Friday, January 27, 2012

I AM DIVING by Joseph Valentinetti

The story is a fiction based on fact. My protagonist, Jack York, is an ex-sailor. He suffers from Fugue, a distinctive dissociative disorder characterized by geographical displacement and amnesia for the episodes. The misunderstanding of his condition is the reason for his dishonorable discharge from the Navy. The story concerns the events that lead Jack York to be in Dallas on November 23, 1963. The premise of the story is the Dallas tragedy was carried out by two men who had no prior knowledge of each other and different targets in mind.
'There exists a type of phenomenon...which has puzzled man. The seemingly accidental meeting of two unrelated causal chains in a coincidental event which appears both highly improbable and highly significant.'
Arthur Koestler
The significant factor motivating Jack York is the loss of the Atomic Submarine Thresher with one hundred twenty-nine men aboard. The premise is based on letters, part of one is excerpted here. Please note the date.
Letter date: August 12, 1963. Notarized and mailed/receipted August 12, 1963
To: Hon. John Connally, Governor of Texas.
From: Field Engineer on Thresher.
Dear Governor;
A plot is underway to assassinate you. As former Secretary of the Navy you are well aware of the Submarine Thresher disaster, and how Bendix used fraudulent pressure/depth curves on equipment designed and built by Bendix for submarines of the Thresher class.
An organization...Justice For The Crew Of The Thresher is being formed.
Sir, I beg you, if you do visit Dallas and ride in an open car, please do not allow your loved ones to ride in an open car with you. If a sniper's bullet, meant for you, was fired from a high powered rifle by one of these disgruntled former service men...
The letter's author was questioned in August 1963 by Naval Intelligence, The FBI and postal authorities. The FBI and the other investigative agencies, failed to file a report concerning this and later failed to inform the Warren Commission.
The letter, send three months before the Dallas event, named the three salient factors of the crime: disgruntled ex-serviceman, high powered rifle, open car.(synopsis from Goodreads)

I  Am Diving is a fictional novelette surrounding two historical events. Those events occurred in 1963 and were the loss of the submarine Thresher, and the assassination of President Kennedy. Valentinetti weaves these two events into his story suggesting that the first event caused the other.  

Protagonist Jack York suffers from an affliction called Fugue, which is a rare psychiatric disorder characterized by amnesia. The state is usually short-lived (ranging from hours to days), but can last months or longer. Dissociative fugue usually involves unplanned travel or wandering, and is sometimes accompanied by the establishment of a new identity. Jack has been dishonorable discharged from the navy and his wife Teri tries to be supportive.  Jack and his wife own a bar called the Crossroads. On the eve of the sinking of the Thresher, a patron shows them letters written warning Navy and government officials that the Thresher has been built with faulty specifications. The patron is distraught because no one listen to him.  The sinking of the Thresher is a catalyst for Jack’s illness and he goes to Dallas with a gun.

The premise of I Am Diving is very good and I was intrigued by the concept. The story sometimes felt choppy and the author left me as the reader to fill in a lot of the story. I liked the characters, but would have liked more detail. Although some clues were given, I would have liked to have read about Jack’s episodes. Where did he go, and what triggered the attacks? Some of the dialogue felt forced and I think it could have benefited from an editor.  I would like to see this made in to a full length novel with more of the detailed fleshed out.  

Overall this was a unique and interesting read. Fans of conspiracy theories and historical fiction would enjoy this short novelette.  I Am Diving is available in both paper and eBook formats. 

I want to thank the author for sending this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review. 
I gave this 3 coffee cups out of 5. 


Author's website: Joseph Valentinetti

Buy it at Barnes and Noble
or at Amazon

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