cover image The Kingfisher Secret

The Kingfisher Secret

Anonymous. McClelland & Stewart, $26 (336p) ISBN 978-0-7710-0169-7

According to the publisher, the author of this entertaining conspiracy thriller is a former journalist “whose identity is being kept secret in order to protect the ideas that inspired this novel.” Shortly before the 2016 election, Grace Elliott, the book’s heroine, is writing a story for the National Flash, a Montreal-based tabloid, about porn star Violet Rain, who claims to have slept with New York businessman, automobile entrepreneur, and presidential candidate Anthony Craig. The Flash buys the story, but it’s never released. Meanwhile, Grace has a falling out with Craig’s ex-wife, former gymnastics star Elena Klimentová, with whom she has been writing a column. After Elena fires Grace, Grace decides to write an expose about Elena that proves she’s a Czech secret agent, code name Kingfisher, who uses seduction techniques to ensnare powerful men. Bodies begin to pile up in Grace’s wake as she travels around Europe gathering dirt. Readers familiar with the saga of Donald Trump and his first wife, Ivana, will have fun deciding how much of this roman à clef is based on the truth. Agent: Martha Webb, CookeMcDermid (Canada). (Oct.)