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The Red Diaries

The Red Diaries

Words by Gary Reed - Art by Laurence Campbell, Chris Jones, Ken Meyer Jr - Published by Image Comics
The Red Diaries

The assassination of US President John F. Kennedy in 1963 remains one of the world's most enduring conspiracies. The question of who was responsible for his death isn't just about who pulled the trigger(s), but also who put them up to it and who helped cover the whole thing up afterwards.

The Red Diaries

Reed addresses all these questions and more in this intriguing work of fiction. Unlike most writing on the JFK shooting, this isn't trying to present anything radically new or even imply that it's the truth. Instead it's a dramatisation of an investigation into the truth, in which the investigators uncover evidence that is used in some of those 'factual' sources available elsewhere and referenced in the back of the book.

And there's no doubting that it makes a good story. Reed comes up with a good case for his arguments (admittedly aided by the fact that he can introduce fictional characters to help him out) and, by using the device of an investigation, can reveal the players in his story slowly and reservedly. His ultimate conspiracy pulls in people from the highest level of government, the FBI, the CIA, Hollywood and organised crime, and ties in a few theories on the suicide (or otherwise) of Marilyn Monroe while he's at it. In a sense, he's taken the most extreme of the existing conspiracies and weaved them into a coherent and plausible story.

How much you're going to enjoy it probably depends on how much you're willing to swallow some of these conspiracies for the sake of a good story. But it serves as an intriguing introduction to some of the mystery, not least because there are explanatory essays between each of the chapters. While seasoned JFK readers may find the fictional element simplistic compared to the pseudo-fact presented as evidence in some of the books on the subject, it's a fun way for the average reader to catch up with some of the theories surrounding the myth of the Kennedy clan.

If you like this graphic novel, why not try...
Ex Machina
From Hell
Story:4 stars
Art:3 stars
Overall:4 stars
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