Mary Bernadette is a Vietnamese girl born on November 22, 1963 – the day John F. Kennedy is assassinated. Raised in an orphanage, she finds herself unwittingly involved in an international incident at the age of six, when a Russian man who claims to be the second gunman on the grassy knoll during the assassination of JFK stumbles into the orphanage looking for help.
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Mary Bernadette is then witness to the opening rounds of Operation Excalibur, the CIA code name for the mission to capture this second gunman alive. In the late spring and early summer of 1971 – while Americans are unaware of the potential for a major international incident that might bring their country to the brink of war with the Soviet Union or China – Operation Excalibur plays itself out in Vietnam. What Mary does not know is that one unintended consequence of this action will be the senseless massacre of orphaned children by an errant North Vietnamese captain – and that she herself will be among the dead.
This CIA thriller and tragic tale of love and intrigue, set during the Vietnam War, describes the attempt to capture JFK’s other assassin, now a Russian advisor, as told by an innocent victim from her grave.