cover image Death by Publication

Death by Publication

J. J. Fiechter, Jean-Jacques Fiechter. Arcade Publishing, $19.95 (176pp) ISBN 978-1-55970-285-0

More of a psychological case study than a mystery, this tale of revenge should, like Martin Amis's forthcoming The Information, be of considerable interest to book people. Sir Edward Destry, a prominent English publisher, has for most of his life felt overshadowed by dashing French novelist Nicolas Fabry, a friend from his youth in Egypt. Destry lost his first and only love to Fabry, compromised his own youthful ideals for him and now must face the fact that Fabry's latest novel, The Need to Love, is obviously based on their shared past--and, what's more, has won the Prix Goncourt, making its flamboyant, womanizing author the toast of Paris. Methodically, Destry concocts a revenge only a publisher could conceive--and the worst thing that could happen to a successful novelist in full flight. Fiechter, who prepared the English edition himself, tells his droll tale neatly, though it is sometimes hard to tell how seriously he intends it, particularly in the awkwardly ambiguous closing passages. (July)