Jack of Spades

Jack of Spades

A Tale of Suspense

Book - 2015
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"Andrew J. Rush has achieved the kind of critical and commercial success most authors only dream about: he has a top agent and publisher in New York, and his twenty-eight mystery novels have sold millions of copies around the world. He also has a loving wife and three grown children and is a well-known philanthropist in his small New Jersey town. But Rush is hiding a dark secret. Under the pseudonym "Jack of Spades," he pens another string of novels-- dark potboilers that are violent, lurid, even masochistic. These are novels that the refined, upstanding Andrew Rush wouldn't be caught reading, let alone writing. But when one day his daughter comes across a Jack of Spades novel that he has carelessly left out, she begins to ask questions. Meanwhile, Rush receives a court summons in the mail explaining that a local woman has accused him of plagiarizing her own self-published fiction. Rush's reputation, career, and family life all come under threat--and unbidden, in the back of his mind, the Jack of Spades starts thinking ever more evil thoughts"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : The Mysterious Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic, [2015]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780802123947
Characteristics: 224 pages ; 22 cm


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Sep 15, 2016

What is this book about? It is about a split personality or about writers’ envy to each other? And in what connection the name of Stephen Kings' that is mentioned in almost every page? It seems that so, Oates tried to adjust some accounts between her and King, known only to her. Really disappointing.

Feb 21, 2016

Oates is adept at writing in so many different styles. Her ability to create suspense will worry the reader. Will author Andrew Rush really take on the persona of his secretly published books about Jack of Spades? When a local crackpot takes him to court for plagiarism, the case is easily dismissed, and life should go on smoothly for law-abiding Rush—except it doesn’t. It leads to Rush breaking into the old lady’s house and stealing as he slowly becomes estranged from his family. Sadly it doesn’t get better. Oates builds the tension so well in this book that I wanted to put it down, because I was sure I knew what was coming, but I had to keep reading in case I was wrong.

Feb 03, 2016

But seriously creepy in the psycholgical sense

msmigels Jun 09, 2015

"Why did I say this aloud? In fact, did I say it aloud? Sometimes I am not sure if I have spoken to myself, or only just thought something. Or, if someone else has spoken to me."
A stylishly macabre psychological thriller about the opposing forces within the mind of a writer straddling the line between genius and madness. The story builds up slowly and meticulously and compellingly.

multcolib_susannel May 09, 2015

Suspense writer Andrew J. Rush thinks he has it made until a woman accuses him of breaking into her house and stealing her ideas, and Andrew begins to hear someone else's voice- the cruel psychotic, Jack of Spades.

Feb 17, 2015

Oates’s latest work, Jack of Spades A Tale of Suspense, tells the first-person account of Andrew J. Rush, a commercially successful mystery author, dubbed the gentleman’s Stephen King, who has written more than twenty novels and sold millions of copies of his books. Rush even has a few literary laurels to boast of. He has won an Edgar, the coveted award for mystery writers in the U.S. Everything is hunky-dory for Rush; his literary pedigree is sound. But there are cracks: Rush has a dark side.

I’m not much of a cards geek, but I do know that the Jack of Spades is fitting symbolism that resonates throughout Oates’s book. The Jack is the lowest face card in the deck. The Jack is the knave, the King and Queen’s Valet. In tarot, the Jack of Spades is the resourceful charmer. Smart, with an intelligence that borders on manipulative.

Rush and the Jack of Spades are authors who write mysteries, albeit mysteries of a different sort from each other, but Jack of Spades the book, the one written by Oates, is hardly a taut mystery. More than anything, it’s a psychological thriller that plays out in the character’s head, a character that becomes exceedingly irrational as the novel builds to its climax. I know it’s weird to say this, considering how gratuitously violent a lot of books can be, but Oates doesn’t raise the stakes as much as she could here. Toward the middle and latter part of the book, Rush flirts with disaster. He starts drinking more, alienating himself from his wife, and thinking cruel, violent thoughts. Several times, he contemplates killing a male colleague he thinks his wife is having an affair with. It leads to a horrible accident. But overall I found the growing depravity of Rush’s alter-ego rather tame. It’s like cancer. Cancer is scary and daunting. Cancer can kill. But it’s a scariness that’s all too familiar and predictable. Jack of Spades has the blueprint of an engaging and complex page-turner, but for all its plucking into the destructive side of the creative impulse, the novel plodded along predictably for me.


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