1st edition cover
|Genre||Black Comedy novel|
|Publication date||May 1974|
|Media type||Print (Hardback, Paperback)
|Pages||304 pp (first edition, hardback)|
|ISBN||ISBN 0-8037-8822-3 (first edition, hardback)|
|LC Classification||PZ4.C746 Wi PS3553.O487|
|Preceded by||Arigato (1972)|
|Followed by||The Star-Spangled Crunch (1974)|
Winter Kills is a black comic novel by Richard Condon exploring the assassination of a U.S. President. The novel parallels the real life assassination of John F. Kennedy and the various conspiracy theories that surround the event.
Before the main story of the novel begins, U.S. President Timothy Kegan is shot in Philadelphia at Hunt Plaza. The ensuing presidential commission condemns a lone gunman as the killer. The book starts years later, when Kegan's half-brother, Nick, witnesses the death-bed confession of a man claiming to have been part of the 'hit squad'. As the protagonist attempts to find the plotter(s), he encounters numerous groups and persons that could have led or been part of the conspiracy. One person is Lola Camonte, a hostess, lobbyist and fixer. She recounts the story of President Kegan asking her about appointing a member of organized crime to the Court of St. James. The character "Joe Diamond" is the fictional representation of Jack Ruby.
Condon's book describes the numerous intertwined threads of the conspiracy, from the Mafia, Cuba, even possible domestic police connections. Only in the final act, in which Nick meets with his vicious and perverse Joseph P. Kennedy-like 'father-figure', is the truth revealed with a twist ending.
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