cover image The Castle

The Castle

Jason Pinter. Armina, $15.95 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-943818-99-0

In this timely political thriller from Pinter (The Darkness and four other Henry Parker novels), a chance occurrence catapults Remy Stanton, a nice, ordinary guy, into the presidential campaign of Rawson Griggs, a New York City real estate developer who dwells in a midtown tower bearing his name, proclaims a populist message to massive crowds, is loyalty obsessed, and promises to “drain the septic tank.” One evening, Remy, a 28 year-old unfulfilled strategic planner, encounters two gun-wielding men assaulting a young couple on a Manhattan street. He instinctively attempts a rescue and ends up hospitalized with a bullet in his chest. The victims turn out to be Alena Griggs and Paul Bracewell, Griggs’s daughter and son-in-law. Remy becomes a national hero, and Griggs, knowing an asset when he sees one, immediately lures him into the campaign. Then Griggs’s opponents’ emails are hacked, Remy hears of shady Kyrgyzstan financial dealings, Paul disappears (on his own or with help?), and others whom Griggs regards as disloyal dread serious reprisals. Remy is torn between his growing feelings for Alena and his fear for self and country. The point of this parody is debatable, but the telling is skillful. The conclusion will leave some thinking “If only!” and others, “Fake news.” Agent: Scott Miller, Trident Media Group. (June)