Ask Not Title: Ask Not
Release: October 22, 2013
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Chicago, September 1964. Beatlemania sweeps the nation, the Vietnam War looms, and the Warren Commission prepares to blame a “lone-nut” assassin for the killing of President John F. Kennedy. But as the post-Camelot era begins, a suspicious outbreak of suicides, accidental deaths, and outright murders decimates assassination witnesses. When Nathan Heller and his son are nearly run down on a city street, the private detective wonders if he himself might be a loose end.…

Soon a faked suicide linked to President Johnson’s corrupt cronies takes Heller to Texas, where celebrity columnist Flo Kilgore implores him to explore that growing list of dead witnesses. With the blessing of Bobby Kennedy—former US attorney general, now running for Senator from New York—Heller and Flo investigate the increasing wave of violence that seems to emanate from the notorious Mac Wallace, rumored to be LBJ’s personal hatchet man.

Fifty years after JFK’s tragic death, Collins’s rigorous research for Ask Not raises new questions about the most controversial assassination of our time.


2014 Nero Award Finalist


Booklist: Starred. “A master at thoroughly believable historical re-creations of unsolved or covered-up crimes, Collins is the perfect fiction writer to tackle the JFK assassination, and he does so brilliantly, working the edges of the story by focusing on the little-known raft of questionable suicides – all documented in the historical record – and making great use of the Kilgore/Kilgallen character, who was herself one of the unlikely suicides. Even readers who aren’t conspiracy theorists will find themselves utterly drawn into the story and convinced by Collins’ version of what happened. And, best of all, it’s a terrific detective novel, compelling and well constructed even without the historical connection.”

Publishers Weekly: “Solid…Collins skillfully integrates fact with fiction” “innovative theories of interest”

Laurence Coven: “Ask not why you should read Ask Not. Just go out and get a copy and read it.”

The Cedar Rapids Gazette: “the research is impeccable. The sense of time and place is palpable…Collins perfectly executes his mission of presenting historical fiction as a private eye thriller.”

Bookgasm: “one of the most shocking and memorable entries in an already thought-provoking and groundbreaking series.” “Collins’ expert intermingling of both fictional and actual characters…not only adds to the verisimilitude of the story but, especially in this instance, adds an eerie and unsettling sense that the fiction may contain more insight into the truth than the various ‘nonfiction’ accounts of the historical events.”

Criminal Element: “I could not put down this book.”

Historical Novel Society: “impressive and thought-provoking entertainment. Recommended.”

Bill Crider: “[Ask Not] is a fast-moving and fascinating account of what might have happened, and it makes for irresistible reading.”

At the Scene of the Crime: “[Ask Not is] a terrific, fast-paced, intelligent and highly entertaining read.”

Jerry’s House of Everything: “This is the one we've been waiting years for and it doesn't disappoint. In fact, Ask Not is one of the most engaging books Collins has ever written.”

Not the Baseball Pitcher : “Recommended.”


Sleuths of Camelot: John Kennedy’s Most Thrilling Afterlife on Kirkus. October 29, 2013.


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