Conspiracy Theory

Conspiracy Theory

4.2 5
by Jane Haddam
     
 

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Cavanaugh Street is a mostly quiet Armenian neighborhood in downtown Philadelphia where nearly everyone knows everyone else and certainly knows their business. But that quiet is destroyed when the Armenian Orthodox church is destroyed by a bomb and its cleric, Father Tibor Kasparian, is hospitalized as a result. What would normally be a front-page event, however, is

Overview

Cavanaugh Street is a mostly quiet Armenian neighborhood in downtown Philadelphia where nearly everyone knows everyone else and certainly knows their business. But that quiet is destroyed when the Armenian Orthodox church is destroyed by a bomb and its cleric, Father Tibor Kasparian, is hospitalized as a result. What would normally be a front-page event, however, is overshadowed by another event across town-when Philadelphia Main Line society is shocked by the murder of one of their own. Anthony van Wyck Ross-the head of one of the major investment banks and a cornerstone of Main Line society-is murdered at the Around the World Harvest Ball being hosted at his mansion.

Now former head of the FBI's Behavioral Sciences Unit Gregor Demarkian must see through the conspiratorial haze-a task that takes on personal resonance since Gregor's girlfriend, Bennis Hannaford, serves as Vice Chairman of the Ball. Soon, Gregor finds himself caught up in a spiral of fear and murder that takes him to the very edge of evil.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Out of today's headlines, the prolific Haddam-this is number 19 in the Gregor Demarkian series (after 2002's Somebody Else's Music)-has fashioned a tale that should be stronger than it is. In addition to a conspiracy cult and hints of domestic terrorism, we have multimillion-dollar corporate mismanagement, child prostitution and the rich vs. poor debate, all presented in longwinded, heavy-handed rhetoric that nearly swamps the mystery. Pity, for the core story is a dandy. One winter night in Philadelphia, two terrible things happen: Father Tibor Kasparian is injured in the bombing of an Armenian church and a prominent businessman is assassinated on his front steps in the midst of a big party. Are the two crimes connected? And what does either have to do with the conspiracy group called America on Alert, whose hate-filled literature is swirling through the city? That's the challenge for Gregor Demarkian, retired head of the FBI's Behavioral Sciences Unit, and resident of Cavanaugh Street, Philadelphia's Armenian-American neighborhood. The citizens of Cavanaugh are as wonderful as ever, but the other characters are such stereotypes they might have been e-mailed in from central casting: the Rich Bitch, the Heartless Capitalist, the Social Climber, the Lonely Spinster manipulated by the Charismatic Cult Leader. The best character is Cavanaugh Street itself, as much a living presence as any human. Spending time there is always a pleasure. Agent, Don Maass. (July 7) FYI: Haddam has been a finalist for both Anthony and Edgar awards. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Psst. Are you reading this review/voting for that candidate/gobbling that fast food/watching that game show or TV anchor because you want to, or are you controlled by the CIA or the Illuminati? When billionaire banker Anthony van Wyck Ross and his patronizing Main Line wife Charlotte are killed barely a week apart in their spacious Bryn Mawr driveway and Father Tibor Kasparian's Holy Trinity Armenian Christian Church in nearby Philadelphia is bombed almost the moment the financier cashes his last check, the common denominator seems to be the Harridan Report, a handful of tracts delivered by a fringe group called America on Alert. Although no one's ever met chief Reporter Michael Harridan, the FBI is watching his paranoid followers, especially lumpen Kathi Mittendorf. When an undercover FBI agent also turns up dead, the press and the local fuzz are convinced the wacko conspiracists are at work again, but Armenian-American Poirot Gregor Demarkian focuses instead on analyzing the motives of Ross's family members and his confidential assistant David Alden, now immersed in the Price Heaven bankruptcy. Briefed on society decorum by his girlfriend Bennis and on crime-scene clues by Police Commissioner Jackman, Gregor zeroes in Harridan, but not before tracing conspiracy theorists back to the Middle Ages. Sometimes windy but never preachy, Haddam (Somebody Else's Music, 2002, etc.) provides a well-documented primer (Internet sites duly cited) on the scary reasoning shared by generations of conspiracy nuts and the snobbery of old money. Agent: Don Maass

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781250100269
Publisher:
St. Martins Press-3pl
Publication date:
05/28/2004
Pages:
432
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.99(h) x 0.96(d)

Meet the Author

Jane Haddam is the pen name of American author Orania Papazoglou. She has worked as a college teacher and magazine editor and is best known for her series of mystery books featuring former FBI Agent Gregor Demarkian. Her first book Death's Savage Passion was nominated for an Edgar Award in 1985. Her 1991 novel Not a Creature was Stirring was also nominated for an Edgar Award and an Anthony Award.

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Conspiracy Theory (Gregor Demarkian Series #19) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cherbearshares More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed Jane Haddam's other mysteries but the links to the characters was to much of a stretch. The reader know who has done it much too soon in the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
harstan More than 1 year ago
He became a legend for his work in the FBI¿s Behavioral Science Unit, so much so, that when he retired he was asked to consult on some very high profile murder cases in Philadelphia. Gregor Demarkian attends a Main Line charity gathering in Bryn Mawr hosted by one of the most powerful and wealthiest bankers in the world, Tony Ross, who is murdered while greeting guests on the front stairs. Although he is technically a witness or a suspect the local police ask Gregor for help, which he gladly agrees to give.

When he goes home he learns that his church on Cavenaugh Street has been bombed and reduced to rubble. Since he is close to Father Kasparian, Gregor donates his services hoping to catch the perpetrator who did this horrific act. When Tony¿s wife Charlotte is murdered in a M.O. identical to that of her husband¿s death, conspiracy literature is found in her house. Gregor feels these three crimes are linked but finding the connection and a viable suspect will take all of his skills and a good deal of luck.

Jane Haddam has a wonderful sense of place and an ability to create fascinating characters. The author peels away the veil and spin doctoring of the very rich and powerful to show that they are not different than the average person in their desires and fears. CONSPIRACY THEORY is fast-paced and brilliantly plotted while displaying how the events of September 11th fit into the mindset of a conspiracy group who believes the Illuminati are controlling the country and moving towards a one world order. This is a mystery that readers will thoroughly enjoy.

Harriet Klausner