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Doug Brode’s new novel depicts Oswald as a ‘Patsy!’

— Yes, Brode’s Oswald keeps impressive company. He also rubs shoulders with mobsters like the Las Vegas don, Handsome Johnny Rosselli. Lee and Johnny even team up on an aborted attempt on the life of Fidel Castro in Havana before being captured and tortured.

One of the most intriguing passages in “Patsy” focuses on the strange-but-true story of aging film star Errol Flynn’s personal support for Castro’s Cuban Revolution. Turns out that Flynn and his teenage girlfriend, Beverly Aadland, did in fact shoot a B-minus movie in 1959 called “Cuban Rebel Girls.”

Full of factual filmlore and aptly capturing the pervasive paranoia of the Cold War Era, “Patsy” is an endlessly entertaining experience, although it sheds no new light on the mysteries of Kennedy’s murder.

As a fiction writer, Brode has no holds barred. He takes the now well-known fact that the CIA hired the Mafia to whack Castro and extrapolates it at whim. He depicts President Kennedy himself approving a CIA plan to murder comedian Dan Rowan at the behest of Chicago’s Sam Giancana. The mobster was, in reality, obsessively jealous of Rowan, whom he suspected of moving in on his gal-pal, the singer Phyllis McGuire.

Brode’s coup de grace comes with his surprise conclusion that Oswald fired shots from the Texas School Book Depository that day in Dallas, but did not take aim at the president’s limo. To find out who he shot at and why, you’ll have to read the book.

Brode will appear at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 22, at the Barnes and Noble book store, 3454 Erie Blvd. East, in DeWitt; 449-2948.

“I’ll be signing copies of ‘Patsy!’ and leading a discussion about the impact of the JFK assassination on people who were young then,” Brode said. “I’ll also talk about the lasting legacy of the event for those who were born long after it occurred.”

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