Top critical review
Great Premise that Fizzles
on July 19, 2002
Carl Granville is a talented young writer, living in NY, struggling to get his first book published. When his agent dies, he surprisingly is approached by any writer's dream agent who has an interesting propostion for him. He will be given someone's secret diary and he will fictionalize it within 3 weeks. A guard will accompany the installments of the original manuscript to ensure that Carl does not copy it and at the same time, deliver the finished fictionization to the agent. For doing this, Carl receives $50k up front, $50K when he finishes and the guarantee that his first book be published and seriously marketed. Carl readily accepts, burning the midnight oil to fulfill his end of the deal, but when his new agent and a female neighbor mysteriously end up dead, Carl finds himself out on a limb from which he cannot possibly survive, as he is thought to be and labeled by the media a serious killer on a mission.
It is----but sadly, once the actual diary is read and transformed into Carl's manuscript, the killings are executed and Carl has no where to run, the book just loses steam fast. Suddenly the interesting premise transmogrifies into formula--Carl's ex-girlfriend (conveniently a Wash. Post journalist) becomes involved and the reader follows the actions of a ring of outsiders whose histories eventually tie together to lead to the plot's denouement. Problem is, it is just too formula to be fresh and lead to disappointment even when reading the book's most startling revelations.
I picked this book up after reading this writing teams' latest offering, "Icarus". Although, I found "Icarus" to be a moderate-to--superior suspense type yarn, I expected Gideon to be better based on its reviews. I was disappointed.