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Pub Date Nov 21 2023 | Archive Date Feb 01 2024

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On Friday, November 22, 1963, KBOX, Action Central News reporter, Sam Pate, was in Mobile News Unit #4 covering President Kennedy's motorcade, broadcasting live as it paraded through Dallas.

"It appears as though something has happened in the motorcade route..." This utterance was the first inkling aired of something amiss. It now appears that 60 years later, this tragic event is still mired in uncertainty.

Noted author, screenwriter, and film director Tom Avitabile maintains “Conspiracy thrives in the fertilizer of bad journalism and bad policing.” His latest novel, ASK NOT! illustrates how conspiracy theories can take on a life of their own and become life-threatening to those who dig too deep. Avitabile offers up a fresh, provocative look back at the terrible events of November 22, 1963, and weaves a tale both plausible and mysterious.

In a Hitchcockian way, Avitabile presents the “MacGuffin,” a faded photo—the so-called “Polaroid #7”—which holds out a possibility of long-overdue accountability for murderers and vindication for pilot Hank Larson’s brother, slain for his possession of the yellowed image. Hank’s attempts to clear his brother’s name place him squarely in a new set of crosshairs, targeted by killers desperate to conceal the truth about an evil deed that changed the world.

On Friday, November 22, 1963, KBOX, Action Central News reporter, Sam Pate, was in Mobile News Unit #4 covering President Kennedy's motorcade, broadcasting live as it paraded through Dallas.


Advance Praise

ASK NOT! is a wild ride along the echoes of history and a deep dive into the dark heart of Mankind. Don’t miss it!

—Robert D Kidera—Amazon Best-selling author of RED GOLD and the Gabe McKenna Mystery Series.

ASK NOT! is a wild ride along the echoes of history and a deep dive into the dark heart of Mankind. Don’t miss it!

—Robert D Kidera—Amazon Best-selling author of RED GOLD and the Gabe McKenna...

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ISBN 9781735184937
PRICE $17.95 (USD)

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Average rating from 6 members

Featured Reviews

EXCERPT: Callie Stribling reads & reviews: Ask Not! By Tom Avitable

There are certain events in history that maintain a firm grasp on our collective consciousness and our imagination. Even 60 years later, the assassination of President John. F. Kennedy inspires theory after theory about what happened in Dealey Plaza, as well as countless films, books, documentaries, and more. Some of these works are presentation of historical fact, some earnest presentation of “alternative theories” to who killed the president and why, and some, like Tom Avitable’s new thriller Ask Not!, are pure fiction that relish a dive into the deep end of these conspiracy theories.

Avitable has done a remarkable job creating a world of intrigue and covert operations. Much of the fun of Ask Not! is the way it acts as a sort of gateway primer to the dozens if not hundreds of theories people have proposed over the years about how and why Kennedy ended up dead in Dallas. It pokes at the more ridiculous and outlandish, but at the same time it has a way of presenting some of the more level-headed ideas with a nod of “well it may or may not be true, but you have to admit those are some good questions it’s asking.” Like Hank, it’s easy for the reader to start to see how some people can be intrigued. It’s obvious that Avitable has done his research and is treating this with a good amount of respect while continuing to have fun with it.

Whatever you believe about what happened in Dealey Plaza in November of 1963, Ask Not! provides an entertaining look at the intrigue and greed of American politics and government institutions, and a real insight into why conspiracies continue to hold our interest and why certain events can become perfect breeding grounds for them in the first place.

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Very interesting idea for a book where fiction and non fiction meet
The author has obvs done massive research into this subject
It kinda reads like a screenplay but that was unique and different enough that it worked for me
A good read

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Very fast paced and gripping! You can tell the author did his research on the event, but makes it so you will question anything you’ve read about it. Highly recommend!

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My interest in the assassination of John F. Kennedy might make me biased, but I think most people would agree that there is not a better situation suited for a thriller. I’ve read one other novel/thriller that involves this moment in history, however, it ended up being a relatively small portion of the book. I was excited when Ask Not! set the stage with it in the first pages.

Hank never thought much about John F. Kennedy’s assassination. He had no reason to believe anything but the official story: Three bullets shot by Lee Harvey Oswald. A random act. Suddenly he’s thrust into the world of polaroids and conspiracies. What’s more, is that his own life may be at risk thanks to his brother Benjamin.

There are several different theories that the book explores. While some are outlandish, some appear plausible. As Hank does his own investigation, he encounters a number of different people who have their takes, including a couple of witnesses. He doesn’t know what to make of these claims, much less what to believe. He wonders if believing in a conspiracy is easier than believing that a single human can change the course of history in a single act of randomness.

Along with talk of the JFK assassination is Hank's own story and that of his brother's. Hank's drive to clear Benjamin's name from a homicide accusation is the driving force. Christine (Chris) is also a nice addition to the story and compliments Hank's character.

Fast-paced and gripping, this book flows wonderfully with fantastic dialogue and lots of action. I devoured the book in two sittings and then regretted not pacing myself more because it was over all too quickly. Having read several other books on different facts and conspiracies from this event, it was fun to see some of them presented here (and in the form of a novel). I was particularly impressed to see a section that discusses Dorothy Kilgallen. I don’t understand why other authors on the subject tend to overlook her place in the theories. I was glad Tom Avitabile didn’t hold back!

I appreciated the character list at the beginning of the book to help me keep track of all of the names and roles. Also included is a polaroid, again, setting the stage right off the bat. It's evident that a lot of thought, research, and care went into this book. This is a perfect read for crime/thriller fans, but also readers looking for a hint of nonfiction in their novels.

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