Monday, May 05, 2014

The Enemy Within -- Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Kristine Kathryn Rusch's short story "G-Men" was picked for best-of-the-year anthologies in both the SF and mystery fields.   This novel is an expansion of that story (which I haven't read). It's an alternative universe story in which J. Edgar Hoover and Clyde Tolson are assassinated shortly after the killing of John F. Kennedy.  The two are killed in New York in a bad neighborhood just outside a well-known meeting place for gay men.  You can imagine the problems, one of which is jurisdiction.  And of course there's the cover-up problem.  But if you were aware of Hoover's death, what's the first thing you'd want?  The files, of course.  Hoover's files on anybody and everybody.

The mystery part of the story is resolved pretty quickly, at least for the readers.  We learn who the killer is and what his motive was, but that doesn't mean that all the characters know.  Lyndon Johnson is naturally worried that the killings are connected to Kennedy's death.  What if he's next on the list?  Robert Kennedy is interested in turning the killings to his advantage in his crusade against organized crime and in his power struggles with the FBI and Johnson.

Rusch's story moves fast and has a surprising twist at the end.  It's fine "what-if" reading, and there's a sequel in the works. Check it out.

No comments: