From the towering imagination of literary icon Joyce Carol Oates comes a psychologically complex thriller that examines the fine line between genius and madness.
Andrew J. Rush is a successful mystery writer with twenty-eight novels to his name. He has a loving wife, three grown children, and is well-known in his small New Jersey town for his charitable work.
But Andrew J. Rush is hiding a dark secret. Under the pseudonym Jack of Spades, he has penned another string of novels – dark tales of murder, lust and madness.
When a court order arrives accusing him of plagarism, Rush fears his secret may be exposed. And unbidden, in the back of his mind, the Jack of Spades starts plotting his survival.
'Oates's brand of horror has never required the invocation of other worlds: This world is terrible enough for her. Everything she writes, in whatever genre, has an air of dread, because she deals in vulnerabilities and inevitabilities, in the desperate needs that drive people [...] to their fates. A sense of helplessness is the essence of horror, and Oates conveys that feeling as well as any writer around' New York Times Book Review.
'Both haunting and sublime' Literary Review.
'An unsettling read worth every resulting jump in the night ... [Oates is a] literary goddess' Daily Mail.
'As usual with Oates, it is horribly readable, but driven by something disturbingly like genuine misanthropy' Sunday Times.
'Oates chillingly depicts the darkness lurking within the everyday' Sunday Express.
'A writer of extraordinary strengths' Guardian