Gideon

( 11 )

Overview

Gideon. An identity shrouded in mystery - the anonymous source who holds the key to an explosive secret. In a clandestine meeting, writer Carl Granville is hired to take the pages of an old diary, articles, letters, documents in which all proper names and locations have been blacked out - and turn them into compelling fiction. He will be paid a quarter of a million dollars. But he can never tell a soul.

As he is fed information and his work progresses, Granville begins to ...

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Overview

Gideon. An identity shrouded in mystery - the anonymous source who holds the key to an explosive secret. In a clandestine meeting, writer Carl Granville is hired to take the pages of an old diary, articles, letters, documents in which all proper names and locations have been blacked out - and turn them into compelling fiction. He will be paid a quarter of a million dollars. But he can never tell a soul.

As he is fed information and his work progresses, Granville begins to realize that Gideon's book is more than just a potential bestseller. It is a revelation of chilling evil and a decades-long cover-up by someone with far-reaching power. He starts to have second thoughts. How will his book be used? Whose lives will be shattered? What is the truth behind the story - and who is the true storyteller?

Then someone close to Granville is bludgeoned to death. Another is savagely murdered. His apartment is ransacked, his computer destroyed, all his records stolen. Suspicion falls on Granville. He tries to explain the shadowy assignment. No one believes him. He has no proof, no alibis...

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Who is Gideon? In the powerhouse debut from Russell Andrews, a pen name for author Peter Gethers and mystery scribe David Handler, that's what struggling writer Carl Granville must desperately try to answer after blindly accepting an apparently unbelievable publishing deal. A briskly plotted, well-conceived, twisting-and-turning thriller about a project any writer would die for -- and in Carl's case, very well may -- Gideon is a savvy and sinister read.

At his agent's funeral in New York City, unpublished writer Carl Glanville -- an all-American type of guy: young, handsome, well built, with a determined heart and a lot of talent -- is introduced to Maggie Petersen, the top editor at New York's largest and most successful book publisher. Maggie claims that before her death, Carl's agent forwarded her a copy of his manuscript; Maggie read it, thought it was rough in places but brilliant in others, and would like to publish it. Next thing we know, not only is Carl offered the works from this publishing giant -- fancy advance galleys, publicity tour, a big marketing campaign -- but another deal as well. And this, my friends, is where Gideon begins to spark.

If Carl should accept this project, he will be paid a quarter of a million dollars to scribe a novel that, Maggie promises, will change the world; a million-copy announced printing goes a long way to add credence to Maggie's over-the-top prediction. The novel will be published anonymously and will be based on fact, on information Carl will receive in utmost secrecy from an unknown informant, known to both Maggie and Carl only as Gideon. While this Primary Colors-type project makes Carl feel extremely uncomfortable, the $50,000 advance that Maggie waves in front of his face, plus the promise to publish his novel with all the bells and whistles, is too much for Carl to turn down.

Ecstatic, Carl seeks out Toni-with-an-i, the beautiful actress-wannabe who has recently moved into his building. But when he arrives, Toni is bolting to an "All My Children" audition and is forced to take a rain check. Slightly disappointed but still flying high as a kite, Carl returns to his apartment to pop a cork by himself. Unfortunately, as Carl immediately realizes, he's not alone. An enormous, well-dressed stranger is sitting quietly in a corner, patiently awaiting Carl's return. This intruder, Harry, who we know has already committed two vicious, cold-blooded murders in a previous scene, is now the tough-as-nails partner of the frightened and angered Carl. For the next two weeks, Harry appears each morning with new information from Gideon, cooks Carl a gourmet breakfast, and sits quietly as Carl jots down notes. When Carl finishes, Harry collects the data, retapes it to his powerful thigh, and is off -- only to return the next morning with additional information from the enigmatic Gideon.

But who is Gideon? What is this story that he's writing, taken from the almost illegible scribbling of a young woman in the deep South in the mid-1950s? A million questions flood Carl's mind, but no answers follow. Soon, just as the story Carl is transcribing becomes extremely grim, sick, and horrible, the real-life murders begin, and Carl is on the run, a fugitive from the law and the life he once led -- and will likely never lead again.

Gideon is an electrifying novel. The writing team of Gethers and Handler has constructed a rapid-fire thriller with a titillating premise, slick writing, a vicious, well-conceived cast of characters, and an ending that will shock you off your beach chair. There's an innocent man on the run -- not only from the law but from someone who wants him dead for knowing too much about something that he doesn't really know anything about -- a death at every corner, a precarious love affair, and a surprise on almost every page. Gideon is a grade A tale, a perfect match for the hot summer sun. (Andrew LeCount)

From the Publisher
"THE EFFECT IS A BIT LIKE ROLLING DOWN A GRASSY HILL . . . YOU PICK UP SERIOUS SPEED. . . . Writer Carl Granville - down on his luck personally and professionally - is approached one day by a hotshot publisher who says she'll pay him a startling amount of money to turn a top secret diary into a novel. Gift from God or devilish trap? . . . The conspiracy he gets tangled in plays on some seriously topical fears."
-Entertainment Weekly

"THE BOOK'S GOT EVERYTHING A BIG ADVENTURE THRILLER SHOULD - a potentially world-shaking secret, nearly invincible villains, vulnerable protagonists on the run, romance, [and] betrayal. . . . What takes it a step beyond . . . are the seriousness of its message and the playfulness with which it bites the hand that publishes it."
-Los Angeles Times

"FRANTIC . . . NOTHING IS EVER AS IT SEEMS."
-The Boston Globe

"THIS ONE WILL KEEP YOU GUESSING UNTIL THE END."
-Houston Chronicle

Mike Lupica
Gideon is one of the smartest and most intricate thrillers you will read this summer. Or any summer, for that matter.
New York Daily News
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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 --but 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) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Mike Lupica
Gideon is one of the smartest and most intricate thrillers you will read this summer. Or any summer, for that matter.
New York Daily News
Kirkus Reviews
A political conspiracy thriller with more fizzle than firepower. Who is Gideon? That is, who is he really? It's the burning question absolutely no one seems able to answer. Strange, since Carl Granville, a struggling young novelist, was offered a fat fee for a ghostwriting chore on the very subject—an assignment originating with Maggie Peterson, "the hottest editor in New York." The modus operandi proposed by her was certainly unconventional: Carl is to novelize by the numbers, so to speak. Periodically, she'll feed him material (extracted from a diary) that he's to convert into fictional increments of an eventual whole. Will he accept the conditions? Broke and at loose ends, of course he would. But when Maggie becomes defunct and no one at Apex Communications, her firm, will admit to having heard of Gideon, life gets complicated for Carl. Even more so when the local corpse count skyrockets, and the police seem alarmingly eager to credit Carl with multiple offings. Only Amanda Mays, Carl's ex-flame, persists in regarding him as constitutionally nonlethal. To her, he still looks like "an overgrown Campbell's Soup kid." In any case, the two partner up and go on the lam, pursued by contract killers who are efficient, implacable, and staples of this kind of fiction. And when our heroes decide it's up to them, them alone, to solve the Gideon mystery, few thriller buffs will be taken aback. Nor will any of them gasp at the denouement—on learning how high an echelon has been tainted by political wickedness and chicanery. What's a wannabe blockbuster without a conspiring top banana? A suspense-fiction pastiche in which characterization is thin, pacing lethargic, and freshness inshort supply: the first team effort from Peter Gethers (A Cat Abroad, 1993, etc.) and David Handler (The Man Who Loved Women to Death, 1997, etc.). (Book-of-the-Month/Quality Paperback; $250,000 ad/promo; author tour)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345434784
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/6/2000
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: 1 MASS MKT
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Russell Andrews is a pseudonym for the team of
Peter Gethers and David Handler.

Peter Gethers has written two previous novels, The Dandy and Getting Blue, and two bestselling nonfiction books, The Cat Who Went to Paris and A Cat Abroad. In addition, he is an editor and publisher and, with David Handler, has written numerous film scripts and television shows. Mr. Gethers lives in New York City and Sag Harbor, New York. This is the first collaboration with Mr. Handler under the name "Russell Andrews."

David Handler began his career as a journalist and critic. He won widespread critical acclaim for his autobiographical first novel, Kiddo, and has an Edgar and an American Mystery Award for his series of eight novels featuring amateur sleuth Stewart Hoag - a hero who, in the words of the Detroit Free Press, combines "the panache of James Bond, the in-your-face attitude of Sean Penn, and the lethal wit of Gore Vidal." Mr. Handler has written many television and film scripts with his longtime partner, Peter Gethers. He makes his home in Old Lyme, Connecticut.

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Read an Excerpt

Washington, D.C.

Once again he woke up screaming.

It was the dream, of course. The same dream. The same overwhelming, inescapable dream.

But there was something different this time. There was no distance to it, no feeling of safety. It had crossed over and crystallized and become stiflingly, palpably, claustrophobically real. The colors were bright and the sound was crisp. He could see the faces, hear the voices. Feel the pain.

And he had to listen to the crying.

When he realized he was awake, that the sound he heard was real, was actually coming from inside him, he bit the scream off and the physical effort hurt his throat, as if the noise were being ripped out of him. He had to force himself to think about where he was, who he was, to stop himself from screaming again. And then he had to bite down on his lip so hard he drew blood. Otherwise he knew he could have howled and wept for minutes, for hours. Forever.

He was drenched in sweat, the sheets so damp beneath him he thought he'd wet the bed. But none of that was new. He was used to that. No, it was the end of the dream that left him weak and trembling. That's what was different.

This time he dreamed that he talked.

And because he believed in the veracity of dreams, he woke up terrified.

The reasons for his terror had dominated his thoughts ever since the moment she had come to him, the woman he loved so absolutely, shaken and subdued, ever since she had told him she had to talk to him in private. It had been sunny that afternoon, and he remembered the warm glow he'd felt, basking in the realization that everything was going perfectly, all their plans were coming together so smoothly. When she leaned over and whispered to him, he had never seen her look like that. So frightened. Pale and trembling. He couldn't imagine what had done this to her. Then she told him about the package that had arrived. What was in it. And what the instructions were that came with it.

They had sat together, holding each other, for a long time after that. Saying nothing because there was nothing to say. Because everything he had worked for, they had worked for, was crumbling now. No, not crumbling. Exploding.

He had canceled all meetings, shut off all phone calls. They had locked themselves behind closed doors. Then she spoke, examining their options, going over every choice rationally and calmly. Analyzing. Probing. Until finally she had put her hand over his, her skin cool and soft. Her softness was all that kept him from bursting into tears.

"There's only one thing you can do," she said.

"That's the one thing I can't do," he said sadly.

"There's no other choice. Anything else is too risky, too terrible for you." She touched his cheek. "What if they find out? Think what would happen."

He didn't have to ask who "they" were. And he didn't have to think. He knew what would happen. He knew exactly what would happen.

He also knew that he could never accept the way out she was urging him to take. She could propose it only because she didn't truly understand his power, didn't know what she was really asking him to give up.

After all her rational explanations, after eliminating choice after choice, ultimately it was still impossible, what she was asking him to do.

So he'd thought of another solution. A far better one.

The latest dream showed him that it was right. And just. He knew better than anyone that it was just.

He sat up suddenly in the bed, as if the quickness of his movement could shed the fear like an unwanted layer of skin. He blinked furiously, willing the nightmare—and the night's solitude—to disappear.

It was just getting light outside, the sun's first rays filter-
ing down so passively they didn't seem to have the strength to make it all the way through the windows of the bedroom. But neither the shadows of the dawn outside nor the icy air-conditioning inside—the best system money could buy—were able to disguise the brutal humidity of this Washington summer. His rapid breathing slowed somewhat, and he uncurled the clenched fingers of both hands. He tried to force himself to be still, to relax. To come back to life. But he could not.

He glanced to his left, where his wife slept soundly. He wondered how she could possibly sleep, and yet he was glad she did. For the first time since he'd known her, he didn't think he could face her, couldn't talk to her, tell her what he was thinking. Yet despite everything it pleased him to hear her gentle, rhythmic breathing, so comfortably familiar to him, soft and delicate. And there was another marvel: In twenty-seven years of marriage she had never been anything but a comfort to him. Never anything but a tower of strength.

He swung his legs out of bed. They were not yet steady. Still sitting, his bare feet planted in the pastel Aubusson carpet, he ran his left hand over the smooth, hollowed-out top of the bedpost. He loved their four-poster bed. Built in 1782, dated and signed by Nathaniel Dolgers, the greatest of colonial carpenters. It was too short for them, really, and not all that comfortable. But he insisted they sleep in it. He looked at his wife, curled up in the sheets, and smiled. She thought his affection for the bed was because he'd always loved working with his hands, had always, above all, worshiped craftsmanship. But that wasn't it at all. The real reason was that the bed had cost $175,000. A bed! And every single night before he slept—if he slept—he thought about what his mother had done when he'd told her he was sleeping in a $175,000 bed.

She'd laughed. She'd thrown her head back and laughed and laughed until tears of wonderment flowed down her leather-tough cheeks.

His legs were steadier now, his heart no longer pounding. He stood slowly, padded over to the window. Directly before him he could see the square, deserted and still. To the right, below him, at the eastern side of the house, he could make out the garden, the silhouettes of her flowers. He glanced back at the sleeping woman and had to shake his head. They always referred to them as "her" flowers. And when she talked about them, she might have been talking about the children they'd never had. Put her before a Grant Thomas rose or a Campanula lactiflora and her face would soften, her eyes would glisten, her voice would coo in that tender, musical tone of hers. And when she touched those petals—what caresses, what love. Whenever he passed one of the arrangements she'd cut for the house, he couldn't help but reach out and stroke the petals himself. He always felt as if he were touching her. And she were touching him.

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First Chapter

It had not been one of Carl Granville's better weeks.

For starters, in his weekly pickup game at the Chelsea Piers, he had been taken to the hoop and dunked on by a spindly high-school kid. Then New York Magazine gave the Nathan Lane profile they'd promised him to another freelancer-the editor's sister-in-law. Then his dad called from Pompano Beach to tell him he thought Carl was wasting his precious Ivy League degree and his life, not necessarily in that order. Plus the Mets had lost three in a row, Nick at Nite had cleared out The Odd Couple and Taxi to make way for I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched, and now, just to round things out, he found himself in a room with the only two people left in the world who believed in his talent, in his future, in him. Unfortunately, one of those people was dead and the other one hated his guts.

No, it had definitely not been one of Carl's better weeks.

He was standing next to an open casket in the Frank E. Campbell funeral parlor on Madison Avenue and Eighty-first Street, where Betty Slater, the legendary literary agent and even more legendary alcoholic, was laid out, looking as rosy and lifelike as a basket of wax fruit. At least she was not glowering at him with undisguised hostility, the way Amanda Mays, standing on the other side of the casket, was. Amanda was still angry over a slight misunderstanding. Something to do with a certain plum job in Washington, marriage, and living happily ever after. Carl had to admit to himself that some of the misunderstanding was his fault.

Actually, Carl had to admit that all of the misunderstanding was his fault.

The turnout for Betty's funeral was huge, considering just how cranky Betty had gotten toward the end of her life, when she'd managed to offend just about every publisher, critic, and author in town. It was her brutal honesty, mostly. Throwing out words like stinks, and phony, and-one of her favorite combinations-pseudointellectual crap. Nonetheless, this was an event and people had dutifully turned out in droves for it, clustering around her open casket in solemn tribute. Norman Mailer was there. And John Irving. Maya Angelou was there. So were Sonny Mehta, Tina Brown, Judith Regan, and a number of prominent editors and literary agents. All to pay their respects. To mingle. And, Carl was horrified to observe, to work the room. Because Betty had still had a few money clients in her stable, and now they were on the loose. Most notably Norm Pincus, the balding, splayfooted little shlub known to the reading public as Esmeralda Wilding, author of eleven straight best-selling bodice rippers. Agents were hovering around the tubby little gold mine like vultures, waiting to swoop down on him. It was, Carl reflected, in terrible taste.

Especially because not one of the vultures was paying the least bit of attention to him.

Hey, wasn't he talented? Didn't he have the potential to write best- sellers? Quality best-sellers? Couldn't he go on Oprah and charm the hell out of America?

And wasn't that Maggie Peterson staring at him from across the room?

It was.

Holy shit. The Maggie Peterson. Staring at him. And not only that. Now coming toward him. Smiling and sticking her hand out. The most famous, the most visible, the most flamboyant, and by far the hottest editor in New York publishing was speaking to him. She'd had three number-one best- sellers in a row. Her own imprint at Apex, the international multimedia conglomerate. She was a star. And Carl Granville knew that what he could use more than anything else right now was just a little bit of stardust. He was twenty-eight years old and burning to write the next great American novel. He had just delivered the first draft of his most recent attempt to Betty Slater, but she had died before she could tell him what she thought of it. And now he had no agent, no money to pay this month's rent, and no reason whatsoever to believe that his next payday would arrive any sooner than the twenty-fourth of never. But suddenly there was hope. Maggie Peterson was saying something to him.

She was saying: "I don't know whether to hire you or fuck you."

Carl had to admit, she got his attention.

Everything about Maggie Peterson was calculated to get attention. The severe blue-black pageboy hairdo that had been cropped sharply at the chin, with what looked to be a hatchet. The wide slash of bright red lipstick. The matching skintight black leather jacket and trousers. This was a highly charged woman, most likely forty, a lean, tightly coiled whippet who exuded energy and sexual challenge. This was a very sexy predator. A meat eater. And right now she was eyeballing him up and down as if he were a T-bone steak, medium rare.

Carl glanced around just to make absolutely, positively sure that he was the person Maggie had said those words to. He was. So he cleared his throat and took his shot. "If I have a choice," he said, smiling, "I need the job more." Maggie didn't smile back. He got the feeling that smiling was not usually on her agenda.

"I read those murder mysteries you ghosted for Kathie Lee," she said, gazing up at him. "I liked them. I liked them a lot."

That would be Kathie Lee Gifford. Not his proudest creative moment. But a job was a job.

"Betty got that for me," he said, and modestly shrugged his broad shoulders at Maggie, feeling the twinge in the left one that was always there. A Penn power forward who was now playing over in Greece had given that to him under the boards his senior year. Carl had started at point guard for Cornell for three years, a smart, determined floor leader, a good passer, an accurate shooter. He was the complete basketball package. He had it all-everything except the height, the vertical leap, and the foot speed. He was an inch and three-eighths over six feet tall and his weight hadn't changed, it was still 185. Although fifteen of those pounds kept wanting to drift south. He had to work out regularly to prevent that.

"Betty sent me your novel, you know."

"No, I didn't know." He couldn't help it; his pulse was definitely quickening.

"It was the most dazzling prose I've read in two, possibly three years. Parts of it were even brilliant."

There it was, the b word. The word every writer hungered to hear. And it wasn't just anybody saying it to Carl. It was Maggie Peterson, who could actually do something about it.

"We need to talk," she was saying now.

Carl stood there a moment, grinning. He looked no more than eighteen when he grinned. He looked, Amanda once told him with a disgusted look in her eye, like an overgrown Campbell's Soup kid, with his shiny blue eyes and apple cheeks and unruly dirty blond hair that was forever tumbling down into his eyes. He was so wholesome and innocent-looking that bartenders still asked him for his ID.

"Well, sure," he said. "Let's talk."

Maggie glanced abruptly at her watch. "Meet me at three o'clock."

"Your office?"

"I have a lunch date on the East Side. It'll be easier to meet at my apartment. Four twenty-five East Sixty-third. We can be alone there. Have a nice little talk in my garden."

"It's pouring rain outside."

"I'll see you at three, Mr. Granville."

"It's Carl."

"I thought people called you Granny."

"Some do," he allowed. Although precious few, and it had to be his idea, not theirs, and ...

And how the hell did she know that?

"I do my homework," she said, as if reading his mind. Her eyes were already elsewhere, flicking around the crowded room, restlessly searching. When they came to rest, she was looking down at the waxen body in the casket. "This really is the end of an era, isn't it?" The realization seemed to please her. She turned her gaze back to him. "Don't disappoint me, Carl. I can't stand to be disappointed."

And with that she vanished back into the crowd of mourners.

It was Amanda Mays who offered Carl the ride home in the rain.

Her same old dented, rusted-out wreckage of a Subaru station wagon was parked illegally out front in the loading zone that was reserved exclusively for hearses. The interior, as always, was littered with collapsed Starbucks containers, an assortment of coats and sweaters and shoes, notepads, file folders. Neat the woman never was. He stood there on the curb with the rain pouring down the back of his neck while she unlocked the door and threw the shit that was on the front passenger seat on top of the shit that was in the backseat so that he could get in.

Once inside, he folded his long legs so that his knees almost touched his chin. Other than offering him a ride, Amanda still hadn't said a word to him. He realized it was up to him to be mature and civil. "When are you heading back to-"

"Washington? Right now. We're in the middle of a huge team investigation of the D.C. school board. I'm quarterbacking and I don't want anyone else mucking it up. Besides, there's no reason to stay around, is there?" she said pointedly.

"Amanda, can't we at least be-"

"Friends? Sure, Carl, we can be friends." She was forever cutting in on him like this, never letting him finish a sentence. Their conversations were always fast, sometimes furious, rarely linear. It was the way her mind worked-in overdrive.

"Well, do you want to get-"

"A cup of coffee? No, thanks. I just don't think I can handle that much friendship today."

The Subaru didn't particularly want to start. The engine was balky and reluctant. And when Amanda finally pulled away from the curb, it started clanking, regularly and loudly.

"You're not going to drive this thing all the way back to D.C. sounding like that, are you?"

"It's fine, Carl." The day they'd broken up was the day she'd stopped calling him Granny. "It's been making that noise for the last seven thousand miles."

"But-"

"It's nothing. So just shut up about it, will you?" She floored it, just to prove her point. He closed his eyes and held on for dear life, remembering.

Remembering them.

They'd met at a pub party for a mutual friend's book. And for eighteen months, two weeks, and four days after that, they had been inseparable. She liked the Velvet Underground, the Knicks, and cold pizza for breakfast. She was pleasantly round in all of the places she should be and enviably taut in all of the others. She possessed great masses of rust-colored hair that tumbled every which way, impish green eyes, a smattering of freckles, and the most kissable mouth he had ever personally kissed.

Remembering their nights together. Making love, talking into the dawn, making love again. And again.

Remembering how she made him feel: warm and excited, exhilarated and insecure, always so alive. Amanda was tremendously warm and passionate and even more tremendously opinionated. She was also a pain in the ass. Not easy to get along with. Intense, spiky, and stubborn. She was the smartest person he had ever met and, sitting next to her now, Carl realized with a touch of regret that her approval and respect still meant everything to him.

Remembering how it had ended between them.

Badly, that's how.

Mostly, she'd said, she wanted him to get real. Like she had. After years of scratching around as a freelancer, living month to month in a crummy studio apartment, she had decided that what she really wanted more than anything else in the world was a life. A good job. A nice place to live. Commitment. Him. She had found the good job-deputy metro editor of the Washington Journal. And D.C. was the perfect place for her. She loved politics, it was her passion. That was where they were different. Numbers were his. As in 30.1 and 22.9, which were Wilt Chamberlain's scoring and rebounding averages per game for his career. Or .325-Dick Groat's batting average in 1960, when he beat out Norm Larker for the National League batting title on the last day of the season. Still, there was a good job waiting there in D.C. for him, too. Hell, a great job. The Journal was looking for someone to cover sports as a form of popular culture, not a game. Profiles. Think pieces. It might even lead to a column. But he had turned it down. The job would have been all-consuming, and he refused to abandon his book. He also refused to abandon New York, so, furious, she had gone without him. She had not understood. How could she? She was thirty then. He was twenty-seven-which, in gender evolution, meant she was somewhere between nine and twelve years ahead of him on the maturity scale. He knew he was giving up something special. But he could not change how he felt.

He just plain was not ready to get real yet.

That had been almost a year ago. And now they were hurtling through the rain-slick streets of New York in her car and they had nothing much to say to each other. She took Madison up to Ninety-sixth and shot across Central Park on the Ninety-seventh Street Transverse. Carl lived on 103rd between Broadway and Amsterdam, one of the only blocks on the entire Upper West Side that had somehow managed to elude gentrification. It was a street of scruffy, grimy tenements where unemployed Latino men sat on stoops all day drinking cans of Colt 45 they bought from the bodega on the corner.

"Since when are you and Maggie Peterson so tight?" she asked.

"She read my novel. She liked it."

He waited for her to be happy for him. Or even impressed. But there was nothing. She gave him nothing.

"I wonder if the gossip about her is true," Amanda said.

"I doubt it." He glanced over at her. He hated it when she sucked him in like this. "Okay, what gossip?"

"When she was editor of the Daily Mirror in Chicago, she broke up her top columnist's marriage."

"What, she was having an affair with him?"

"She was having an affair with him and his wife."

"No way."

"Way. Believe me, way."

"She just wants to talk," he said as casually as he could.

"She wants a lot of things. Including her own talk show on the Apex network.

She'll probably get it, too. She and Augmon are totally tight." Augmon being Lord Lindsay Augmon, the reclusive British-born billionaire who had personally built the Apex empire, piece by piece: the TV network, the movie studio, newspapers in London, New York, Chicago, and Sydney, magazines all over the world, book publishing houses in New York and London, international cable franchises. Lindsay Augmon cast a wide and powerful net, and Maggie Peterson was his biggest, hungriest shark. His miracle worker. She was the woman with the sizzle. The Mirror had been failing when she took it over, and she raised its circulation by 25 percent in six months. From there she took two of his moribund monthly magazines and turned them into must-read trendsetters. And now she had put his publishing house on top.

"She never likes to stay anywhere for very long," Amanda added. "She doesn't like to manage. Her job is to come in and make a big splash."

Carl nodded, wondering just what sort of splash Maggie Peterson had in mind for him.

"Have you met anyone?" he asked her over the clanking of the engine.

"Tom Cruise," she answered. "It's hot and heavy. But keep it to yourself, okay? We don't want Nicole to find out." She pulled a cigarette out and lit it from her lighter, filling the car with smoke. "And I swore I'd never get mixed up with a married man."

Carl rolled down the window so that he could breathe, the rain pelting him. "When did you start smoking again?"

"Guess," she said sharply. Too sharply, and she knew it. She softened. "How about you?"

"Never. Nasty habit. Bad for the wind."

"I meant-"

"I know what you meant. And the answer is no. Starving artists aren't very popular these days."

"Starving artists were never popular."

"Now you tell me," he said, grinning at her.

"Uh-uh," she said, shaking her head. "It won't work, so don't even try it."

"What won't work?"

"The Granny grin. I'm wearing a Kevlar shield now. It bounces right off me."

"Look, Amanda ..." He reached over and took her hand. She pulled away. "Please don't," she said quietly. "Don't tell me you're confused and you don't know how you feel. Because I'll tell you how you feel, Carl. You feel relieved."

He fell silent after that. They both did.

"I guess it was too soon," she said finally. "It still hurts too much. Maybe ... maybe we can try again next year."

"I will if you will," he said gamely.

"Done," she said, stubbing out her cigarette.

Carl's street was largely deserted. Thanks to the rain, the idlers had been driven inside. She pulled up with a screech in front of the beat-up brownstone Carl had lived in since he first moved to New York. He had the front apartment on the fourth floor, a studio that was hot in the summer, cold in the winter, and noisy all year round. The waterbugs and the mice didn't mind, and neither did he, but Amanda had despised it. They had always stayed at her place, which had heat and hot water and other such luxury amenities.

A very attractive young blonde was trying to wrestle an old overstuffed chair in through the front door of his building. She wasn't having much luck. The chair was getting all wet and so was she. The T-shirt and tight jeans she was wearing were thoroughly soaked.

"New neighbor?" Amanda asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Upstairs." He nodded. "She moved in last week."

"She's not," Amanda said.

"Not what?"

"Wearing a bra. That is what you were thinking, isn't it?"

He turned to stare at Amanda. "It might surprise you to learn that I'm not always thinking what you think I'm thinking."

Her eyes searched his face carefully, as if she was trying to memorize how it looked. "You're absolutely right," she said gravely. "That would surprise me."

"Watch out for the pothole," he warned her as he climbed out. It was a broad, deep one in the middle of the block. It was really more of a crater. And, of course, she accelerated right into it. Would have lost a hubcap, too, if she'd had any hubcaps left to lose. Carl watched her cross Broadway and disappear down the street, feeling rueful and glum and dissatisfied and lonely. He shook it off and started inside. But the chair and the very wet blonde were in his way.

"You're not planning to carry that thing all the way up to the fifth floor by yourself, are you?" Carl asked his new neighbor.

"I sure am," she replied. She possessed a soft, cotton-candy voice and the biggest, bluest, most arresting eyes that Carl had ever seen. Her silky blond hair glistened with moisture. She wore hot pink lipstick and matching nail polish. She was a tall girl, nearly six feet in her steel-toed Doc Martens. "I found it around the corner on the street. Can you believe someone was throwing it out?"

The chair was covered in green vinyl. And huge. Not to mention hideous.

"I can't believe anyone bought it in the first place," he said.

"Well, I think it's perfect. Particularly because I don't have a chair and I need one. Only it won't fit through the damned door." She began chewing fretfully on her luscious lower lip.

Carl stood there thinking that it had been a long time since he'd dated a woman who wore hot pink nail polish. Come to think of it, he had never dated a woman who wore hot pink nail polish. Amanda's nails were unpainted and bitten to the quick.

"Sure it will," he said bravely. "We just have to angle it, that's all." He bent down and grabbed an end, trying as hard as he could not to stare at her nipples, which protruded right through her wet T-shirt, large and rosy and in his face.

"This is very nice of you."

"No problem," he grunted. "Neighbors do these things for each other. That's what holds this cruel, dirty city together. Besides, if I don't help, I can't get in out of the rain."

Together they angled it through the vestibule and wrestled it to the bottom of the stairs, where they dumped it. It was heavy and ungainly.

"I'm the Granville whose buzzer is right below yours, by the way. Carl goes with it. What goes with Cloninger?"

"Toni. With an i."

"Nice to meet you, Toni with an i. You new to the city?"

"Just moved from Pennsylvania. I'm an actress. Oh, God, that sounds so funny to say out loud, doesn't it? I want to be an actress. Mostly I've just done some modeling and stuff. And taken a ton of classes. How about you? Do you model, too?"

"Keep talking to me like that and I'll curl right up on your welcome mat and never leave."

"There's another thing I have to do-get a welcome mat," she said, smiling at him.

She had a wonderful smile. It made the entire lower half of his body feel like it was suspended in warm Jell-O. He took a deep breath, sizing up the logistics of chair and stairs and banister. "Okay, I'll push, you pull. On three. Ready?"

"Ready. Did I remember to say this was real nice of you?"

"You did. But feel free to keep right on saying it."

He pushed, she pulled, and somehow they managed to force the big, horrible, overstuffed thing all the way up to the second-floor landing, where they rested. Only three more flights to go.

"Can I ask you something personal?" she said, huffing and puffing. "I keep hearing this ba-boom, ba-boom noise coming from your apartment every morning. What exactly are you doing?"

"Banging my head against the wall. I'm a writer."

She let out a laugh, which was just as wonderful as her smile. It was big and easy and genuine. "I've never lived over a writer before. This may take some getting used to."

"Oh, you'll learn to love it. In fact, pretty soon you'll wonder how you ever got along without me."

She eyed him with flirty amusement. "Seriously, what are you doing?"

"It's my heavy bag. A sixty-pound Everlast. I work out on it every morning." He picked up his end of the chair. "You never know what might come up." His lower back was in spasms by the time they reached the fourth floor. "I'm feeling uncommonly generous. Why don't you just leave this at my place? You can come visit it anytime you want."

"One more flight, Charles."

"Carl."

Her place was a studio like his, but the ceiling was lower and it felt even more cramped. She had very little in the way of possessions: a bed, a dresser, a TV, a cactus that looked dead, although Carl wasn't exactly sure how you could tell with cactus plants. There was still some stuff in cartons. The chair went in an empty corner, facing the TV.

"The least I can do is offer you a beer," she said gratefully.

"The least I can do is accept," he replied, waiting for her to move toward the refrigerator. But she made no move toward anything. "I don't actually have any beer," she admitted.

"Do you always make such empty offers?"

"It's not empty. You know Son House?"

"The blues bar down on Ninth Avenue?"

She nodded. "I wait tables there most nights, eight to two. Stop by and I'll treat you to a brewski. Deal?"

"I don't know. I'll have to think about it," he said. He looked at this gorgeous creature not two feet away from him. Then he pictured Amanda, angry as ever, hurtling through the pothole. "Okay, I thought about it," he said. "It's a deal, Toni with an i."

Read More Show Less

Interviews & Essays

On Thursday, July 8th, barnesandnoble.com welcomed Peter Gethers to discuss GIDEON.

Moderator: Welcome, Peter Gethers! We are so pleased that you could join us tonight to discuss your new thriller, GIDEON. How are you doing tonight?

Peter Gethers: Hello. I'm doing absolutely wonderfully tonight. I guess it's seven o'clock -- so I'll start answering questions now.


Gayle from Fairview, KS: Mr. Gethers, I would like to express my condolences on the passing of Norton. I enjoyed reading about his antics. Is it too early to ask if there is another (different yet special) cat on the horizon? You were wonderful as his Human. Best wishes, Gayle.

Peter Gethers: Thank you, Gayle. I appreciate it. There is no new cat on the horizon. It seems impossible to me to get another cat as wonderful as Norton. But everyone tells me I'll change my mind eventually. So I trust that one of these days I will. In the meantime, in addition to another Russell Andrews thriller, I'm writing the third and final installment in the life of Norton. It's called THE CAT WHO'LL LIVE FOREVER and I should be finished with it sometime after the 1st of the year.


Jainee from Brooklyn, NY: How would you describe the plot of GIDEON?

Peter Gethers: It's a big-time thriller. It's hard to take a 450-page book and condense it into a brief description but I'll try: A young and talented writer is hired to ghostwrite a memoir. He's told that the real person he's ghosting must remain anonymous. He will only know him as "Gideon." He'll be fed information and he must write the book quickly -- it must be published in six weeks. As he receives material and starts writing, he realizes he's doing something bad -- he's writing about a crime that was committed 50 years ago that could ruin someone's life now. He goes to the editor to tell her he won't do it -- and she's dead. He goes to the publisher -- who's never heard of the writer or of the book or of GIDEON. When he goes home, his apartment's been ransacked and his computer's been destroyed -- along with all traces of the manuscript. He calls the police -- and they try to shoot him down. He runs to his girlfriend's apartment -- and she's been murdered, too. So now he's on his own, with no one to turn to (except an ex-girlfriend who lives in D.C.). His only hope is to reconstruct what he learned from the notes and to try to find the real-life Gideon -- before he's murdered himself.


Ellen from Portland: What type of research, if any, did you do for this book?

Peter Gethers: I did a lot of research! I had to learn about communications satellites, for one thing. I also had to learn about the business of media -- one of the villains in the book is a Murdoch-type media mogul. So I had to learn about the finances of that kind of business. There was also a lot of geographical research, mostly down south. Last but not least, since I'm in publishing -- an editor at Random House, Inc. and a longtime publisher myself, I already knew a lot of the publishing background. But even that required a bit of research. Plus, there was some political research -- to find out what would happen at political conventions if certain things in our plot actually occurred.


Elise from San Francisco: Any particular inspiration for the plot of GIDEON? Just wanted to tell you I love your books!!

Peter Gethers: Thanks, Elise. I think I love you! And the inspiration came from observations on what's going on in today's world. I was very concerned about the way the media can manipulate our thoughts. Huge media conglomerates -- who run TV stations and publish many newspapers and magazines -- can actually make us think what they want to think. For instance, if they say that someone is guilty of a crime, and repeat that statement often enough, it's almost impossible to convince people that that person's not guilty. That was the basic inspiration. It was a scary thought which turned into a scary, I hope, thriller.


Robert from Hampton Bays: Hello, Peter Gethers. I heard some anecdote about Anthony Hopkins being a huge fan of your Norton books. How did that happen and did he ever plan on making a movie about A CAT ABROAD?

Peter Gethers: Tony Hopkins is a fan of Norton's and those books. His wife is the real fan -- she's a cat nut. This is the opening anecdote of the new Norton book that I'm writing -- called THE CAT WHO'LL LIVE FOREVER -- so I hate to give it all away. But basically, Tony and his wife, Jenny, were in Sag Harbor, where I live some of the time. They were here for a premiere of one of his movies. I'd been invited and couldn't figure out why. People just kept saying that "Tony really wants you to come." I didn't have a clue who "Tony" was. Then, when we were introduced, he asked if I'd brought Norton. I realized that when he knew he was coming to Sag Harbor, he realized that was where Norton lived -- so he was the one who'd invited me to the premiere. I had to tell him I didn't usually bring my cat to the movies (note, I said "usually"). So I wound up bring Norton -- at the Hopkinses' request -- to the postpremiere party. Norton, needless to say, was the hit of the ball. And no -- Hopkins never thought about making a movie about me and Norton. I think he realized I was much better-looking than he was and couldn't possibly hope to live up to that.


Kate from Hanover, NH: I understand that you are an editor at a major publishing firm. How did the insider's perspective affect the writing of GIDEON?

Peter Gethers: It had a lot to do with the writing of GIDEON. For one thing, it's an area I know a lot about -- and I think what you read is pretty realistic. I liked the idea of using publishing as a base for a thriller. Part of the appeal of this book, I think, is that it's like a Hitchcock movie -- a normal, nonsuperhero-type innocent guy is caught up in something much bigger than he realizes. And publishing seemed like a good area from which to take a normal guy.


Leon from Chicago, IL: As a publishing-world insider, what are your thoughts on the consolidation of the major publishing houses? Do you think this will affect the types of books that will be published and fewer first-time authors will break out?

Peter Gethers: I'm not thrilled about all the consolidation. No writer is, I'm sure. What I really think is that all truly good books will still get published. But the merger of so many houses really limits choice. Writers have fewer places to go and there are fewer editorial visions and fewer editorial overviews choosing the books to be published. That ain't good! What I think will happen eventually is that some clever people will start new and smaller publishing houses to increase the choices.


Ron Richard from Lighthouse Point, FL: How do you feel about the deep discounting that is currently going on in the publishing business?

Peter Gethers: I'm in favor of anything that sells more books and gets more people to read.


Cecil Widdifield from Santa Monica, CA: GIDEON would make a great movie! Have you given any thought about how you would cast the leads?

Peter Gethers: Cecil -- I think that Tom Cruise would make a perfect lead. Although I have a friend, Paul Eagle, who's a wonderful actor. If it gets made and we go with an unknown, I'll make a push for him.


Colleen from Seattle, WA: What inspired you to make Gideon's tale the illegible scribbling of a young woman in the Deep South in the mid-1950s?

Peter Gethers: Colleen -- it's just one of those things that happened in the mysterious creative period that happens when writing a book. I really and truly can't tell you exactly how it happened. I think, while writing, the South seemed interesting. The lead character had to search somewhere and that seemed like an interesting place. It almost, at one point, was going to be New England, but the South seemed more evocative and real, I guess.


Sarah from New York: I understand that you and Mr. Handler have collaborated on different types of projects -- screenwriting, editing, and now a novel. How were these collaborative relationships different from one another? Is it more or less difficult to write TV or film scripts together than prose?

Peter Gethers: In some ways, writing a book together is a lot more difficult, in some ways it's easier. With a TV or film script, David and I tend to have to be in a room together -- so much of that writing is dialogue, we need to say things out loud and toss ideas out and around in person. But with this book, we really did a lot of writing via the Internet. We'd each tackle chunks of the book -- 20 or 30 pages at a time, then we'd swap. He'd criticize my work, I'd do the same with his. Then we'd rewrite. The whole time, sending ideas and suggestions via the Net. Every 100 pages or so, we'd get together and then plot out the next 100 pages or so or go back over the last 100 to see what we'd left out or what didn't work within the book as a whole. It was extremely fun. Much more fun than writing a book by yourself -- which is very solitary and lonely work. Torture, in fact!


Eric from Arlington, TX: Peter, I really loved GIDEON! Are you planning on writing another book with David Handler? Can you tell us anything about your next book?

Peter Gethers: "Russell Andrews" is already 100 pages into the next thriller. It's called SLASH. It should be finished by spring 2000, out in fall 2000 or early in the year 2001!


Ned from Pittsburgh, PA: When do you find the time to write your books holding down a full-time job? What type of writing schedule do you keep?

Peter Gethers: I guess I'm a workaholic. I tend to work all the time. Luckily for me, I don't have to go into an office -- I work at home, so my time's my own. Random House, Inc. can keep me really busy -- but there are also stretches when I have almost nothing to do for them. I am fairly disciplined, which you have to be to write. From now until October, I'll basically spend four to six hours a day writing -- I'm working on two books, believe it or not -- and then spend a couple of hours a day editing or reading for Random House.


Sigi from Berkeley, CA: Who was the character of Amanda based on?

Peter Gethers: It is a combination of my lovely girlfriend and David Handler's lovely girlfriend.


Manny from Georgetown: What does GIDEON mean? How did you pick that name?

Peter Gethers: Believe it or not, the original title was "Titus." Just as the book was about to be printed, we found out that a movie was coming out with the same title and we needed to come up with another title. GIDEON sounded vaguely important and had the same ring as Titus and that's why we chose it.


Peter from Williamstown, MA: Are PB&J sandwiches and a cold glass of milk your favorite meal, too? Loved GIDEON!

Peter Gethers: Yes, definitely my favorite meal, followed by a banana split.


Clark from Richmond, VA: Have the movie rights been bought for GIDEON? It would make a great flick! Would you want to write the screenplay?

Peter Gethers: I am desperate to write the screenplay of GIDEON. It is going out to the studios sometime in the next couple weeks.


Andrew from Los Angeles, CA: What are some TV or film projects that you have been involved with? Which are you most proud of?

Peter Gethers: David and I were on the staff for the first year of a hit sitcom called "Kate and Ally," and on my own I was the script doctor of a Harrison Ford movie directed by Roman Polanski called "Frantic." I liked that movie a lot.


Ollie from New York: What are some sure-fire techniques that you use to keep up a fast-paced plot like GIDEON has?

Peter Gethers: Good question. Basically we just racked our brains to keep things as fast paced as possible. Usually I just called my friend Paul Eagle and conned him into giving me good plot suggestions.


Ted Schwartz from Clarksdale, MS: Did you or your writing partner ever live in Mississippi? The level of detail you described can only come from a native!

Peter Gethers: I never lived in Mississippi. Neither did my partner. However, I've traveled there quite often, and love it. I have a good friend named Eric Gunthers who lives down there, and I visit him whenever possible.


Ron from Florida: Is it really possible for an unknown writer to have his/her first novel published? Or is the dreaded slush pile still in existence?

Peter Gethers: The dreaded slush pile is still in existence. But every so often, something good comes out of it. And yes -- it's definitely possible to publish a book for a first-time writer. Everybody's a first-timer at some point. The key is, to tell you the truth, to get a good agent before you do anything else!


Moderator: I understand that you launched the Library of Contemporary Thought series for Ballantine Publishers. What can you tell us about this series? What great writers are lined up this fall?

Peter Gethers: Thanks for asking. I love the Library of Contemporary Thought (or LOCT as I think of it). The series has been quite successful so far -- the most popular book in the series was by Jimmy Carter, called THE VIRTUES OF AGING. This past month I published a superb book by Jonathan Kellerman (a terrific thriller writer as I'm sure everyone knows), called SAVAGE SPAWN: REFLECTIONS ON VIOLENT CHILDREN. It's a very smart and controversial look at the horrible violence in places like the Colorado high school -- and what can be done with these sociopathic young killers. In the fall, my single favorite book in the series is coming out (in October). It's called A JERK ON ONE END: REFLECTIONS OF A MEDIOCRE FISHERMAN. It's by Robert Hughes, who's a genius, and even if you don't like fishing (which I don't!), it's an incredible book.


Jim from Dallas: Can you think of any thrillers that have translated well onto the big screen? What book would you most like to be made into a movie?

Peter Gethers: I thought THE FIRM was a not-great book that was made into a terrific movie. One of the best adaptations ever was "The Manchurian Candidate" -- great thriller as a book and a great movie. The book I'd most like to see made into a movie isn't a thriller at all. It's one of my favorite novels of all time, THE MASTER AND MARGARITA. I once got hired to write a screenplay for it, but so far it hasn't gotten made.


Gero from New York: What was the worst job that you ever held and why? Can you imagine doing anything other than writing?

Peter Gethers: Worst job ever? Stock boy at Alexander's Department Store. I can't imagine doing anything but writing, and I hope I never have to imagine such a thing!


Megan from bn.com: What three books would you recommend to your fans as great summer reads?

Peter Gethers: I'd like to recommend about 100 books! But three, off the top of my head, are: 1) The ELMORE LEONARD WESTERN ROUNDUP #1: It's a collection of Leonard's little-known westerns (three of them), and they're fantastic. One, 40 LASHES LESS ONE, is absolutely brilliant. 2) I just read the new Lawrence Block, THE BURGLAR IN THE RYE, and I like him a lot. Bernie Rhodenbarr is a terrific character. 3)Peter Bart wrote a terrific nonfiction book about the movie business. It's called THE GROSS, and for anyone interested in movies, it's a must!


Moderator: Thanks for leading such a lively discussion, Peter. Do you have any closing comments for your online audience tonight?

Peter Gethers: Thanks. I'd just like to thank everyone else, too. Especially Ricky Wedgel from California. Everyone really asked great questions and I enjoyed it. Oh, and of course I'd like to urge everyone to tell friends about GIDEON so it hits the bestseller list! So long.


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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 6, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Gideon by Russell Andrews - the pseudonym for the team of Peter

    Gideon by Russell Andrews - the pseudonym for the team of Peter Gethers and David Handler

    Carl Granville (Granny) is a struggling writer in New York City. His agent, Betty Slater has died and at her funeral he gets an offer to be the ghost writer of a blockbuster. Trouble is, Carl is not supposed to tell anyone about it and will never be able to talk about it. For his troubles, he'll get $250,000 dollars.

    Carl is fed information by a source - Gideon. As his works progresses, Carl realizes that the book is more than just a potential bestseller. It's a revelation of a chilling evil and cover-up by someone with far reaching power.

    Soon, Maggie Peterson, the person who hired Carl, is found dead. Carl's apartment is ransacked, his computer alongside all the work related to his novel are eradicated. His upstairs neighbor is killed.

    Carl goes on to Maggie's boss, Nathan Bartholomew - Apex Communication's publisher. However, there are no records of a contract between Carl and Maggie - no records of money been transferred to him. As Carl tries in vain to get to the bottom of his situation, he becomes the prime suspect.

    Framed for murders he did not commit, Carl is a man on the run. He turns to the one person he can trust: his ex-girlfriend, journalist Amanda Mays. Their only hope is to unearth the real identity of Gideon.

    This is a wonderful thriller with is told from the third person point of view from the different main characters. Relentlessly paced, it is an original read packed with startling double crosses, tense pursuits, whiplash plot twists, and revelations about the nature of power and those who seek it.

    It reads in a few days. I strongly recommend it for anyone who enjoys a good thriller.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2002

    Suspense With a Sagging Middle

    One of the challenges inherent in writing a suspense novel is maintaining the thrill of the ride. For the most part, Gideon's author duo manages to keep the rollercoaster rocking but there are spots where the speed lags and our attention flags. They also need to do some research on firearms for their next effort. Technical Hint: The late cop/author Hugh Holton(Time of the Assassins, Windy City)would have put it this way: YOU CAN'T USE A SILENCER ON A REVOLVER! Automatics, yes. Does no good to use one on a revolver 'cause it won't supress the sound. And there is no such thing as a .22 caliber Mossberg shotgun. Otherwise, the plot is reasonable, the characters flawed, and thus likeable in their real-ness, and the main characters' sense of fear is well maintained. In all, an excellent first-effort. I 'read' the unabridged audio and kudos go to the narrator as well!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2001

    Minus A Star for the Ending....

    I was hooked on GIDEON from the beginning. I loved the variety of the different characters' perspectives, and I found the plot very intriguing. This would be a 5 star book, had it not been for the slightly anti-climatic ending. It seemed as if the authors had just got tired of writing and opted for the least imaginative means of revealing the mystery that the previous couple of hundred of pages had woven. Additionally, I thought there were several themes that the end of the book never addressed...details that should have been explained, but weren't. The book ends, and the reader is left it just assume that certain issues were worked out. (I won't say what these issues/details were, as doing such might spoil the plot for future readers.) Suffice to say, the book does have it's flaws, but, generally speaking, I enjoyed reading this and would recommend it to anyone else who enjoys a good mystery/suspense novel.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2001

    Shocking And Explosive Thriller....

    Carl Granville is a struggling New York City-based writer who has just received a most precarious offer. He is contracted by top editor Maggie Peterson to turn the contents of a top-secret diary into an instant work of fiction. She mentions that this is a rush job of the highest order (¿the kind of thing we usually save for terrorist attacks, wars, or dead royalty¿), and once the secret manuscript is finished, it could literally change the course of history. Carl is not told who the diary belongs to, just that the real owner wishes to remain anonymous and will be known simply as ¿Gideon¿. He is instructed to speak to no one about the project (including Maggie who says officially he does not exist) and is not permitted to ask any questions about the confidential information that will be fed to him. In return for his silence, Carl will be paid six-figures and have one million copies of his ghost-written book printed. Soon after Carl decides to take on the project, Maggie Peterson is murdered, and when he decides to come clean about the Gideon project (in an effort to cooperate with the authorities) he is told that there is no record of him or his project ever existing. That¿s when more people start dying and Carl becomes the prime suspect in all the murders. The only person he can trust is his ex-girlfriend, journalist Amanda Mays, who has her own doubts about becoming personally involved with Carl again after a rather stormy relationship. Soon they are both thrown into a world of murder, greed and politics as they go underground to catch the real killers before Carl is caught himself. Interestingly, Russell Andrews is a pseudonym for the writing duo of Peter Gethers and David Handler. Gideon is their first team effort and it is an exciting one. The book serves up an endless series of twists and turns that unravel over an exhausting 8 days. Just when you think you have things figured out, the author(s) throw another curve ball your way. This is a sharp novel will keep you awake and guessing until the very end. I also enjoyed pondering the present day implications of this plot. The truth behind the world shattering secret is all too possible in today¿s high tech information hungry society. Four stars because it missed the truly gifted mark ever so slightly...the ending was a bit bland when compared to the roller coaster ride Andrews provides between the covers, and the identity of the 'Closer' was not very imaginative. These minor details notwithstanding, this is definitely worth a buy. Enjoy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2001

    Unique

    A book about a guy writing a book...Very interesting concept. This is the first mystery book I've ever read--I bought it because the cover looked cool! The book kept me on edge from start to finish--I'd definitely read it again. Normally, writing teams don't produce worthwhile fiction, in my opinion, but this one is worth reading more than once!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2000

    A suspenseful mystery, and page turner..

    This is a great mystery novel, one that I would highly recommend to people who like mysteries that keep you guessing to the end. The authors also do a great job describing all the characters of the book, providing a nice pyschological profile of the people involved, which of course, makes the plot more intriguing. However, in a few occasions, I think the authors may have overdid the details, making me feel a little lost along the way. Yet, the story unfolds nicely, so that makes up for these minor points.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2000

    GOOD BOOK------- WILL MAKE A BETTER MOVIE!!!!!

    ENJOYABLE STORY THAT LAGGED A BIT. IT LEFT YOU WANTING TO KNOW 'WHO' BUT HOPING IT WOULD READ FASTER TO GET TO THE END. I WAS NOT SORRY WHEN I TURNED THE LAST PAGE. I WAS READY FOR IT TO END SO THAT I COULD START ANOTHER BOOK.I THINK IT HAS WHAT IT TAKES TO MAKE HOLLYWOOD HAPPY, IT WAS JUST NOT QUITE UP TO MY EXPECTATIONS FOR GREAT WRITING.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2000

    It Will Keep You From Putting The Book Down

    The book is simply fantastic. I have never read anything quite so grabbing. I personally am scanning all over the internet in hopes of discovering more fantastic works by Russell Andrews. It is just a must read book.... buy and you'll love it... gauranteed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2000

    Dont' Believe the Hype!

    I bought the book based on the other reviews and was extremely disappointed. The premise was ridiculous and the characters were weak and inconsistent. I don't fall for the all knowing and powerful evil empire which has every base covered. Then, in the end, the perpetrators practically announce themselves. There was one good suprise, but I can't say what it is.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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