TEMPTATION by Douglas Kennedy


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A Hollywood writer, not content with adequate wealth, aims for filthy lucre with disastrous results.

The golden door has finally opened for David Armitage, Hollywood scribe. After years of struggling as a unproduced playwright and low-paid bookseller (while his actress wife Lucy worked as a telemarketer to support him and their child, Caitlin), David’s sitcom pilot, Selling You (think Mad Men as half-hour comedy), has been sold to Fox by his doggedly persistent agent, Alison. All of a sudden he’s a hot commodity with a hit series. Movie deals come out of the woodwork, as does money—soon David has a potty-mouthed but shrewd broker earning him pre-crash returns (this novel was originally published in 2006), and a Fox executive, Sally, showing more than professional interest. Besotted not only with Sally but with the Hollywood clout she represents, David leaves Lucy, gladly agreeing to hefty alimony and child support payments. Out of the blue, reclusive billionaire Philip Fleck invites David to his private island near Antigua to discuss making (and paying vast sums for) one of David’s unproduced screenplays. While lolling on the island in luxury undreamt of by mere rich writers, David is distracted from wondering why his host has gone marlin-fishing by Fleck’s wife Martha, who plies him with Stalin-era Stoly and almost seduces him. Fleck, seemingly oblivious to any hank-panky, finally appears to green-light the picture. To cement David’s good fortune, the Emmy gods smile on Selling You. Then it all heads south. And that’s when the real drama begins.

The pages turn at such a blistering pace that readers will happily overlook the improbable plot.

Pub Date: April 24th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4516-0210-4
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Atria
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2011


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