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Man of Steel (Cold Cases Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Dave Conifer
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

When twenty-something journalist Joe Jonas is sent to cover a press conference in Texas he figures it’s just another crackpot JFK assassination conspiracy theory. But as he’s half-assing through the legwork he stumbles across something that makes him realize this one might be for real. It gets even better when Abby Reno, a saucy reporter from Austin, insists on working on the story with him.

As Jonas and Reno circle closer to the plot they come to realize that the protectors of the secrets are still on the job and they don’t take prisoners. The bodies pile up while the reporters look over their shoulders wondering if the story of the century is worth their lives.

"Very intriguing twist on the JFK assassination story! Was there really a plot behind the assassination, and not just a single shooter? The author has clearly read the findings of the Warren Report -- and the footnotes, which include some strange and interesting facts!" -- Smashwords review

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 428 KB
  • Print Length: 292 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0017DPWO8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,132 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a great book that keeps your heart racing July 27 2014
By Sarce
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a great book that keeps your heart racing. A new twist on a well known conspiracy theory. I really enjoyed the characters. Looking forward to more books by this author.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  142 reviews
63 of 67 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect reason for Kindle Sept. 16 2011
By Badgerboy - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a good book, and a perfect example of the Kindle advantage...I never would have paid $17.99 for the physical book, but for a $0.99 download, a very good value. I am a Kennedy Assassination buff (if you believe Oswald was the lone assassin, your naivete is larger than the state of Texas), so I was curious. The story started a bit slow, and it took some patience, but once you gain traction, things happen fast. The character development builds over a significant period of the story, so it takes time to get to know the two main actors...they seem a bit shallow for awhile. The "regular Joe" hero of the story is believable, which is not always the case in an action thriller. In summary, if you are interested in the Kennedy assassination, download this book. If you are looking for something a bit different than the cookie-cutter techno/politico/crime action novel, download this book. If you have the patience to get to the action and know the characters, download this book (I say download, because my recommendation changes at $17.99).
37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced and exciting! Feb. 8 2009
By CS - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Two journalists - Joe Jonas and Abby Reno - are assigned to cover yet another crackpot conspiracy theorist with his own idea about the JFK assassination plot. However, there may be more than meets the eye this time. Now Jonas and Reno have to find the truth - against the wishes of their editors and other people who are trying to kill them to keep decades-old secrets dead and buried.

Dave Conifer does an excellent job of explaining the major real-life players of the JFK scandal to readers who may not be intimately familiar with the intricate details (*raises hand*). Combining the pace of an action thriller with the backdrop of JFK, the author uses one of the biggest scandals of the 20th century to weave an intricate tale of historical fiction in "Man of Steel."
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not quite believable, but lots of fun Nov. 19 2011
By John Beyerlein - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am not going for the Kennedy assassination plot at the heart of this book, but the book is an entertaining read. Suspend disbelief and enjoy it. It flows, the protagonists are likable. The writing is good. It's a fun read, not to be taken too seriously.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another winner from Conifer April 30 2012
By Matthew Schiariti - Published on
This novel is an interesting take on the JFK assassination conspiracy. Two journalists, Joe Jonas and Abby Reno stumble onto a conspiracy theorist in Dallas who most people think is just another crackpot. As it turns out, some of what he has to say leads them to an even deeper mystery. As the journalistic duo delve deeper into the case they realize that there's more to the conspiracy than they thought. What starts out as a fluff piece on a perceived crazy JFK nutjob turns out into the story of their lives. If they survive long enough to escape those who would do anything to keep the true nature of the assassination a secret.

Man of Steel is a different take on the JFK assassination. It's nice to see something original written about a well known and theorized topic. Using actual events and facts from the Warren commission reports, Conifer tells a fun and fast paced thriller. He does a good job of throwing in a multitude of facts that you may or may not have known about JFK, both from his past and from his time as president (I admit I didn't know a lot of it) as he fought with both the oil and steel industries. What's more is that all the facts and theories don't bog the book down. They're interwoven into the story seamlessly, never taking away from character development, never slowing the novel down.

The protagonists are also fun to read. Joe Jonas is an everyman who gets in way over his head and Abby Reno, his feisty sidekick and natural born researcher is always pushing him to go the extra mile.

All said and done, this is a fun and fast read by a very good author. After reading several of his books it seems that Conifer is just one big break away from getting the notice I feel he deserves. As long as he keeps writing I'll keep reading!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Steel the One Dec 21 2014
By Silver Screen VIdeos - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There are certain events that are so inherently dramatic and that have stayed on the public's radar for so long that it's almost impossible to write a bad book about them. One of those events is the JFK assassination and the question of whether there was some massive conspiracy behind it. Dave Conifer tackles the subject in his novel "Man of Steel," a book that has little going for it other than the fascinating appeal of its subject matter.

"Man of Steel" is not about Superman but about the steel industry, or, more specifically, the CEO of one major steel company who, according to Conifer's book, nursed a grudge against John F. Kennedy for almost 20 years before arranging for the Dallas assassination. The novel is set in the early 1980s, a time when many of the participants in the events surrounding the assassination were still alive. When the son of a former Dallas policeman claims his late father may have been the actual assassin, most newspapers ignore the man's claims, but Charlotte reporter Joe Jonas and Austin reporter Abbe Reno decide to follow up on it.

As Jonas and Reno investigate, they learn that there is much more to the story, albeit not what the original whistleblower was claiming. Instead, it appears that the CEO of a major steel corporation (hence the title) orchestrated the entire conspiracy, part of which involved placing poorly trained rookie recruit police officers on duty when Jack Ruby entered Dallas police headquarters to shoot Lee Harvey Oswald. These recruits let Ruby in, and the rest was history. One of the former recruits, now a middle-aged executive at the steel company, starts to tell Joe and Abbe what he knows, but the company's henchmen arrange his death in an "accident" and then go after Joe and Abbe themselves. Joe and Abbe spend the last half of the book pretty much on the run, trying to stay alive while getting enough evidence to justify printing the story.

As JFK conspiracy theories go, the one Conifer hypothesizes isn't all that bad, and he does have some evidence in the Warren Commission findings to justify it (which Abbe is able to dig up and explain to Joe and the readers). Books like "Man of Steel" require a suspension of disbelief, and I was more than willing to do so. Unfortunately, the rest of the novel proved just too incredible for me to accept. I can buy that the CEO of a major company orchestrated the assassination, but the motive Conifer supplies is weak, and I can't see the CEO of a public company in the 1960s being able to divert the vast amount of money and corporate manpower needed for such an effort without being detected. Further, I can't see him keeping a "hit squad" handy for 20 years on the company payroll, bribing, threatening, or killing off anyone who gets too close to the truth. Even 20 years later, the company is able to send more than a dozen agents, many of them cold blooded killers, into the field where they follow Joe and Abbe around. The most surprising feat these agents pull off is setting up a fake detour on a fairly well traveled road that diverts precisely one car, the one driven by the man they want to kill, and later running him off the side of a cliff (I'm not sure how many cliffs they have in Pittsburgh). Amazingly all this preparation and coordination (before the days of computers and cell phones) occurs during the victim's fairly short commute from his suburban home to work.

Another weakness of "Man of Steel" is its character development, or lack thereof. The main characters, Joe and Abbe, are not all that interesting. After spending 300 or so pages with them, all I learned was that they were young and seemingly had endless amounts of time to devote to this one story. There's virtually no character development and the "investigation" they do mostly consists of carefully reading the Warren Commission findings. Although Joe and Abbe, specifically Abbe, may have read these findings carefully, "Man of Steel" doesn't have the feel of having been written by someone who's thoroughly familiarized himself with the underlying story. While I believe Conifer has the factual basis he claims for his theory, the discussion in the book focuses narrowly, far too narrowly, on one of the less interesting aspects of the case... the possibly bogus police officers who let Jack Ruby get to Lee Harvey Oswald. I was a bit disappointed that the entire book revolved around that obscure point (I was expecting an "X Files" style massive detailing of everything suspicious surrounding the assassination. It seemed to me that Conifer's research may only have uncovered the rather sparse material he details in the book.

I'm giving "Man of Steel" a marginal recommendation and one that is based solely on the strength of its underlying subject matter. Conifer has gotten as little dramatic mileage as possible out of his premise. He's created a rather lackluster pair of main characters and added some routine action sequences while concocting a plot and a set of villains that are too outlandish to believe, even for the most ardent conspiracy theorist. Beyond the conspiracy itself, "Man of Steel" often reads more like "Man of Tissue Paper" instead.
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