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Gideon Mass Market Paperback – June 6, 2000


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Gideon 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)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (June 6, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345434781
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345434784
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #624,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

The twists and turns and surprises make this book an excellent read.
Frank Mezler (frank@americamail.com)
This book is also way too verbose, with too much text devoted to characters and situations that have little relevance to the story.
Thriller Lover
Gideon is one of those books that grabs you from the start and insists on being read in one sitting.
Elizabeth Klisiewicz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By D. Brown on June 14, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A great thriller, that keeps you guessing. I'm looking forward to "Russell Andrews" writing more books. I'm usually a Tom Clancy / Dale Brown reader, and this was every bit as good as anything by those two. The characters have a wonderful depth, and even though you know who the bad guys are early on, it still keeps you guessing until the end. Straight into my top 5 all time books. Good work Peter Gethers and David Handler, or should I say Russell?
The other reviews tell you what it's about so I won't bother. Instead I'll just say buy it, you won't regret it.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Nick G on June 8, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Carl Granville is the writer hired to take the pages of an old diary and turn them into bestselling fiction. The identity of Gideon is a secret and all the names and locations in the diary are blacked out...Granville will be fed bits of information as the novel progresses. The deeper Carl becomes involved with this project, the closer he gets to danger, resulting in several deaths, information being stolen and his apartment ransacked.
With Carl the main suspect in the murders, he must run for his life to prove his innocence and bring together the secrets and identity of Gideon. His race will bring him to need the help of ex-girlfiend, journalist, Amanda, and together the two will discover a chilling, cover-up.
"Gideon" is so fast-paced, you will be likely to finish it in one sitting. The novel does not give much information until the end, and what an ending it is! You will be guessing from the first page all the way to the end.
Russell Andrews has written a novel that teases you with plot twists, and intricately twists and turns them to the shocking climax.
A great summer read.
A MUST read!
Nick Gonnella
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By R. Rosenkranz on June 23, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's been a while since I've read a straight out thriller, and I didn't regret reading this one. To be honest, I'm the kind of reader who tends to "lurch" through books...read 50 pages, set book down for a few days, read another 50, etc. Gideon had me turning the pages and coming back every day until I finished it, so I must say that I found it engrossing.
The plot had some good twists but wasn't so complicated that I needed 3x5 cards to figure out what was going on. There were a few memorable characters, good villians, decent hero...if a bit stereotypical. Good action, high body count. Overall, I think most people would find it very entertaining.
One other opinion...the identity of the Closer was laughable. Still makes me chuckle when I think about it.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Shelagh Larkin on June 7, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Remember when Robert Redford's character in Three Days of the Condor struggled to understand why all of his colleagues were assassinated? All he could explain was he "just read books". Well, Carl Granville was hired to write a book about GIDEON. Little did he know anyone connected with him or the book would also be systematically eliminated as with Redford's character. This is a fast-moving, heart-wrenching, politically explosive ride that has this reader seeing John Cusack (Pushing Tin, Con Air, Grosse Pointe Blank)as Carl Granville and Tammy Lauren (ex-Ginger of t.v.'s Homefront and Walker: Texas Ranger) as Amanda Mays. Somewhere between the power and greed one has to know the difference between right and wrong. As the body count rises, so do the stakes. All because of ONE secret. (Actually, there are a few more stunners as well!) And these two are more than up to the challenge. In this day and age of computer technology and information databases, these two use every bit of high-tech equipment, common sense, a good bottle of hair dye and a savvy computer hacker/friend with an attitude to stay alive. There are a many twists and turns through this story and some truths more shocking than others. There is a conclusion this roller coaster ride. Yet one wonders of all the untold stories out there, how many more Gideons will never know justice or be able to rest in peace? I, personally, want to see Carl Granville and Amanda Mays get back to what they do best, investigative reporting! Maybe they right a few more wrongs after resting up at Big Willie's! :-)
P.S. There is a mistake between Page 268 - 270. If anyone spots the problem, please e-mail me at: sheshabee@uswest.net or let the author know you spotted the same mistake.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By sweetmolly on July 8, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Gideon" gets off to a good start, quickly paced and roller coaster fast. The reader's interest is speedily engaged in the "who is this happening to and why?" Somewhere around page 150, the book becomes a chore. The writing and pace become uneven and dead spots occur with more and more frequency.
The collaboration between Peter Gethers and David Handler doesn't seem to gel and become seamless. Sometimes I had the feeling I was reading a rough draft. It is difficult to accept a hero whose nickname is "Granny" and all that word implies. One of the two "deadly" assassins is an overweight, not-to-bright rogue ex-cop whose main concern seems to be furious bigotry. We are expected to believe the richest, most powerful man in the world could do no better in the assassin market than to select this dim bulb. The choice of victims is ludicrous. Those that are truly dangerous to the powerful man's schemes are overlooked in favor of innocents who have only the most tangential connection with the plot. The surprises are telegraphed so far in advance that the only person still in the dark is the hero.
There are curious lapses, as if the fact checker took a holiday. How often can one draw $1000 from one ATM machine? Why is a broken down Subaru with DC plates entirely invisible to police and FBI?
The strongest element of "Gideon" is the following of clues as the hero and his ever-loyal former girl friend get closer and closer to the answers. Their odyssey through the Deep South is well done, particularly a chapter dealing with what has to be the ultimate Elvis Presley fans.
"Gideon" has it moments; there are just not enough of them.
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