: The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books.

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