They say when one door shuts another opens. Over the summer, I was saddened to hear that Less Than Three Press, the publisher of my football novel “The Penalty for Holding,” had folded and, for a while, I thought that was the end of the book’s publishing life. So you can imagine my joy in learning that the work – about a gay, biracial quarterback’s search for identity in the NFL – will be reissued by JMS Books Sept. 25. And you can imagine my further delight in hearing that JMS has agreed to publish my new psychological thriller, “Burying the Dead,” Oct. 30.
“Burying the Dead” is a high stakes game of love and death set on the power courts of Washington D.C. and other glittering world capitals.
On these courts, Dimitri “Dimi” Orlov is a rising Russian tennis star whose glamorous, globetrotting career provides the perfect cover for his real day job – agent and assassin. Trained by his government from the time he’s discovered in an orphanage, Dimi is assigned to assassinate the president of the United States – a brilliant but arrogant onetime New York prosecutor who’s proved too independent for his Russian backers – by romancing and enlisting his abused first lady, Catherine Darlington.
Dimi courts the lovely, loveless Catherine at Renaissance House, a new cultural center in historic Dupont Circle that’s a front for Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), and at the US Open. There he’s shadowed by CIA agent Mitch Abramson, who has begun to connect the dots. But just as the various matches – Dimi and Catherine, Dimi and Mitch – heat up, Dimi makes a choice that could have his SVR bosses take him out of the game permanently.
Anticipating recent headlines of poisonings and payoffs, “Burying the Dead” also echoes the hit TV series "Scandal" and the works of Patricia Highsmith as well as historical tales of sporting spymasters like “A Terrible Splendor” and “The Catcher Was a Spy,” a recent motion picture. It’s a prescient but timeless story of what it means to belong in this world and what it means to be dispossessed – to have and have not.
While the book represents something of a departure for me, it continues the themes of power, dominance and rivalry that are at the heart of my novel series and this blog. It, too, is a game men play.
I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to begin this new association and to see another of my “babies” take wing.
For more, visit jms-books.com