Books by Douglas Kennedy

THE BLUE HOUR by Douglas Kennedy
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 16, 2016

"Kennedy has a knack for portraying characters readers love to hate."
A dream Moroccan vacation turns into a series of progressively more disastrous misadventures for an accountant from Buffalo. Read full book review >
FIVE DAYS by Douglas Kennedy
Released: April 30, 2013

"Despite some character underdevelopment, a fine tale of lives re-examined."
Two middle-aged, ordinary Mainers have an opportunity to alter their lives through love. Read full book review >
TEMPTATION by Douglas Kennedy
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: April 24, 2012

"The pages turn at such a blistering pace that readers will happily overlook the improbable plot."
A Hollywood writer, not content with adequate wealth, aims for filthy lucre with disastrous results. Read full book review >
THE MOMENT by Douglas Kennedy
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 3, 2011

"Despite his rambling pace, Kennedy's evocative prose makes the eventual spellbinding finish worth the trip."
An American writer is prompted by receipt of a mysterious package to reflect upon the pivotal moment of his life. Read full book review >
THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS by Douglas Kennedy
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 19, 2010

"The prolific Kennedy (Leaving the World, 2010, etc.), known mainly in the U.K. and France, deserves a wider readership in his native United States."
Ex-pat Kennedy's stateside calling card is a ponderous tale of doomed love set in McCarthy-era Manhattan. Read full book review >
THE JOB by Douglas Kennedy
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: July 1, 1998

An up-and-coming ad exec tossed out on his ear finds a new job that's a bargain with the Devil, in a glossy, fast-moving, by-the-numbers thriller from Douglas (The Big Picture, 1997). "Results mean everything," says Ned Allen. Results have boosted him up the ladder to regional sales manager for CompuWorld's ad pages, and results have won him a nice SoHo apartment, a well-stocked wardrobe, a tennis club membership, and his knockout wife Lizzie, for whom results also mean everything. So it doesn't take a CompuWorld subscriber to see that when Ned's team stops producing—especially now that the magazine's publisher has been sold to a no-nonsense German media conglomerate—the results will be measured in sweat, Valium, slugs of red wine, and alienation of affection. Kennedy knows we know all this, but his hero's engagingly motormouth narration, coupled with the author's knack for magnifying his audience's pandemic low-level anxieties into full-blown paranoia, makes the first half of this cautionary tale—in which a guy with everything going for him loses it all, one excruciating step at a time—intoxicatingly readable, as Ned struggles with the unsavory moral compromises he'll have to make to keep his job, finally steels himself to make them, then gets tossed out anyway. But all Ned's cruelly well-drawn jitters, and every detail of his yuppie crucifixion, are only a prelude to his getting sucked into a new job redolent of sulphur and brimstone—and here, with the pulpy criminal plot loosed from every semblance of reality, Ned's ordeal (cold-calling, bootlicking, money-laundering, serious criminal conspiracy) becomes, if not more predictable, less compellingly so, since you know what he's going through, not because his fears are just like yours, but because you've already read this story so many times. Even so, Kennedy dishes up this familiar fare with enough pizzazz to keep you reading long after you've worked out every single twist two steps ahead of the hapless hero. ($500,000 ad/promo [with The Big Picture]; author tour) Read full book review >
THE BIG PICTURE by Douglas Kennedy
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: April 1, 1997

Kennedy's well-hyped debut showcases a Connecticut lawyer who loses his designer life to a moment of murderous rage—and then squirms frantically to avoid retribution. Ben Bradford has it all, even though he doesn't want it. Years ago he surrendered his desire to be a photographer to his father's demand that he go to law school; now he's immured in a junior partnership in his New York firm's cozy Trusts & Estates division; in family responsibilities—a second child who's keeping him up nights, a wife who's stopped loving him; in the upscale consumables that holler success; and in the excess acid that pays for it. Shattered by the news that his wife Beth prefers the embraces of Gary Summers, a neighbor who's never given up his technical status as a professional photographer, Ben sees his life held hostage to this layabout. But he's the one who gives it the final calamitous push when he punctuates an ugly scene with Gary by killing him. Desperate for confession and absolution, Ben steels himself instead to hide every trace of the murder—and since he's a lawyer with money and unexpected leisure (Beth has bolted with his sons) as well as extended access to Gary's place, it's a world-class effort that involves faking an accident that will apparently kill Ben but will leave Gary dead in his place. Ben's taut narrative, which deftly mingles yuppie angst with obsessive plotting, almost makes you overlook how ancient this gambit is, and how cheesy its pulp antecedents. The accident staged, Ben flees the scene, lights out for the territories, scans the Times daily for his obituary, settles into a new life backed by Gary's ID and trust fund—and waits for the postman to ring twice, as he does in a satisfyingly ironic way. A startlingly unoriginal story whipped up by Kennedy's overdrive pacing and mastery of detail. (First printing of 400,000; Literary Guild selection; $750,000 ad/promo) Read full book review >