The Compass Island Incident – a Book Review

The Compass Island IncidentTitle: The Compass Island Incident: November 1963 by Wade Fowler

Genre: Currently #1551 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank for Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers, Assassinations

Publisher: Sunbury Press – Milford House Press

Publication Date: November 22, 2017

Source: Sunbury Press – Milford House Press and NetGalley

Title and Cover: The Compass Island Incident – Compelling cover

I was excited to read this book for several reasons; one being yet another theory about the assassination of JFK, (2) it’s about one of our Navy ships, and (3) we certainly have history back then and can well remember the day. (Who can’t)

I’m sure we’ve never been satisfied with the findings of the Warren Commission that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. It was too monstrous, too heinous, too difficult to imagine that one disgruntled ex-Marine could have pulled off that act alone. No one believed it and wasn’t particularly surprised when the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) concluded in 1979 that Kennedy was “probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy.” It’s not like the barn door has ever closed on that discussion.

Therefore, another conspiracy theory may be laid out as a compelling fictional story and I enjoy those ship details and vernacular, the stories at sea of the roiling mountains of salt water and survival. “The Compass Island was no scat back. Evasion wasn’t her running style.”

The Compass Island IncidentThe novel grabs you from the first chapter and begins an introduction of characters, orientation, and plot promises. And there are twists and some starts and stops.

It is John Franklin Kincaid (JFK!) that for the most part carries his descendent through the rest of the story. But there is a raft load of characters and as their number mounts, becomes a little difficult to keep straight. I had a problem with the shifting of the time sequence from the 50’s, into the 60’s, and onto 2003 (and back again) when it is determined in 2003 that the USS Compass Island is to be towed across the pond for scrap metal.

President Kennedy is grappling with Cuba–there is that whole disastrous Bay of Pigs. The CIA and the mob figure prominently into a convoluted plot that almost takes an Excel spreadsheet to keep dates, characters, and relationships organized. Several characters espouse previous lives that tie Kincaid with history and the present.

At times, the novel takes on a literary feel, begging prose. Dialogue seems natural. Mike Kincaid, a journalist mate striker, could have been fleshed out more roundly, though it’s obvious he is a damaged person. The character of Marcie McDermott is nicely fleshed, while many of the other women playing a more prominent part in the scenario are more nebulous, though it later becomes obvious why Marcie is more fully painted.

It’s also obvious the author has military and shipboard experience and he writes that well. Use of a spreadsheet will help and the climax neatly wraps up anything you might have questioned, missed, or wondered about.

I received this digital download from Sunbury Press Inc., Milford House Press and NetGalley and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. This book may need a little fine tuning, but definitely works out a complicated premise into an entertaining fictional account.

Rosepoint Publishing:  Three point five of Five StarsThree point five Stars of Five

The Author: (From the book) Wade Fowler ( is a retired journalist, graduate of Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C. and veteran of the U.S. Navy. ©2017 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

Author: Rosepoint Publishing

I am the granddaughter of Patrick John "Stanley McShane" Rose whose books including "Cocos Island Treasure" I've recently published. My time is now spent in reading, reviewing, and writing bookish articles. I'm looking forward to sharing this social media odyssey with you!

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