When a faded newspaperman discovers diaries in a Chicago basement—hand-written epistles from the life of one infamous Judith Campbell Exner—he can scarcely believe his good fortune. Yes, that Judith Campbell Exner, the one who was linked with some of America’s most powerful politicians, entertainers, and criminals as they conspired to rule America.

Our narrator hopes to find another perspective on the story, and he does just that. Not only was she a “go-between” that connected the White House, the mob, and more, but there was another side to her, too. She was a real woman, adrift and defenseless in a dangerous world where nations’ fates hang in the balance. As all the men began betraying and abandoning her, she is pursued relentlessly (by the FBI) into a living hell.

Like most people, this woman was a multi-dimensional character and not just a cardboard doll used for the amusement of men.

The story was revealing and could have been intriguing. However, I was bored almost immediately—despite the exciting tale—by the writer’s style of narration. His narrative wandered and meandered too much for my taste, and instead of moving along to the story itself, he seemingly got caught up in extraneous matters. Perhaps they were important aspects, but they did not serve the story well, in my opinion.

The Go-Between: A Novel of the Kennedy Years, by Frederick Turner, is a book that I can only give three stars, at best.

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