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Pub Date: Sept. 26th, 1966
Publisher: Delacorte

Hunter is a novelist at the craftsman level. This means money rather than literary acclaim and recognition of competent storytelling. Turning to his own craft for dramatic conflict. Hunter presents the plagiarism case brought by highly paid hack, Arthur Constantine, against James Driscoll, who can't explain why his one-shot novel (which brought down the bestseller list, BOM, international reprint sales and a major movie) should so closely resemble in conception and treatment Constantine's all but forgotten, failed play. Hunter deals out the story like an expert professional gambler. Flashback and trial get cut in with swift and unobtrusive skill and, although he uses the bottom of the deck to come up with an overdramatic courtroom confrontation to reach a sentimentally satisfying ending, the chances are that this will bluff a readership and possibly a movie. Between the daily trial scenes, contenders and lawyers get fleshed out in flashback--(fleshed as in -pot and temptations of) all the way back to boyhood. It's the bonanza blend, even if it doesn't quite make it--courtroom pyrotechnics and technicalities, millions at stake, men and women and sex and the fine attention to detail that sets Hunter a bit above and apart from his book-into-cash-into movie contemporaries.