September 16th, 2008

Less than 48 hours after receiving an incredibly messy manuscript, the people at Morrow have developed the copy to describe the book in their Spring catalog.  This highly truncated overview will at least give you an idea of what I was up against.  (I apologize for the type size.)


Timothy Hallinan

Innocence and evil, power and poverty collide on the neon streets and in the palatial mansions of Bangkok in this latest tale of of intrigue and suspense from the author of The Fourth Watcher and A Nail Through the Heart

Excellent. The rich depictions of Bangkok’s seedy side recall John Burdett’s visceral mysteries.” —Publishers Weekly

Hallinan’s is a writer’s writer, and this is great stuff!”John Lescroart

For American expat travel-writer Poke Rafferty, the winning hand in a late-night poker game delivers an unexpected prize: the chance to write the biography of “Pan” Wattana, a controversial, vulgar, self-made billionaire with a shady past and far-reaching political ambitions. The win seems at first like a stroke of luck – but here, as with so many things in colorful, seductive Bangkok, the allure of appearances masks something much darker. Within twelve hours of folding his cards, Poke and his family—his wife, Rose, and their adopted daughter, Miaow—have become pawns in a political struggle among some of Thailand’s richest, most powerful, and most ruthless people.

The trouble multiplies when Superman, Miaow’s missing young street friend, reappears.  He needs Poke’s help to protect an impoverished teenage girl trapped in a babyselling ring. Trying to save them and his family, Poke finds himself at the collision point of powerful forces – forces that have shaped (and distorted) Thai life for decades. And Poke’s allies against the nation’s wealthiest and most influential figures are the poorest of the poor – and especially the street children of Bangkok.

Set in the Thailand of today’s headlines – a nation where the future looks suddenly precarious – this is the story of a deadly game in which the stakes are enormous and life is literally cheap. MISDIRECTION is the most compelling Poke Rafferty thriller yet, a journey that takes the reader beyond the illusion of order and stability, into a world where a wrong turn could lead to chaos, and where love and courage may not be enough to hold back the darkness.

Timothy Hallinan is the author of eight novels and a work of nonfiction.  He has lived part-time in Thailand for more than twenty-five years.

7 Responses to “MISDIRECTION Catalog Copy”

  1. Jen Forbus Says:

    Can’t wait for its release!

  2. Mitch Says:

    Sounds compelling! I’m already looking forward to reading it. Man, they sure got that copy out fast, didn’t they?

  3. Cynthia Mueller Says:

    OOooohhhhh! I want it!

  4. Mitch Says:

    Completely forgot to ask: Since the copy did get put together so quickly, does that mean someone at Morrow has already read through your entire rough draft? Or did they gleam that from details you chose to give them?

  5. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Wow — my first reviews. Let’s hope you all like the book as much as you like the catalog. The way I’m feeling about some parts of the story right now, maybe we should just release the catalog.

    But thanks to all. It’s good to know that the basic idea pushes some buttons among discerning readers.

    Morrow got the first six chapters, which introduce most of the story strands, a couple of months ago. They had already decided on that bold-face graph at the top, although I asked for some changes after the book was finished.

    But then they absolutely inhaled the manuscript when it came in, and produced this, which I think is very good. At the moment, I like it better than I like the book.

    But that will change.

  6. Dana King Says:

    It’s great they turned it around so quickly. My only concern is that the language is far more purple than anything you use. Frankly, that’s why I read you, for the economy of languageused to convey the emotions and setting. They’re probably looking for the broadest audience, people who want a quick and exciting plot summary. It’s great for that. Let’s hope reviews convey to readers the differences in style.

  7. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Hi, Dana —

    I think it’s like movie previews, which rarely focus on the more introspective moments, choosing instead those sequences in which things blow up. Actually, it’s being revised some and will probably be toned down a little, if only because it turns out to be too long.

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