Top critical review
Beware – A Fistful of Fiction and Distortions of History
Reviewed in the United States on April 16, 2020
As the bestselling author of The Reporter Who Knew Too Much as well as Denial of Justice and The Poison Patriarch, the former two books about celebrated journalist Dorothy Kilgallen and her exhaustive 18-month investigation of the JFK assassination, and the latter a well-researched biography of Joseph Kennedy, here’s a warning: James Patterson and Cynthia Fagen’s new book, the House of Kennedy is more fiction than fact, a book that distorts history across the board.
In effect, Patterson, who was to be admired for his acumen as a top notch fiction writer before he saturated the market aligning with no name authors so as to water down his storytelling efforts, has this time connected with National Enquirer journalist Cynthia Fagen to hit the public with a chronicle of the Kennedy’s audaciously called “Their True Story.”
The result is a no true research, no intensive investigation of the Kennedy’s, but a regurgitation of old news using the second hand accounts of others, biographers and such, many unreliable, to castigate nearly everyone in the book without any concern for the validity of what evidence they present. Point of fact: check the “Notes” at the end of the book (there is no Index) and count the very few times any interviews have actually been conducted by the authors. Also, one must certainly be careful of any book where one of the sources relied upon is a psychic!
Most disappointing are the portions of the book dealing with Joe Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe and the JFK assassination. In fact, Fagen knows better since she was provided with up to date information from primary sources about Joe and the assassination by this author earlier this year. Left out, however, is any mention, among others, of Joe, “the poison patriarch,” based on a primary source account, forcing JFK to appoint RFK attorney general, the true double cross that led to JFK’s death, and the proven fact that RFK had the strongest motive to have Marilyn eliminated since she made the mistake of threatening to bring down the Kennedy family by exposing their secrets and her love affairs with JFK and RFK, proven recently by an eyewitness whom the authors could have easily contacted.
Regarding the JFK assassination, it swirls around the ludicrous “Oswald Alone” theory, debunked for five decades and counting especially, Fagen knows, due to my exposing the Jack Ruby trial transcripts in “Denial of Justice,” where eyewitness testimony proves a plot to kill the president. Regarding Ruby, the key to the assassination mystery, as Kilgallen learned, he is mentioned briefly on one page with a nonsensical quote that distorts history for sure.
Instead of shedding light on the Kennedy family in a responsible and professional manner, Patterson and Fagin continue to use substandard sources during the final portions of the book. The House of Kennedy thus reads, not surprisingly, like a lengthy National Enquirer article where reporters like Fagin decide what conclusions they want to reach and fit the facts, many of them dubious or even false in nature, to those conclusions.
Shame on Patterson, who should stay in the fiction world, and Fagen, who needs a refresher course in ethical journalism while taking a cue from Dorothy Kilgallen, who, unlike Fagen, was a reporter of integrity.