A young woman is recruited to recover priceless F. Scott Fitzgerald manuscripts that were stolen during a daring heist. By a #1 best-selling author. - (Baker & Taylor)
After being laid off from her teaching position, Mercer Mann is approached by a mysterious woman with a generous offer to go undercover and infiltrate bookstore owner Bruce Cable's life to learn his secrets. - (Baker & Taylor)
A gang of thieves stage a daring heist from a secure vault deep below Princeton University’s Firestone Library. Their loot is priceless, but Princeton has insured it for twenty-five million dollars.
Bruce Cable owns a popular bookstore in the sleepy resort town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island in Florida. He makes his real money, though, as a prominent dealer in rare books. Very few people know that he occasionally dabbles in the black market of stolen books and manuscripts.
Mercer Mann is a young novelist with a severe case of writer’s block who has recently been laid off from her teaching position. She is approached by an elegant, mysterious woman working for an even more mysterious company. A generous offer of money convinces Mercer to go undercover and infiltrate Bruce Cable’s circle of literary friends, ideally getting close enough to him to learn his secrets.
But eventually Mercer learns far too much, and there’s trouble in paradise as only John Grisham can deliver it. - (Random House, Inc.)
Novelists who write novels about novelists often produce fine work, from literary fiction like Michael Chabon's Wonder Boys through thrillers (Donald E. Westlake's The Hook) and horror (Stephen King's Misery). And now John Grisham, who continues the quality run with this thoroughly entertaining thriller about a novelist who's recruited by a shadowy organization to infiltrate the inner circle of a rare-books dealer and find proof that he's in possession of F. Scott Fitzgerald's handwritten manuscripts, which, in the story, were recently stolen from Princeton University. As Mercer Mann, our hero, gets to know the captivating book dealer Bruce Cable, she runs the risk of falling under his spell and forgetting what she's supposed to be doing. Filled with lively supporting characters (most of whom are writers) and with insider knowledge of the book business, this offers a fascinating take on people who write novels for a living. And it has a genuinely suspenseful plot, too.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Approximate number of John Grisham books sold: 300 million. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.
A light caper turns into a multilayered game of cat and mouse in a story that, as with most of Grisham's (The Whistler, 2016, etc.) crime yarns, never gets too complex or deep but is entertaining all the same.Bruce Cable is a bon vivant-ish owner of a bookstore specializing in rarities, which ought to mean he's covered in dust instead of Florida sunshine. But he's an aging golden boy, the perfect draw for young aspiring novelist and cute thing Mercer Mann, who's attracted to books and Bruce and the literary scene he's created on formerly sleepy Camino Island. It takes us a while to get to the smooth-operating Bruce, though, because Grisham's first got to set up, with all due diligence, the misdeed to be attended to: the theft of F. Scott Fitzgerald's manuscripts from the Princeton library. Now, who wouldn't want the mojo associated with holding a piece of paper out of Fitzgerald's typewriter? Suspicion falls on Bruce, whereupon Mercer enters the picture, for a novel way has b een presented to her to pay off some crushing student loans. (Always timely, Grisham is.) Eventually, Bruce and Mercer are reading between the lines and searching for clues between the sheets ("We're not talking about love; we're talking about sex," Grisham writes, with a perfectly correct semicolon). But was it Bruce who pulled off the literary crime of the century? Maybe, and maybe not; Grisham leaves us guessing even as he makes clear that literary criminals don't have to be nice guys in order to be good at their work: "He died a horrible death, Oscar, it was awful," one particularly menacing bookworm tells a quarry once the stolen manuscripts go missing a second time. "But before he died he gave me what I wanted. You." How all these little threads join up is a pleasure for Grisham fans to behold: there's nothing particularly surprising about it, but he's a skillful spinner of mayhem and payback. Copyright Kirkus 2017 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
PW Annex Reviews
The opening chapters detailing an elaborate scheme to steal five F. Scott Fitzgerald manuscripts from Princeton are the best part of this thriller from bestseller Grisham (The Whistler). A sophisticated gang pulls off the theft after faking a campus shooting that causes widespread panic. The university's insurance company, liable for millions, reaches out to unemployed academic and struggling writer Mercer Mann, who has just lost her position at the University of North Carolina and is in desperate financial straits. Mercer grew up spending summers on Florida's Camino Island, where Donna Watson, the shadowy insurance company representative, believes the stolen manuscripts are; she thinks they're in the possession of Bruce Cable, who runs a successful independent bookstore there. Despite Mercer's initial misgivings about functioning as a spy, she agrees to return to Camino Island and insinuate herself into its literary community as a precursor to gaining Bruce's confidence—and determining whether he has the stolen goods. But after this promising setup, the plot follows predictable lines to a conclusion that genre fans have seen before. Author tour. Agent: David Gernert, Gernert Company. (June)
Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly Annex.