Pulitzer Prize–winner Anderson’s posthumously published final exercise in (fictional) muckraking (Millennium,1994, etc.)—about a conspiracy as unlikely as it is dastardly.
Until recently, Ron Wright's column, syndicated in more than 900 newspapers, was the scourge of the international evil-doer set. Titled “Wright's Wrongs,” it called a spade a spade, a crook a crook, and tended to make at least a portion of the mighty titan uncomfortable. But that was yesteryear. Ron has fallen on hard times. Deprived of his column, forced to give back his own Pulitzer, he's become a pariah, scraping by as a supplier of tidbits to more reputable journalists. Actually, he'd been hoist by his own petard, so to speak, inasmuch as it had been a sensational attack on certain pharmaceutical no-goods that had led to his crash-and-burn. Turns out, they'd neatly set him up, then deftly done him in by spoon-feeding him scoop-worthy material later revealed to be bogus. Enter a second chance in the form of Hany Farabi, European correspondent for Al-Ahram, Egypt's leading newspaper, and an old friend. Hany poses a provocative question: What could connect the wealthy wife of the Saudi ambassador to the redneck founder of a notorious white-supremacist organization? Nothing, says Ron instantly. Money, rejoins Hany, plus an inimical hatred of the U.S. government. Hany's on to something, of course. Back in harness Wright goes, chasing the gold he sees glinting through the muck. It's an investigation that takes him halfway around the world, harrowing answer to Hany's question, to a little romance with an Egyptian sweetie and, yes, to a bit of personal validation as evidenced by a restored, and revitalized, syndication.
Ho-hum for the conspiracy, but the 62-year-old newshound, who takes his buffeting with Candide-like jauntiness, is an authentic charmer.