THE ACCIDENT by Chris Pavone

Book Quote:

“She knows that she is the obvious — the inevitable — literary agent for this project. And there’s also one very obvious acquiring editor for the manuscript, a close friend who never met a conspiracy theory he didn’t like, no matter how ludicrous, no matter what level of lunatic the author. He used to have impressive success with this type of book, even by some of his less rational authors; there’s apparently a good-size book-buying audience out there that inhabits a space beyond the margins of sane discourse. He’ll be motivated to publish another. Especially this one, about these people.”

Book Review:

Review by Chuck Barksdale  (APR 6, 2014)

Isabel Reed, a literary agent for ATM, spends all night reading, The Accident by Anonymous, the new manuscript from her assistant Alexis who was very enthusiastic about it. The book has startling information about Charlie Wolfe, a major media figure with major political connections that is hoping to run for office himself. The information in the manuscript, if true, would certainly end Wolfe’s career as it describes a crime he apparently covered up while a student at Cornell University.

Isabel’s agency and the book business in general have not been doing well, and she knows immediately that this new book is one that will make a lot of money for everyone. She also knows she needs to be careful with whom she works with or it could get out from under her control. She therefore goes to one of her best friends, Jeff Fielder, an editor for McNally & Sons, Inc. Soon after meeting with Jeff, Isabel visits her assistant Alexis to make sure she has not given away the manuscript but she finds her dead in her apartment. This leads Isabel to fear that the wrong people may be working to assure The Accident is never published.

The author of The Accident is very intent on assuring the book is published and has gone to many lengths to stay hidden and to assure that the book is given to the right people. Slowly throughout this novel, more and more information is given about the author, his life and what he has done to assure the story about Charlie Wolfe is revealed. Some of what is revealed is not that surprising while others are major twists that only add to making this an even more enjoyable read.

Hayden Gray, a CIA operative apparently working on his own time, is working with Charlie Wolfe to assure that The Accident is never published. He seems willing to take whatever means are necessary to find out who and where the author of the book is and to eliminate all copies of the manuscript. These conflicting objectives and challenges lead Isabel Reed, Jeff Fielder and many others on one long adventurous day in this very entertaining book.

Pavone includes a lot of characters in the book, along with lots of twists and really you need notes to keep track. I normally do this when reading a book I’m reviewing, but if you are not one to do it, you will need to do it for this one or you probably will get lost. Pavone also likes to change the point of view through many of these characters as well. He rewards the reader with a great story if you can keep up, but otherwise you may be frustrated. Pavone also uses his many years in the book business to provide a realistic and interesting portrayal of the people and difficulties they face.

I was fortunate to meet Chris Pavone in Bouchercon in Albany last year, but at the time I did not know anything about him, although I certainly enjoyed my time talking to him. I was impressed though that he, along with a few other authors, were volunteering in the Concierge area where I was also volunteering. I was happy to see later that he won the Anthony for The Expats, his first novel and that I was able to obtain a copy of The Accident in my Bouchercon book bag. (As as a Boucheron volunteer, I obtained a few extra books and I made sure this was one of them.)

AMAZON READER RATING: stars-4-0from 98 readers
PUBLISHER: Crown; First Edition edition (March 11, 2014)
REVIEWER: Chuck Barksdale
EXTRAS: Excerpt
MORE ON MOSTLYFICTION: Read our review of another murder story:



April 6, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: California, Denmark, Edgar Award, New York City, Switzerland, Thriller/Spy/Caper, y Award Winning Author

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