November 22, 1963, Dallas, Texas. A time and a place the world will never forget. For on that date and in that city an assassin’s bullet strikes down the youthful, charismatic thirty-fifth President of the United States. And, miraculously, as a tearful nation stands vigil, the President, so perilously close to certain death, survives.
So begins one of the most stunning achievements in contemporary fiction, a novel that both fulfills the collective fantasy of an entire generation and gives us a thriller of hair-raising suspense. Like The Day of The Jackal, Promises To Keep penetrates behind the locked doors of high political intrigue as it follows the trail of a murderous and far-reaching conspiracy. And unlike any book before it, it brilliantly re-creates those explosively dramatic events that haunt us still and richly portrays a galaxy of astonishingly vivid men and women as real to us as the memories we all share.
In this provocative tale of a decade – the Sixties – and an America that might have been, the wounded President – John Trewlaney Cassidy – fights back desperately from a state of agonizing incapacity to regain his leadership of the country and to forge ahead to bold, new frontiers. But the healing process is frustratingly slow. And Cassidy’s Vice President – now the Acting President and his fierce rival, a master politician from Texas – has plunged the nation deeper into a deadly quagmire of a war in the small, remote country of Vietnam, threatening all of Cassidy’s hard-won gains of the past as well as his passionate dreams for the future.
Fortunately, in his battle to honor the promises he has sworn to keep, Cassidy finds the allies he can best trust in the people he loves the most: his wife, Suzanne, the elegant First Lady who is nonetheless scarred after the Dallas tragedy by a loneliness and fear that never gives her rest and his younger brother, Tim, the boyish Attorney General and driven man of conscience who meets the ultimate challenge of his career in the volatile jungles of Southeast Asia.
Yet, unknown to the Cassidy’s as they shrewdly and courageously fight to advance their position in the nation’s political arena, a far more dangerous threat resurfaces, eager to strike one last time. Having failed in its first attempt to murder a President, this widely flung conspiracy gathers its forces through the swampy bayous and shadowy back alleys of America. And all that stands between the candidate and his enemies is a young FBI agent, willing to risk his life in a global cat-and-mouse game he must win, even if an entire world is left convulsed in the wake of his victory.
Here is the political thriller at its epic and enthralling best. And here, too, is the world as it almost was – the “one brief shinning moment” at long last realizing its radiant destiny.
'Suddenly, it all flashed back to him, the hot, windless morning, the motorcade, the friendly crowd. It had been very warm in the back seat of the open car, and he remembers looking forward to the shade of a cement overpass and the coolness of its short tunnel before the motorcade emerged back out on to the expressway. And then, he’d wanted to say something to Suzanne and he remembered turning to her and seeing her beautiful face above the bright pink color of her suit but he’d forgotten now what he wanted to say and then the loud whirring sound coming at him so fast that he couldn’t focus on what it was, followed by the sharp, tearing pain in his back and chest.
Air Force One continued on, heading north and east now, flanked by twin fighter escorts on either side of it, flying away from Dallas toward Boston, carrying a tired and wounded, but living President of the United States, flying him and his family toward their new destiny. The date was Thursday, November 28, 1963. It was Thanksgiving Day in America . . .' --from PROMISES TO KEEP
Szerző - Kate Shannon