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Reckless Mass Market Paperback – February 22, 2011

150 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Ty Hauck Series

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Editorial Reviews Review

Andrew Gross on Becoming a Writer

I’m often asked, how did you get into this trade, as my resume--an MBA from Columbia and sixteen years in the rag and sports apparel business--never exactly made a compelling case for the title: New York Times bestselling author.

But one of the great things about people writing thrillers today is that they come to their craft from disparate and compelling walks of life--lawyers, journalists, doctors, ad men, CIA operatives—and bring with them the experience of lives not spent in MFA programs and literary salons, but working amid the issues and crises that affect our world every day.

In 1996, I left my job as the head of a ski and golfwear company to take a flyer on a whim I had—well, more like an obsession. Like a million people, I had carried the lifelong urge to get out a story that was inside me, in my case a Manchurian Candidate-styled conspiracy novel called Hydra about a political takeover of the country that featured a strong heroine. I begged my wife to grant me a year, a year without income, a year without knowing where this new path would take us, declaring I’d earned it, deserved it. (She was a yoga teacher, so it wasn’t too hard to get her to agree!) Of course, we both knew that writing—to say nothing of actually selling—a first novel is more difficult than you think. The year turned into two—and then three.

I never thought I was being frivolous along the way. I always believed it would happen. I got some praise, and built on that, but I kept getting rejections too. Twenty-five of them from prospective agents. Finally, one came on board. A high powered one. My first real validation! With a ton of enthusiasm Hydra was pitched to two dozen publishers and two weeks later I had letters from all of them—all rejections again! Each seemed to contain some encouragement, but for each there was some element—the story was too political or too controversial—that got in the way. I was out of options. I knew I would not be able to write a second one. I had a family to support. But in my heart I felt I had the chops. I had no idea what my next step in life would be.

As I sat around, unsure and dismayed, I received a call—completely out of the blue, like a cheesy plot twist, except this one was real—from a woman who asked if I would take a call from James Patterson. Ahem! I cleared my throat and paused a couple of seconds, so as not to convey the utter desperation my life was sinking under then, and answered, yeah, sure, I could fit him in!

Thinking back twelve years, Jim wasn’t quite the James Patterson we know now—where everything he publishes rockets straight to #1, the top selling thriller author in the country. He was a successful writer with a plan, looking to expand into multiple storylines, and one was about four dynamic women who form this bond, this koffee klatch of sorts, to share their life experiences and ultimately to solve crimes. Unbeknownst to me, my manuscript Hydra had been handed to him by the head of his own publishing house (who originally elected to pass on it) with five words written on the cover: "This guy does women well!!!" Jim read it, liked it, and most importantly, acted on it. He was looking to partner with someone. His call changed my writing life!

Now maybe he had designs on The Women's Murder Club becoming the second most successful crime series in fiction today (after his own Alex Cross series), but I didn’t. I was just looking to scratch my way inside the circle that had been inaccessible so far, with a chance to pick up some tips from one of the best. A day later, we met for breakfast at a diner in White Plains. I bought into his vision for the characters and the story. I drove home and cranked out a couple of sample chapters and faxed them over...

And the partnership lasted seven years!

We did Women’s Murder Club books set in San Francisco, a book set in the Middle Ages, one built around a Mafia trial I was a juror on, and one about art theft in Palm Beach. And when the time came for me to go out on my own, not only did I have a platform of readers who knew and hopefully loved the books we did together, and a bit of name recognition, but I felt schooled in Thriller Writing 401. I had an idea that eventually became The Blue Zone. It hit the New York Times bestseller list and sold in 23 countries. I’ve followed that up with two other bestsellers, The Dark Tide and Don’t Look Twice.

So a quick word about what I do now: I don’t write Patterson-clones. Never intended to. But I do build on many of the techniques I learned with him, elements that I think any author can profit from, regardless of their literary ambition. Short, dramatic chapters that end on a punch and link to the one that follows. Investing your reader in the hero’s plight within the first ten pages. Lots of twists and surprises. Start with a bang.

My new thriller Reckless begins this way: a harrowing home break-in gone heartbreakingly wrong, leading to the suspicious deaths of larger-than-life Wall Street managers, a wealthy divorcee’s fears that her new love is not the person he appears to be, and ultimately, to a gripping conspiracy that gives new meaning to the phrase “too big to fail.” The events in it are current and happening, but it has characters you will recognize and feel you know well, and a breakneck ending you will not see coming.

So I always think-- how different my life would have been if my draft of Hydra had sold. I’d probably be back in the apparel business now!

A Q&A with Andrew Gross

How did you get the idea for Reckless?

Like all my books, it's never one idea but a series of elements that knit together into a story line. In 2007, a horrible triple murder took place in Cheshire, Connecticut, where a an affluent surgeon's family was tortured and killed right in their country home, and it sent a chill through me and many people I know—not just the depravity of it, but the terrifying sense of violation and invasion for parents and kids who feel illusorily protected by their successful lives. That this sort of tragedy could never find their way to their door.

Around a year later I was flying home from a weekend in Florida when a friend, who happened to be on the plane and sitting a row behind me, leaned forward and said—"Bear Stearns just collapsed."

To me, these words contained a similar profound historical importance as watching the trade towers come down, or the dismantling of the Berlin wall. A tsunami of events greater than society’s ability to restrain it. Something unimaginable happening before my eyes. I wanted to write a book about the sinister aspects of Wall Street as it connects to our government balanced against the personal stories of people who feel trapped and victim to events beyond their control—events they might have had a hand in making. So I combined the two events—one tragic, one stunning, the personal with the sensational, and that’s how Reckless was born.

How has Ty Hauck’s character changed over the past few books? What other changes do you foresee for him?

Well, when I first wrote him I had no idea he’d be with us for a while—three books. I will take a brief vacation from him on the next. What I love about Ty is that at heart he's a true romantic with his feet in the real world. He's a white knight, a true soul, in a world of questionable motives, who sees life in a simple, moral way and is willing to put himself at great risk and go up against the hegemonies of power and force that are way beyond his reach at first to penetrate or to dig out the truth. And usually it’s a kind of "quest" or "labor" for a woman he loves. In this shifting and usually disappointing world, he is someone who doesn’t disappoint, who you can count on to do the right thing. To me, that is very much at the heart of what being a hero in today’s world means.

Reckless is your fourth solo novel. What changes have you undergone as a writer from your first forays into fiction to this book?

Well, my chapters have gotten a shade longer. But not too much so, I always fight my urges to let more texture in the books, let scenes develop more gradually with the commitment that I owe my readers a fast and gripping read. I think there is a deeper sense of personal motive in my books now than before. They’re richer. I don’t want to do things just for speed—as I did with Patterson or perhaps even in The Blue Zone, which of course, has a great father/daughter dynamic which is about as "textured" as you can get. I’ve pushed back against the melodramatic more—but then again—a little melodrama is always good, critics aside. I don’t know, I’m stumbling. Always hate to try and define my own work. It’s better left to others to decide.

Why do you write thrillers?

I like to write books which engage readers with a sense of real life characters thrown into danger—I like the speed of film and the actions of heroes. And I guess I like the delivery of information in a manner that breeds suspense. So I guess I’m a thriller guy. But I would like to write more of a generational, family story about the garment business, in the manner of The Godfather—if my publisher will let me one day.

John Irving knows the last sentence of his novels and then works back to the beginning. What is your writing process?

Well, I outline upfront. These days, about half the book, enough to get myself deep into the plot and the initial characters and to know what's at stake. And to get my publisher engaged with the next book. Then I always try to stay around ten chapters ahead of where I am. I’m not a believer in the story leading me—mystery/thrillers have to be well thought out, like business strategies and puzzles, otherwise you can find yourself down some alleys you don’t want to be. I want to control the story--frankly it’s my mortgage that’s at stake, not my characters'. But truth is, there are always changes and three a.m. epiphanies that completely change course. I may wake up and throw two people in bed together and say, "it’s time, get at it"—or I may wake up and kill someone off who just the last night was safe. That’s what happened with the mom in The Blue Zone—I just woke up and said, "sorry!!!"

What writers do you admire?

Not necessarily in my genre: Cormac McCarthy for his extraordinary prose; Thomas Harris for his bad guys; Harlan Coben for his ordinary heroes; early Robert Stone for his complexity; Robert Wilson for his amazing African thrillers; Elmore Leonard for his dialogue and minor characters; James Lee Burke for his rich humanity; Patterson for how to move a story and for teaching me the trade. I’m sure I‘m forgetting a few.

Can you give readers an idea of what’s coming next from the pen of Andrew Gross?

We had a little tragedy in our family this past year. My twenty-one year old nephew committed suicide—jumped off a cliff. And as we writers do, we make sense of terrible events like this by weaving our own story around it, so I’m going back to a family story—much like in the way of The Blue Zone—about a successful brother who has to solve his unsuccessful brother’s only son’s death. Should be a good one, I think. At least it’s one that is good for me.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gross’ latest thriller starts with a crime that isn’t supposed to happen—the murder of a family who live in a storybook town in Connecticut. The murder is almost written off as a burglary gone bad by the local police force, but Ty Hauck, a former lieutenant with the force (and a former NYPD detective), now an investigator for a global-securities firm, is drawn to the case when he learns that the murdered woman is a former lover of his. The male victim, Mark Glassman, was the chief equities trader at a top investment bank. Hauck has the motivation and the expertise to connect the dots on a case whose blood doesn’t just collect around the victims but also pools into a global terrorist conspiracy. Gross’ pace and plotting move nicely from shock to shock. His descriptions, unfortunately, are unfailingly trite—every noun has an adjective, every party is “lavish,” every place is “exotic,” every school is “prestigious.” James Patterson fans (Gross coauthored five thrillers with him), old hands at focusing on plot not style, will find much to enjoy here. --Connie Fletcher --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition (February 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061656011
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061656019
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #527,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Andrew Gross is the author of New York Times and international bestsellers The Blue Zone, Don't Look Twice, and The Dark Tide, which was nominated for the Best Thriller of the Year award by the International Thriller Writers, Reckless, and most recently, Eyes Wide Open. He is also coauthor of five number one bestsellers with James Patterson, including Judge & Jury and Lifeguard. He lives in Westchester County, New York, with his wife, Lynn. You can follow Andrew Gross on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and at AndrewGross

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Cy B. Hilterman VINE VOICE on March 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have read all of Andrew Gross's books and I find it hard to say which is the best. I realize writers are supposed to give us better writing as time goes on but Andrew Gross has consistently given us great books since his first book. "Reckless" features Ty Hauck as he changes his vocation to a financial firm having decided he wanted to try something other than police work. Reckless is also very much up-to-date regarding the world financial situation with many banks and large financial institutions having loads of troubles causing some to close their doors and others to absorb huge losses. Were these loses caused strictly by the economy or were they "helped" by some rigging of stocks and other assets?

When several break-ins occurred with murders in each one, some became suspicious that the break-ins were not really that but were deliberately acted out to get rid of the financial people in those houses. The police were accepting the killings as normal high-class neighborhood robberies with things gone bad causing the killings. One of those killed had been a very close friend of Ty Hauck's several years ago and he started questioning the killings as he wondered why was this woman killed?

Merrill Simons was a well-known socialite who had just gotten a divorce from Peter Simons who was Chairman of Reynolds Reid, one of the largest Wall Street financial corporations. Merrill is now in love with Dani Thibault, who was a well-known financial player in many areas of the world. Merrill met Dani and was charmed by him so much that she fell hook, line, and sinker for him. But after being with him for some time she became suspicious of this "perfect" man.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jenna on August 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Reckless By Andrew Grossman
A Review by [...] Reviewer Jenna Arthur

Money is the cornerstone of our culture as Americans, and at the wheel of this economic machine is Wall Street. In his new novel, "Reckless", Andrew Grossman compiles a compelling story of lies, terrorism, betrayal, and tells the story of Hauck an ex-detective gone private security guru, in his journey to find the truth in two unsolved Wall Street deaths.
Hauck catches a whiff of murder in the air, picking up where he leaves off with his detective skills, using his old connections to catch facts on the headline murder case, only to discover that among the murder victims, is an old friend April, and her Wall street husband and their teenage daughter. Meanwhile, he is commissioned through is security firm to investigate the boyfriend of a high powered socialite, who is not who he appears to be. Traveling cross country and investigating internationally, Hauck along with Naomi, an investigator for the Treasury Department, delve deeper into this mysterious chain of events. The reader is immersed throughout the story in connections between murders and this mysterious man Hauck is investigating that leads to a plot that will shake both economic and political ground.
Mr. Gross does a splendid job presenting some complex facts, as well as, an easy flowing plot, which allows the reader to have the desire to continue. Starting with a bang, the story does not disappoint however, with its twists and turns, and several uphill battles, it never fully leaves the reader with the plot climax that they crave. But do not be deterred, I would recommend this compelling novel to anyone craving a story of suspense and conspiracy.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Bobbewig TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
After writing five books together with James Patterson, Gross surpasses his former partner/mentor with Reckless, his fourth solo book. Its plot, which will have the pages flying through your fingers, effectively combines murder, suspense and romance as Ty Hauck (an ex-police lieutenant and now an exec with a worldwide security company) uncovers a global conspiracy targeted at the U.S.'s and the world's financial markets. In Reckless, no one is safe -- not the financial executives who wheel and deal in the boardroom, not their families who seem to know nothing, not the innocent bystanders who by accident might know too much, and certainly not the authorities who are paid to protect them. While Reckless is a heavily plot-driven book, Gross does a commendable job in developing interesting main male and female characters (i.e. Hauck and Treasury agent, Naomi Blum). However, some of the book's more secondary characters are thinly developed and, as such, come across as not much more than serviceable. Reckless is a book I think you'll enjoy a lot when you're in the mood to read a fast-paced, suspenseful, plot-driven book with a good amount of twists and turns. Keep in mind, that the reader will likely be able to figure out some of the intended surprises before they actually occur, but I don't think this will detract much from your enjoyment.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michelle L. Beck VINE VOICE on April 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Ty Hauck, newly retired and working in the private sector (for a company named Talon), finds himself in the middle of a very complicated and messy conspiracy. While looking into the background of a client's boyfriend, Hauck finds that all isn't what he seems and may be involved in his good friend (April's) death. Following the clues, Hauck eventually crosses paths with Treasury Agent Naomi Blum who has linked April's murder with others and believes she has stumbled onto a complicated plot to devastate America's financial system. As the team sets out to unravel the conspiracy (to ruin the financial market), they realize that all is not what it seems and is more deadly than what they initially thought. Over zealous investors, corrupt officials, defunct banks, ex-military assassins, and other actors are in a conspiracy that neither, Hauck or Blum anticipated.

I enjoyed this riveting tale of corruption that reached the upper levels of government, but hate that the love that Hauck thought he found didn't last. However, for those who love Hauck, rest assured I see tons of possibilities in his future. Written in an easy to read style (short chapters), Gross' latest book "Reckless" was a joy to read. Quick paces, suspenseful and filled with thrills and chills, "Reckless" rocked and I can't wait to read the next Gross novel.
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