Who was the Babushka Lady? Did she film or photograph anything of value during the shooting of JFK? Was she really holding a camera? Why didn't she come forward?
These questions were first posed in November of 1963 and were posed again in Frame 232 by Wil Mara. Limited facts of that fateful day and those very questions are the framework of Mara's book.
When Margaret Baker's will was read and her daughter, Sheila, was given the key to the safety deposit box, she had no idea how her life was going to turn upside down. Sheila Baker weighs her options as she opens the safety deposit box and reveals a canister of film shot in 1963 and a letter written in her deceased mother's handwriting. She did not know that viewing this film of JFK's assassination would put her life in jeopardy as she struggles with getting the truth to the right authorities. Of all things, an internet search for the most reliable, moral man indicates she should trust billionaire Jason Hammond. "He was considered an adventurer of sorts who specialized in unsolved mysteries_. One blogger referred to him as a modern-day cross between Robin Hood and Jack Webb from Dragnet." (page 88)
What did Sheila see in the film? What where those behind the assassination plot afraid this documentation revealing? Frame 232 walks through a fictionalized account of what could have played out on November 13, 1963 and what the REAL Babushka Lady may have caught on film.
I thoroughly enjoyed this Robert Ludlumesque novel written by Wil Mara. It is his first one with Tyndale House but he has written several others, Wave and The Gemini Virus, both of which have gotten great reviews. Wil Mara's development of the characters in the novel is exceptional... I really liked the protagonist and despised the antagonist! Their personalities were clearly defined and they behaved in the manner in which they were expected to behave WITHOUT being about to anticipate their moves.
I received the book Frame 232 free from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my fair and unbiased review.
My biggest memory of the JFK assassination is the morning my dad came rushing into the rear of the house shouting, "They killed him, they killed him _" He was not talking about the killing of John F. Kennedy, but the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby a few days later. As a twelve year old, national news was not high on my agenda at the time. Now, 50 years later, as we approach the 50th anniversary of those events in Dallas, TX, I am much more aware of how they altered the character of our country, both in 1963 and in the years following those terrible events.
Will Mara has written a believable thriller that begins where history leaves off. The story begins with The Babushka Lady, Margaret Baker, sneaking away from work to observe her idol - John F. Kennedy as he made his way through Dealey Plaza. She brought her family's camera to the scene in order to film the day's events. She filmed the assassination. But it would be 50 years before that film would see the light of day. Her daughter, Shiela Baker, heard her hint at it on her death bed and her lawyer would hand her a key to a safe deposit box that would contain the old film.
What was on that filmed had scared her mother for 50 years - now it scared Shiela. Who could she trust? The FBI? The CIA? A lawyer she barely knew? She would eventually turn to a famed billionaire/researcher, Jason Hammond, who had the habit of solving unsolvable puzzles - most recently the truth of Amelia Earhart. (Note, It might be fun to read a prelude that would discuss Jason's involvement in that puzzle, but that would be another story.) But once she did, it would put her life and his, as well as many others in danger.
Once started, the reader did not want to stop reading - though sleep and daily duties demanded that I do so. The plot was realistic, the historical facts upon which the book was based came alive. From Texas, the action flows to New Hampshire to Washington D.C. and its environs and includes a clandestine trip to Cuba.
I found the book intriguing - well worth the late night hours I spent reading it. I expect most readers will as well, regardless of how familiar they are with the events of November 1963. Perhaps, like it did me, it force other readers to learn more of the events of that fateful day - both as seen in the official reports and the numerous conspiracy theories which arose in the decades since the death of John F. Kennedy.
This review is based on a free copy of the book provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.
The time had come, she decided, to rid herself of this burden, to take the steps necessary to put the matter to rest once and for all. And the first step, she knewâ€”against every instinct and desireâ€”was to watch that film.
During the reading of her mother's will, Sheila Baker discovers that she has inherited everything her parents ever possessed, including their secrets. A mysterious safe-deposit box key leads her to the answers to one of history's greatest conspiracies: Who killed John F. Kennedy? Not only does she have the missing film, revealing her mother as the infamous babushka lady, but she has proof that there was more than one shooter.
On the run from people who would stop at nothing to keep secrets buried, Sheila turns to billionaire sleuth Jason Hammond for help. Having lost his own family in a tragic plane crash, Jason knows a thing or two about running from the past. With a target on their backs and time running out, can Jason finally uncover the truth behind the crime that shook a generationâ€”or will he and Sheila become its final victims?
This book was a winning combination of mystery, suspense, and history at it's finest. Personally, I've never quite read a story with all these elements, but I do enjoy these genres. Putting them all together was absolutely amazing and unbelievably fascinating! Before reading this novel I didn't know a lot about JFK's assassination. It was just a snapshot of the past that didn't affect me and merely a part of history. But now I am truly and completely captivated by this spellbinding piece of the past, and it actually means something to me.
This is certainly not a work of fiction that I would hand to a younger reader. One of the villains partakes in some morally wrong activities, and I understand the author did that to establish the type of person he was. But it is not something I would want children to read. Other than that minor detail, the book was wonderful! The characters were compelling, (I mean, who doesn't love Jackie!) and the fictional character of Jason Hammond was the main reason I enjoyed the novel. Frame 232 is suspenseful, historically accurate, and action packed! A wonderful way to spend an afternoon, but I don't recommend starting this if you can't sit down for an extended period of time - you won't be able to put it down.
This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.
This book has impressive character development and thrilling investigations. I am not a fan of conspiracy theories, and do not follow the ones mentioned in the book, but the fictional character based on a witness to the assassination was fascinating. It was an excellent thriller with a lot of imagination and great plot twists. I deeply appreciate the lack of foul language and prurient content. Wil Mara is talented enough to describe dark scenes and angry remarks creatively without the foul language. Of course, there is violence, but the subject was a brutal and very sad murder. In the pursuits and the intrigue, the violence was to be expected and to me, fit in just right; also, the conclusion tied up all loose ends. I like the main characters and would be interested in reading more stories about them. I could not put it down (even for lunch). The author's notes at the end were enlightening. I recommend this book!
Frame 232 is a suspenseful novel with unforgettable characters. Sheila inherits a safe deposit box after her mother dies from cancer. The safe deposit box has not been touched in over 20 years and has been a curiosity at the bank that houses it as well as with the law firm that Sheila's mother hired to own the box. When Sheila opens the box, she finds a film that changes her life dramatically as well as a side of her mother she never even knew. After Sheila returns home with the film, she watches it and is shocked to find out that her mother had been there at the President Kennedy Assassination. The film was basically a recording of the shooting and is proof of a conspiracy that the president was taken out by not just one shooter, but two. When Sheila researches the conspiracy, she discovers that her mother was the mysterious lady that the government and assassins have been looking for all this time. After Sheila discovers her mother's secret, she contacts a billionaire, Jason, who is known for helping uncover the real truth of mysteries. Together, Jason and Sheila work to solve the real truth about the JFK assassination. However, there are some very powerful people who do not want this truth known and they will stop at nothing to prevent this from happening. As Sheila and Jason struggle to find out more about the assassination, they face numerous assassination attempts themselves. Will Sheila and Jason discover the real truth behind the president's murder? Will the assassins be found and brought to justice? Will the assassin after Sheila and Jason succeed in his mission? These are just a sample of the questions that will be answered when you read this book.