We live in a world of ever-increasing complexity, where the lines between right and wrong are often blurred beyond perception, good and evil are traded like cheap commodities, and the very foundations of common sense seem on the verge of ruin.
Enter Jason Hammond—a resolute and steadfast hero, driven by unimaginable grief, guided by unbending moral fortitude, and hampered by a damaged faith that haunts him at every turn. With virtually unlimited resources at his command and a fearless, sometimes self-destructive tenacity, he is determined to untangle the greatest mysteries of our time, expose those who have eluded justice, and hold them accountable for their sins against the laws of decency, of humanity, and of God.
But the greatest mystery of all may lay in just one question—will he ever find a way to save himself?
The time had come, she decided, to rid herself of this burden, to take the steps necessary to put the matter to rest once and for all. And the first, she knew—against every instinct and desire—was to watch that film….
FACT— Only a handful of people who were standing in Dealey Plaza on the day JFK was assassinated remain unidentified.
FACT— One of them, a woman wearing a head scarf who has since become known as the ‘Babushka Lady,’ was no more than thirty feet from the presdient’s limousine when he was struck.
FACT— Many assassination experts believe she not only had a camera, but a video camera, and thus probably shot the clearest and most detailed moving images of the horror that unfolded. However, her film has never seen the light of day.
WHAT IF— This film surfaced now…and showed something that no one except the elusive ‘Babushka Lady’ has ever seen…something that radically altered everything we thought we knew about the assassination…and became a dire threat to a few very powerful people…people who would stop at nothing to keep the truth concealed….
During the reading of her mother’s will, Sheila Baker discovers that she has inherited everything her parents ever possessed, including their secrets. A mysterious safe-deposit box key leads her to the answer to one of history’s greatest questions—Who killed John F. Kennedy? Not only does she have the missing film that exposes her late mother as the infamous ‘Babushka Lady,’—she has incontrovertible proof that there was more than one shooter.
On the run from people who will stop at nothing to keep their secrets buried, Sheila turns to billionaire sleuth Jason Hammond for help. Having lost his own family in a tragic plane crash, Jason knows a thing or two about running from the past. With a target on their backs and time running out, can Jason finally uncover the truth behind the crime that shook a generation—or will he and Sheila become its final victims?
Ten years in the making, Frame 232 is the new suspense novel from critically acclaimed, award-winning author Wil Mara, and the first in a new series featuring pivotal character Jason Hammond. It was released on July 1st from Tyndale House in eBook, hardcover, paperback, and large-print editions.
To answer some of the more commonly asked questions about Frame 232, Wil has been recording some short (about one minute each) podcasts. Click on each question below, and the file (.mp3) should begin playing automatically in your Web browser. If you wish to download any, simply right-click on the question and choose ‘Save Link Target As…’, etc.
FRAME 232 PODCAST # 1—Was the ‘Babushka Lady’ a real person? / For the YouTube version, click here.
FRAME 232 PODCAST # 3—Is it true it took ten years to write Frame 232? / For the YouTube version, click here.
Click on the images below to play the promotional videos for Frame 232.
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“Frame 232 is a fascinating and well-written story that asks intriguing ‘what if’ questions. Moving from the halls of government to the streets of Cuba, this is an action-packed story. Mara paces the story well; the first part of the book sets up the story and then the action picks up from there. His writing is very well-done. Unlike with some thrillers, the characters are not simply there to move the plot forward. Instead they are fully fleshed individuals with complex desires and realistic faults. There are no real negatives with Frame 232. If you like action-packed stories, this one has more depth than many and I would highly recommend it. The Jason Hammond series will be interesting to follow.”
—The Christian Manifesto
“This fast paced, historical fiction story grabs you from the beginning and twists a tale of intrigue and suspense. Using events in history, the author uses a deft hand to spin an alternate explanation to the theory surrounding President Kennedy’s assassination.”
“Wil Mara sends his reader into a mysterious adventure that results in white-knuckle-grip tension. The fast paced action is most prominent in the middle section of the book. A strength of the book is the evident research that was part of the book’s creation. Mara artfully weaves essential pieces of history into the novel that provide information the reader must understand; yet, that history appears in such a way that does not result in fragmented transitions. Another strong point of the novel is the apparent Christian faith that runs throughout the storyline and into the character’s lives. Readers who enjoy Mara’s mystery that delves into the unsolved queries of the past will look forward to the next novel in the Jason Hammond series that will be available in the summer of 2014.”
“My first inclination when I was reading the book was whether or not this was a Christian book, then remembered it came from a Christian publishing house. Despite that, the book was not heavily involved with religion. There was just enough to be able to label it as a Christian fiction. But it was the story itself that drew me in. It captured me from the first page all the way to the end, making it harder to put down, wanting to find out what was going to happen. For me, there was enough suspense, drama and intrigue. Plus enough reality to make it a truly enjoyable read. I enjoyed the historical aspects and the plot, kept me intrigued.”
“This is a page turner that catapults the conspiracy that could have been corroborated if one uncovered the whereabouts of the actual true-to-life unknown Babushka Lady and her coveted film. Mara does an excellent job methodically tying the knots between historical facts and suspenseful fiction as the plot to uncover the second shooter escalates while, at the same time, the two protagonists try to understand God’s meaning in both their lives and our history’s past.”
“After seeing the cover and reading the description, I was all ready for an exciting thriller mystery with plenty of action and secrecy. And I was not disappointed in the least. There was really no point where nothing was happening, and the constant perspective changes from character to character really kept me on my toes and waiting for the next triumph, or, in some cases, blow. Jason Hammond is struggling to move forward after his parents’ untimely death in a plane crash, and Sheila is still coping with her mother’s death and her big secret. I feel satisfied with the conclusion they reached, and I do not think Wil Mara left any questions unanswered. I also loved that he kept the suspenseful feeling throughout the book without using bad language. It was a clean, Christian book.”
—The Book Nook
“This is a book that will keep you reading until you are finished. I couldn’t believe how captivating it really was. I’m not usually interested in history, but Wil made it very interesting and enticing. What a GREAT premise for a novel! This fast paced, historical fiction story will grab the reader from the beginning and twists a tale of intrigue and suspense. Using events in history, the author spins an alternate explanation to the theory surrounding President Kennedy’s assassination. I loved the book from beginning to end, and I expect most readers to be spell bound by the book as well.”
—Roth’s Book Reviews
“I know a book is good when I have to keep reminding myself that this didn’t really happen, this is fiction. Mara weaves together a wonderful cast of characters you will love and others you will love to hate. Some of the characters are so twisted you just want to scream at them. There is a beautiful redemption story in this book as well from an unlikely character, but it shows that you have never fallen to far to be redeemed by our Heavenly Father. I would love to see this book turned into a movie, I could see it playing out so clearly in my mind.”
“In view of the many conspiracy theories that have developed over the years about the assassination, Mara’s novel is almost believable. In any case, his novel offers several interesting and exciting hours of reading to be sure. The narrative moves at a steady pace and the reader is always aware of the importance of each scene. Plenty of action keeps things moving right along and the dialogue is natural. The violence that is necessary to the plot is not overly graphic and only a couple of brief scenes even allude to anything of a sexual nature. The fictional characters are very well developed and each one plays an important role in the story. Lost faith in God and the path to finding it again is an integral thread throughout the book but is genuine and not overbearing. I am so glad I had the opportunity to read Frame 232. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to the next Jason Hammond novel. I am personally hoping that Sheila will play a prominent role in it also.”
“I really enjoyed this read. It was exciting and dynamic from the very beginning. The characters were interesting and compelling. The story was believable. The quick pace of the adventure definitely made this one a page turner.”
—Leah’s Good Reads
“Wil Mara took the controversy surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy and the age-old question of whether there was really a second shooter and used it to create a thrilling story about the “other “ film taken the day of the shooting. I was appreciative of the careful research and description done by Mara as his tale was spun. Suspense abounds as Sheila and Jason tried to escape and investigate their new information. Some violence occurs, but it is not overly graphic. Part of the story revolves around Jason’s separation from his faith which occurred after the accidental death of his parents and sister. I’m hoping for a Jason-Sheila romance in the future, Mr. Mara!”
—At the River Bend
“Having been born two years after the assassination of Kennedy, I only know what I have read or heard about, including all of the conspiracy theories. I didn’t know much about the Babushka Lady, so I found this book to be very interesting, even though it was only a fictional ‘what-if’ thriller. Mara keeps his readers on the edge of their seats as the bad guys do everything they can to keep the incriminating film from going public. The characters are well developed and he makes you care what happens to them, a quality of a well told story. I had a great time reading this book. I recommend this book to anyone simply wanting to read a thriller novel, but especially anyone interested in the Kennedy assassination.”
“I just finished reading Frame 232 by Wil Mara for the Tyndale Summer Reading Program and I loved it!!! I could scarcely put it down it was so good. First off, I am one of those nerds who reads the author bios and did you know that Wil Mara ghost wrote some of the ‘Boxcar Children Mysteries.’ I mean you know he has to be a good writer then. But seriously this book is amazing. This is the first of the Jason Hammond novels and I am looking forward to more. There are so many twists and turns, and Mara writes with such grace. It’s just amazing. I loved every minute and I didn’t have all the pieces figured out until the very end. One thing would be revealed and I’d be like oh ok and then I’d realize wait there’s more. It’s a great mystery, thriller type book and I highly, highly recommend it!”
—The Crafty Home
“Frame 232 has waded into the waters of the conspiracy with a different perspective on it. If you are one that likes to puzzle over different answers and what is real, faked, or hidden, the JFK assassination makes for a wonderful read.”
—Baker Book House
“I am generally a person that doesn’t enjoy diving into history that much. I think I stayed interested through most of this story because I am becoming more interested in seeing mysteries solved about situations where bad things happen to people, which this story does a great job of making happen.”
—Book Review Travels
“I love historical fiction, so Frame 232 by Wil Mara was a blast to read. Taking a fresh, completely plausible approach to John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Mara weaves together a colliding cast of characters who have personal motivations for either unearthing or keeping hidden the events of that day. Although the plot line is based solely on Mara’s imagination, it has such a feel of plausibility that it compelled me to turn many more pages than I usually would at the end of a long day. The action is fast and furious in places, and the events hold together tightly. This is a great read for anyone with even a passing knowledge of the events surrounding November 22, 1963.
“The best part of this book? It is only the first in a series of forthcoming Jason Hammond novels.”
—Just Want Jesus
“This was a really interesting work of fiction; it kept me interested all the way through. There were some really good conspiracy theories at work and the people in the stories, I really enjoyed. This is probably one of the few stories like this I have read, but I am glad that I did. it looks like more stories about Jason Hammond and his adventures are being written, I’m looking forward to it.”
—A Blessed Day
“This page turner catapults you into the middle of a conspiracy that could have been corroborated if one were able to uncover the whereabouts of the actual true-to-life unknown Babushka Lady and her coveted film. Mara does an excellent job methodically tying the knots between historical facts and suspenseful fiction as the plot to uncover the second shooter escalates.”
“In Frame 232, Wil Mara delves into the Kennedy assassination with gusto and thrills his readers with a wild ride of “could have been.” Taking creative license with this historical event Mara showcases his brilliant mind. My heart was pounding! I’d never heard of the Babushka Lady before but she’ll forever stay with me. I truly enjoyed Wil’s characters—even the villains. Jason Hammond is the wealthy, modest hero—a combination of Robin Hood/Jason Bourne. We’ll be hearing more from him. : ) Edward Birk is model handsome but lacks a conscience. The villain you love to hate. Frame 232 would appeal to both men and women. Action, history, thrilling danger and money are all in this book. A great summer read!”
—Morning Glories and Moonflowers
“Frame 232 is an epic conspiracy novel…and a story of healing.
“Jason Hammond is such a good character. He is the essence of calm, cool and collected, with a mind honed to razor sharpness and the physical training of an athlete. His life is dedicated to discovering the true stories behind unsolved mysteries, and he uses his great wealth to fund his truth seeking explorations. Jason Hammond is an adventurer, and he is exactly who Sheila needs to help her—and to keep her alive along the way. The only thing that strikes him to the heart is the trauma of losing someone he loves. Jason Hammond, the man who thinks nothing of battling a trained assassin with a garden shovel, is defined by a tragic loss and haunted by his nightmares. As he chases the pieces to this puzzle, will he maybe find a place where he can begin to be restored?
“The only thing I wish was different about this book was…well, that may just happen in the next book. Because, you see, this is Book One in the Jason Hammond Series. And so there is more to look forward to.”
—Found a Christian by His Grace
“I wasn’t alive when Kennedy was president, but have heard a lot and read a lot about his assassination and heard the conspiracy theories. I’ve never paid much attention, but the book sounded so good, I decided to give it a shot. I was not disappointed. This book is action-packed with a lot of suspense, bad guys, drama, and a lot of historical stuff. When I am reading a book such as this and names and events are discussed that could be factual, I often Google things, and I did with this book and found out a lot of things to do with the assassination that I didn’t know, such as the Babushka Lady and deaths of different people I had never heard of. I really liked the main characters, one of whom is going to be in future books, and though I didn’t know a lot about the assassination conspiracy theories, I learned a lot about it while reading a great suspense novel. Ironically, the author believes there was only one gunman, but after reading the book, I have to admit I am in the camp of those who believe otherwise. Regardless of which view you hold, this is an awesome suspense novel that deals with the Kennedy assassination with one possibility of what happened.”
—Thoughts of a Sojourner
“A well told and riveting adventure. I love how the author showed what I like to call ‘snapshots’ of each of the characters and their backrounds, I felt like I got to know some of the characters more in one chapter than I’ve ever known others in the course of a whole book! The story was well written and complex with many things going on in different parts of the world. The author did a great job of bringing the idea of a exposed conspiracy changing everything, I was swept away into the world of intrigue and plotting with Sheila and Jason. Overall a very good book, and I found myself very entertained even though this is a far cry from the usual books I read. A great book with everything from conspiracies to emotional depth.”
—Labor Not in Vain
“This is a great mystery based on the Kennedy assassination. The characters are well developed and easy to understand. This book takes you on twists and turns that you won’t believe. At some points the author introduces characters that seem to have nothing to do with the plot, but then they are worked in and you understand why. Overall, it was action packed, fast paced, and well written. I recommend this book to anyone that wants to go into theory on the Kennedy assassination and likes American history.”
“Frame 232 by Wil Mara is surprisingly impressive. Mara begins the book by explaining the origin point of her fictional tale—one based in reality. After having perused the book, I have to admit that it is engaging and entrancing. Reading this book has caused me to be interested in the subject matter and era, for sure. Mara’s writing style is welcoming and easy to follow, helping me understand the inner thoughts of the characters, as if I were actually there and participating. Mara accurately captures the human essence of self-reflection and actions, and does an excellent job at keeping the audience engaged with the storyline. The book is definitely worth the read.”
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