Category/Genre: Historical Fiction
Tour Date: October 21/November, 2013
Available in: Print & ebook, 338 Pages
The Thunderbird Conspiracy is the remarkable tale of Robert Kaye, a Hungarian freedom fighter who claimed he knew and collaborated with JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.
R. K. Price’s second novel is also a tale of a Nebraska farm boy who was a great admirer of President Kennedy and a true patriot who desperately wanted to believe his government’s hurried conclusion that Oswald had no accomplice. Yet his own harrowing experience at the hands of his government created profound doubt in his mind, and it haunted him to his death. These two men, one willfully acting, the other a true victim, became entangled in the most notorious crime of the 20th century. This saga of intrigue and murder was revealed to the author on a wintry Colorado day about three weeks before the farm boy’s ravaged heart gave out. That man was R. K. Price’s uncle. His name was Bud Carlson.
Price stashed away Bud’s account of Robert Kaye, letting it lay dormant for nearly forty years until he could corroborate his uncle’s story with the release of previously secret FBI files from the National Archives.
Now nearing the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination Price has brought Robert Kaye and Bud Carlson back to life. Their incredible story will leave you questioning just how and why JFK was taken from America far too early.
The Thunder Bird Conspiracy is a historical fiction book, a tale of a Hungarian immigrant named Roman Sokolowsi who becomes an American with multiple aliases such as Robert Klonowski and Robert Kaye and ultimately ends up involved in the J.F.K assignation.
A good portion of the book sets the story of Roman’s Hungarian upbringing and the deep seeded roots he brings with him to America. Roman is a brilliant electrician with all of the aptitude it takes to be a successful businessman and leader in his community. His drive to learn and succeed is second to none. He is actually the idyllic person who makes up the American Dream....until....he falls into a group of radicals who play him and feed into all of Roberts insecurities, intellectual ideals and to his abusive background. At this point Robert’s all American Dream persona starts to crack and peel away. We see the intelligence wither away and take a second seat to the all encompassing need to belong to a cause, to do something great and just be accepted.
The second major character and hero of the story is Bud Carlson. Bud is an all American Dream man. He is hard working, driven and self made successful businessman. Bud in some ways is intellectual equal to Robert without the messy abusive background that is significant to Roberts’ core being. We meet Bud as a young man and follow his journey through his successes and failures and ultimately his meeting and ensuing relationship with Mr. Robert Kaye. Bud gives Robert a job, helps him in an hour of need. They become friends. Then, one day Robert leaves his friend and job with no reason as to why or what he is doing.
The final journey through the story takes us through Robert’s involvement with Lee Harvey Oswald and the ensuing assignation of JFK. The story continues to follow Robert up to his release from custody and resulting death afterward. Bud’s story also continues with his involvement and the FBI investigations.
The story was captivating from a historical point of view. In the author’s notes it gives a detailed account of where the information was collected and found over the years, to bring credit to the story. The story did not have a “gangster” like quality to it that one might expect, yet it was engaging enough to keep a reader going to find out what made up the character and what drove their decisions.
I give this book a 4 of 5 star rating.
I was gifted a reviewers copy of The Thunderbird Conspiracy in exchange for an unbiased review as part of the The Thunderbird Conspiracy virtual book tour