A reporter who has made his career out of lies finds himself in the middle of a plot more implausible than any he made up.
Marcus Caan (rhymes with gone, as he reminds readers throughout the book) is a rising star at the New York Globe, a thinly disguised stand-in for the city’s most famous newspaper. His articles, however, are almost complete fabrications, a Jayson Blair-style blend of aggregation and lies that he passes off as on-site breaking news without ever leaving New York. When Marcus lands a big promotion, he decides it’s time to go straight—in terms of his job, at least; he’s not ready to give up his drug habits—and travels to Detroit to write a profile of the city’s Arab-American community. While there, Marcus is cornered by Khalid, who wants his help publicizing and disrupting a local terrorist organization’s plan to detonate dirty bombs in New York. Marcus is unconvinced, but when a subsequent meeting with the man in Manhattan ends with them on the run from professional assassins, Marcus realizes he’s on the edge of a major story. But at the same time, other journalists have broken the story of his made-up reporting, so his editors are demanding his head and see no reason to believe his claims about the terrorist plot. Marcus flees, and he finds himself in the hands of Khalid’s group, working to stop the bombs from going off. The fast-paced story and generally strong writing keep the reader from noticing how much of the plot is driven by a combination of coincidence and Marcus’ mistakes or how the thriller and journalism storylines often compete with rather than enhance each other. Marcus is not exactly a likable character, but that won’t stop the reader from rooting for him at every twist and turn.
A high-intensity thriller for those who prefer their Woodward and Bernstein with a little more weaponry.