About the Book
Andrew’s wife Cheryl doesn’t see this as much of a choice. She wants Andrew to take the money, and what little patience she has for his speculating about what could be worth more than ten million dollars is wearing thin very quickly.
But as Andrew digs deeper into the secret life that Sothum lived, he finds more questions than answers. Does the envelope contain the fate of a vanished mutual friend? The answer to a terrible cosmic riddle? The confession to a crime? Is Sothum just playing a final private joke? Or has Andrew become a pawn in a game–a game that Sothum died playing against a bigger opponent than Andrew can imagine?
Blog Tour Schedule: June 4 to 30, 2012
|Monday||4-Jun||Live to Read|
|Thursday||7-Jun||Chronicles of Illusions|
|Monday||11-Jun||Candle Beam Book Blog|
|Friday||15-Jun||The Transformational Editor|
|Saturday||16-Jun||Books are Magic|
|Sunday||17-Jun||Me and Reading|
|Tuesday||19-Jun||Beck Valley Books|
|Wednesday||20-Jun||Books, Books, The Magical Fruit|
|Thursday||21-Jun||Turning the Pages|
|Friday||22-Jun||Sticking to the Story|
|Alchemy of Scrawl|
|Saturday||23-Jun||Lissette E. Manning’s Blog|
|Sunday||24-Jun||The Trust Blog|
|Monday||25-Jun||My Life with Books & Boys|
|Wednesday||27-Jun||Sweeping the USA|
|Thursday||28-Jun||Bless their Hearts|
|Friday||29-Jun||My Devotional Thoughts|
|Saturday||30-Jun||The Graveyard Press|
|Only God Can Make a Tree|
|Write Panic Live|
|Novel Publicity Twitterview|
Learn More about the Author, Edmund Jorgensen
Read Chapter One
The Law Offices of X, Y, and Z
By the time Buddy Johnston vanished, his humiliation had become so abject, and so public, that I don’t suppose many people would have been shocked if he had washed up one morning on the banks of the East River with rocks in his pockets and stones in his shoes. But after more than ten years of acquaintance—or friendship, as he and I both charitably called it—I knew Buddy too well to imagine that he could have committed suicide without leaving a note. A note at the very least, and more likely a tract, a manifesto, a complaint in the classical sense and quite possibly in classical meter. He was just the sort of man who could have begun composing a suicide note and so lost himself in admiration of his own prose style and depth of feeling, become so overwhelmed by the pathos of his own situation, that he forgot entirely he had intended to do away with himself. Then he would have published the note in The New Yorker with an introductory remark explaining how writing had “literally saved my life.”
During most of those years of friendship I would have laughed at the suggestion that I would someday feel sorry for Buddy, not only because he had so much that anyone would have envied—the moneyed family, two bestsellers, those famous affairs—but more importantly because I knew deep down that he was a closer friend to Sothum than I was, and someone whom Sothum considered almost an intellectual equal. But Buddy believed that merely by virtue of his being Buddy Johnston he deserved everything he had and more, and the strength of this belief made him unusually vulnerable to the vicissitudes of real life. This belief was the keystone of his model for all order in the world, for justice and rationality, and when fortune gave that stone a few good raps—the mean-spirited coverage of his breakup with Alyssa, the terrible reviews of his second book, the mocking movie adaptation of his first—the structures of Buddy’s ego threatened to come tumbling after.
Although I might have disputed the justice of Buddy’s success, I had no immediate doubts that he would be restored to it quickly. I was sure that he had only gone to ground for a while to lick his wounds and repair the esteem in which he held himself. He lacked neither the funds to support himself meanwhile nor the network of fellow celebrities to shelter him. One of these days he would emerge from another writer’s cabin in the woods clutching a new manuscript; or from some Eastern monastery, decked out in novitiate’s robes and claiming to have seen right through the false fame and fortune to which he would so eagerly return. His big bald head would glare again in the flashbulbs, and his next book—no doubt inspired by his brief experience as a pariah—would be trumpeted as a return to form. He would resume his trips to Boston to visit Sothum one or two weekends each month, and the three of us would again have early Sunday dinners at Huanchen America’s on Beacon Street before Buddy caught the shuttle back to New York. In short, all would return to normal.
But as the months went by Buddy didn’t emerge from a cabin or return from any meditative sojourn. He didn’t wash up on the banks of the Hudson either, or the Charles, or the Ganges. He didn’t turn up anywhere, though eventually there were quite a few people looking for him. There were publishers looking to give him money and tax men looking to take it away. There were journalists looking to scoop his story and women looking to tell him off or to console him. After a while there were detectives hot for evidence of foul play. And eventually I joined the search party myself, hoping against hope to disprove my growing suspicion that Sothum had somehow been involved in Buddy’s disappearance.