is a high-concept political thriller by Russell Andrews (the pen name of a partnership between book editor Peter Gethers and mystery novelist David Handler).
When a promising New York writer named Carl Granville is paid a quarter of a million dollars to produce a novel called Gideon, he thinks it's his lucky break. The book is to be based on the material of an old diary--which Carl is allowed to look at, although certain dates and names have been blacked out. The diary and novel involve a 10-year-old Southern boy who killed his brain-damaged baby brother. Carl, baffled but glad of the huge payoff, gets on with translating the diary into a bestseller. But when the editor who commissioned the book is murdered, and nobody at the publishing house knows anything about the Gideon project, the writer realizes that sinister forces are at large. Just to add to his troubles, Granville is accused of the editor's murder and is forced to go on the run to escape the FBI and an assassin. His only chance for clearing his name is to reveal who wrote the decades-old journal.
Gideon is an invigorating read with a remarkably fresh plot and a highly likable and believable protagonist.
From Publishers Weekly
The president of the U. S. has a secret so horrifying it even terrifies the priest he confesses to, in this debut thriller pitting ambitious, fallible politicians against a diabolical media mogul. Unsuspecting ghostwriter Carl Granville is enlisted by super-agent Maggie Peterson to take a hand-scrawled, stolen diary and turn it into a million-copy expos?Abut Carl is kept in the dark about whose story he's writing. The book is known only as "Gideon" and when Carl's apartment is trashed, the diary stolen and Maggie murdered, he soon discovers that nobody at the publishing house has any knowledge of the book deal. Branded the main suspect in Maggie's death, Carl goes on the lam, and with his Washington, D.C., ex-girlfriend Amanda Mays, tries to uncover the deadly conspiracy. The mess gets increasingly complicated, as the president commits suicide and the political climate is ripe for the First Lady to bid for the executive position. A homosexual priest, a British billionaire, an elderly midwife who knows all and a killer in disguise figure in the labyrinthine plot. Andrews is a pseudonym for Peter Gethers (The Dandy; The Cat Who Went to Paris) and David Handler (Kiddo): the ghostwriting angle is one of Handler's trademarks (he's the author of the popular Stewart Hoag mysteries). Dead-on publishing in-jokes are a lagniappe (Gethers is the former publisher of Villard); Carl has ghostwritten a series of Kathie Lee Gifford mysteries. Though saturated with winning details, however, the narrative, with its endless twists (blackmail, childhood secrets, love affairs) winds up with several complications too many, and this plethora of side plots dilutes the lucid, cumulative pleasures a good thriller is designed to evoke. $250,000 ad/promo; BOMC and QPB selections; author tour; audio rights: Brilliance Corp.; foreign rights sold to U.K., France and Holland. (June)
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