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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »

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Jack 1939

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Jack 1939 Cover

ISBN13: 9781594487194
ISBN10: 1594487197
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Charming. Reckless. Brilliant. Deadly.

A young Jack Kennedy travels to Europe on a secret mission for Franklin Roosevelt as the world braces for war.

It's the spring of 1939, and the prospect of war in Europe looms large. The United States has no intelligence service. In Washington, D.C., President Franklin Roosevelt may run for an unprecedented third term and needs someone he can trust to find out what the Nazis are up to. His choice: John F. Kennedy.

It's a surprising selection. At twenty-two, Jack Kennedy is the attractive but unpromising second son of Joseph P. Kennedy, Roosevelt's ambassador to Britain (and occasional political adversary). But when Jack decides to travel through Europe to gather research for his Harvard senior thesis, Roosevelt takes the opportunity to use him as his personal spy. The president's goal: to stop the flow of German money that has been flooding the United States to buy the 1940 election — an election that Adolf Hitler intends Roosevelt lose.

In a deft mosaic of fact and fiction, Francine Mathews has written a gripping espionage tale that explores what might have happened when a young Jack Kennedy is let loose in Europe as the world careens toward war. A potent combination of history and storytelling, Jack 1939 is a sexy, entertaining read.

Review:

"President Franklin Roosevelt recruits 21-year-old John F. Kennedy to be his personal spy in this imaginative, well-researched mix of fact and fiction. In February 1939, FDR meets secretly with a sickly Jack, whom one of his Harvard professors has commended as 'an independent thinker,' at New York City's Waldorf-Astoria hotel. FDR wants Jack, who's about to travel through Europe to research his senior thesis, to stop a courier bringing German money to America, part of Hitler's plan to defeat FDR in the 1940 election. FDR can trust few people, certainly not J. Edgar Hoover, the ambitious FBI chief, who may be bugging the Oval Office, nor Joseph P. Kennedy, his unreliable ambassador to Britain. Mathews (The Alibi Club) provides an intriguing look at pre-WWII politics, both in the U.S. and Europe, as well as a meticulous character study of the future president, who, overshadowed by his more promising older brother, is eager to prove his own worth. Agent: Raphael Sagalyn, the Sagalyn Literary Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"A triumph: an exciting thriller, an intriguing exploration of a troubled time, and an absorbing take on the early history of one of America's most iconic figures. Highly recommended." Iain Pears, bestselling author of An Instance of the Fingerpost

Synopsis:

A tense and enthralling historical thriller in which British Naval Intelligence officer Ian Fleming attempts to foil a Nazi plot to assassinate FDR, Churchill, and Stalin.  

November, 1943. Weary of his deskbound status in the Royal Navy, intelligence officer Ian Fleming spends his spare time spinning stories in his head that are much more exciting than his own life…until the critical Tehran Conference, when Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, and Josef Stalin meet to finalize the D-Day invasion.

With the Big Three in one place, Fleming is tipped off that Hitlers top assassin has infiltrated the conference. Seizing his chance to play a part in a real-life action story, Fleming goes undercover to stop the Nazi killer. Between martinis with beautiful women, he survives brutal attacks and meets a seductive Soviet spy who may know more than Fleming realizes. As he works to uncover the truth and unmask the assassin, Fleming is forced to accept that betrayal sometimes comes from the most unexpected quarters—and that ones literary creations may prove eerily close to ones own life.

Brilliantly inventive, utterly gripping and suspenseful, Too Bad to Die is Francine Mathewss best novel yet, and confirms her place as a master of historical fiction. 

Synopsis:

In "one of the most deliciously high-concept thrillers imaginable" (The New Yorker) a young JFK travels to Europe on a secret mission for President Roosevelt

It’s the spring of 1939, and the prospect of war in Europe looms large. The United States has no intelligence service. In Washington, D.C., President Franklin Roosevelt may run for an unprecedented third term and needs someone he can trust to find out what the Nazis are up to. His choice: John F. Kennedy.

It’s a surprising selection. At twenty-two, Jack Kennedy is the attractive but unpromising second son of Joseph P. Kennedy, Roosevelt’s ambassador to Britain (and occasional political adversary). But when Jack decides to travel through Europe to gather research for his Harvard senior thesis, Roosevelt takes the opportunity to use him as his personal spy. The president’s goal: to stop the flow of German money that has been flooding the United States to buy the 1940 election—an election that Adolf Hitler intends Roosevelt lose.

In a deft mosaic of fact and fiction, Francine Mathews has written a gripping espionage tale that explores what might have happened when a young Jack Kennedy is let loose in Europe as the world careens toward war. A potent combination of history and storytelling, Jack 1939 is a sexy, entertaining read.

About the Author

Francine Mathews is the author of more than twenty novels of mystery, history, and suspense. Her historical thriller The Alibi Club was named one of the fifteen best novels of 2006 by Publishers Weekly. A graduate of Princeton and Stanford, she spent four years as an intelligence analyst at the CIA and presently lives and works in Colorado.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

sharrona, October 23, 2012 (view all comments by sharrona)
Fast-paced, suspenseful story that could have happened. The presence of famous historical figures lends authenticity, and will leave readers wondering where the line between fact and fiction is crossed. Mathews crosses that line skillfully and smoothly, weaving the real with the imagined, and creates a very credible story.

It's a quick read, simply because once you start you won't be able to put it down.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9781594487194
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Mathews, Francine
Publisher:
Riverhead Hardcover
Subject:
Thrillers
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20150303
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Jack 1939 Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Riverhead Hardcover - English 9781594487194 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "President Franklin Roosevelt recruits 21-year-old John F. Kennedy to be his personal spy in this imaginative, well-researched mix of fact and fiction. In February 1939, FDR meets secretly with a sickly Jack, whom one of his Harvard professors has commended as 'an independent thinker,' at New York City's Waldorf-Astoria hotel. FDR wants Jack, who's about to travel through Europe to research his senior thesis, to stop a courier bringing German money to America, part of Hitler's plan to defeat FDR in the 1940 election. FDR can trust few people, certainly not J. Edgar Hoover, the ambitious FBI chief, who may be bugging the Oval Office, nor Joseph P. Kennedy, his unreliable ambassador to Britain. Mathews (The Alibi Club) provides an intriguing look at pre-WWII politics, both in the U.S. and Europe, as well as a meticulous character study of the future president, who, overshadowed by his more promising older brother, is eager to prove his own worth. Agent: Raphael Sagalyn, the Sagalyn Literary Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "A triumph: an exciting thriller, an intriguing exploration of a troubled time, and an absorbing take on the early history of one of America's most iconic figures. Highly recommended."
"Synopsis" by ,
A tense and enthralling historical thriller in which British Naval Intelligence officer Ian Fleming attempts to foil a Nazi plot to assassinate FDR, Churchill, and Stalin.  

November, 1943. Weary of his deskbound status in the Royal Navy, intelligence officer Ian Fleming spends his spare time spinning stories in his head that are much more exciting than his own life…until the critical Tehran Conference, when Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, and Josef Stalin meet to finalize the D-Day invasion.

With the Big Three in one place, Fleming is tipped off that Hitlers top assassin has infiltrated the conference. Seizing his chance to play a part in a real-life action story, Fleming goes undercover to stop the Nazi killer. Between martinis with beautiful women, he survives brutal attacks and meets a seductive Soviet spy who may know more than Fleming realizes. As he works to uncover the truth and unmask the assassin, Fleming is forced to accept that betrayal sometimes comes from the most unexpected quarters—and that ones literary creations may prove eerily close to ones own life.

Brilliantly inventive, utterly gripping and suspenseful, Too Bad to Die is Francine Mathewss best novel yet, and confirms her place as a master of historical fiction. 

"Synopsis" by ,
In "one of the most deliciously high-concept thrillers imaginable" (The New Yorker) a young JFK travels to Europe on a secret mission for President Roosevelt

It’s the spring of 1939, and the prospect of war in Europe looms large. The United States has no intelligence service. In Washington, D.C., President Franklin Roosevelt may run for an unprecedented third term and needs someone he can trust to find out what the Nazis are up to. His choice: John F. Kennedy.

It’s a surprising selection. At twenty-two, Jack Kennedy is the attractive but unpromising second son of Joseph P. Kennedy, Roosevelt’s ambassador to Britain (and occasional political adversary). But when Jack decides to travel through Europe to gather research for his Harvard senior thesis, Roosevelt takes the opportunity to use him as his personal spy. The president’s goal: to stop the flow of German money that has been flooding the United States to buy the 1940 election—an election that Adolf Hitler intends Roosevelt lose.

In a deft mosaic of fact and fiction, Francine Mathews has written a gripping espionage tale that explores what might have happened when a young Jack Kennedy is let loose in Europe as the world careens toward war. A potent combination of history and storytelling, Jack 1939 is a sexy, entertaining read.

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