Shift (2010) by Tim Kring and Dale Peck

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Shift is an alternate history novel written by the guy who made up Heroes the TV show and another author.  Together they have written a solid readable novel with a great twist on a timeless question. If you could somehow stop JFK (or any public figure for that matter) being assassinated what woukd happen?

Many writers have written in this vain, some of the better offers including Stephen King’s 11.22.63 (on how to go back in time to stop the JFK assassination) and Stephen Fry’s Making History (on how to go back in time to kill Hitler). Despite it’s frankly lame title, Shift is also a good attempt at alternate history. Kring and Peck bring together several topics that make their novel the most ‘believable’ of the group I’ve read. It’s still quite out there that said.

The first 85% of Shift are unrelated to the JFK assassination and if the cover and this review didn’t mention it then it might have been a surprise. Regardless the way that the internal politics of the early sixtys spy agencies play out are interesting and integral to the ‘world’ that the authors are attempting to build. A world of CIA, FBI, KGB, JFK and LSD. A world where one man can decide to kill another man in an attempt to bring about world war. A world we almost live in every day.

There are many allusions to conspiracies within the book but given its timeframe and setting they are fairly straight forward and clean cut. Like in 11.22.63, the authors have accepted that Lee Harvey Oswald was the shooter on the day in question to make their novels easier to consume on a large scale. That could obviously be a good or a bad thing. Regardless Shift is a quick read and I got it for all of $10 so grab a copy.

Definitely worth your time.

4 stars.

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