Review: Frame 232 by Wil Mara

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 knew—against every instinct and desire—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 generation—or will he and Sheila become its final victims?

I wouldn’t say I’m a conspiracy theorist, but I’ve been intrigued at different times during my life by the possibility of a Kennedy conspiracy and Mr. Mara’s take on the Babuska Woman makes me wonder what would really happen if another video suddenly appeared. I have no idea if Mr. Mara’s take on it is anything remotely like what would really happen, but I suppose it could  be.

When I was describing the book to friends, I mentioned I thought Jason Hammond was sort of a modern Howard Hughes. A rich playboy who can wander around doing odd stuff – like finding Amelia Earhart [something he does just before his appearance in the book*] – and everyone writes it off as his odd eccentricities and he’s rich enough to get away with it.

Shelia and Jason are on the run for their lives when the wrong person gets wind of the film she has in her hands. The pages kept turning [or the Kindle button being pushed as the case may be] from page one until the end. Though I had anticipated at least a smidge of romance, there wasn’t any, and I was okay with that. As this is a series, I would love to see Jason meet his match – both romantically and otherwise. Someone who can keep him on his toes and love him despite his wounded past.

I would also love to hear that Sheila’s happy [maybe he gets an invite to her wedding? or something in a future book], but even if not, I’m happy with the outcomes here.

It’s interesting because I’ve been watching our DVDs of I Love Lucy with my children this summer and the relationship with Cuba during the show’s run was so different than it was just a few years later after the embargo began and so on. The differences [as I read part of this book while the DVD was on] are staggering.

I look forward to the next installment in the Jason Hammond series, due out next year.

Overall rating: 8.5 out of 10

*My guess is it was written and in the process of being published when Ms. Earhart’s plane was actually found, though some of the articles I found were from last summer but some also from a couple months ago, indicating the search is still officially ongoing but they likely have found where she landed.
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an ecopy in exchange for my honest review.