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From Joyce Carol Oates, an exquisite, psychologically complex thriller about opposing forces within the mind of one ambitious writer and the delicate line between genius and madness.
Andrew J. Rush has achieved the kind of critical and commercial success most authors only dream about: He has a top agent and publisher in New York, and his twenty-eight mystery novels have sold millions of copies. Only Stephen King, one of the few mystery writers whose fame exceeds his own, is capable of inspiring a twinge of envy in Rush. But Rush is hiding a dark secret. Under the pseudonym "Jack of Spades," he pens another string of novelsnoir thrillers that are violent, lurid, masochistic. These are novels that the upstanding Rush wouldn't be caught reading, let alone writing. When his daughter comes across a Jack of Spades novel he has carelessly left out, she picks it up and begins to ask questions. Meanwhile, Rush receives a court summons in the mail explaining that a local woman has accused him of plagiarizing her own self-published fiction. Before long, Rush's reputation, career, and family life all come under threatand in his mind he begins to hear the taunting voice of the Jack of Spades.
Joyce Carol Oates is the author of such national bestsellers as The Falls, Blonde, and We Were the Mulvaneys. Her other titles for The Mysterious Press include High Crime Area and The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares, which won the 2011 Bram Stoker Award for Short Horror Fiction. She is also the recipient of the National Book Award, for them, and the 2010 President’s Medal for the Humanities.