10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
Fascinating but confusing, 9 July 2008
I'm sure like many others, I'm at the same amazed and astonished that 45 years after JFK was ambushed in downtown Dallas, there is still no definitive answer to what really happened that day in 1963.
Jim Garrison remains the only person to bring anyone to trial suspected of being part of a conspiracy to kill the President. Oliver Stone's JFK merely scratched the surface of the amazing life of Jim Garrison and the case that became his life's obsession. But, for many people (like me) it also posed more questions than it answered. Here, Joan Mellen answers many of those questions and should be commended for revealing the true scope of Garrison's investigation, into Shaw, Ferrie, Oswald et al, while at the same time shedding new light onto the eccentric life of the undoubtedly brilliant but flawed Garrison. She also reveals in incredible depth and by providing numerous examples the intricate web of deceipt and power behind the CIA, both in it's involvement in the assassination and the cover up across the US after it. Yet I still find myself asking 'why has the absolute truth still not come out - who pulled the trigger' etc...
For any fan of the film JFK, and for anyone intrigued by how a simple DA had the guts and determination to effectively take on the state with little regard to his own career and safety, this book is a must.
This is not light reading. Overcome by the minute detail, Mellen introduces characters to the piece at an astonishing rate almost from the first page, mentioning them briefly on one page and then expecting you to remember who they are two hundred pages later. Having gone through literaly hundreds of other names in the meantime.
Almost from the word go, the myriad of names, aliases and characters merge together, so it becomes very difficult to work out who was working for who, who was a supporter, who was trying to bring Garrison down. But then perhaps that illustrates why all these years on, we don't seem near to a definitive answer - proof beyond all doubt who did it, who gave the order, and who knew about it.
It's tough going at times but it is worth it in the end. This is by far the most comprehensive account of the Garrison investigation I've read - it really is incredible to read about the lengths people went to prevent him from uncovering the truth, the danger he was in, and the contrasting loyalty and contempt his staff treated him with.
But you're going to have to be prepared to read a number of pages over and over again - and then still scratch your head at the end...