Par for the political course headline from nypost.com: “Despite $5M book deal, Gov. Cuomo making taxpayers foot $2.5M legal defense tab.”
Guess who? Headline from foxnews.com: “Liberal mayor fires back after almost every candidate vying to replace him says they’d reject his backing.” Only problem is, each is as far left as he is.
Leslie Silbert, daughter of a Watergate prosecutor, earned a Bachelor’s degree and Masters at Harvard, and studied Renaissance literature at Oxford. She has worked as a private eye in NYC. She took time off to write a novel, The Intelligencer, published in 2004. It’s the story of a young woman like the author herself, working as a PI for a CIA offshoot. She comes into possession of a spy’s manuscript from the late 1500’s that someone is willing to kill to own and interpret. What secrets could it possibly have that would be relevant centuries later? The narrative moves back in forth in time between 1593 and the early 2000’s. The main character of the early part is playwright Christopher Marlowe (Tamburlaine, The Jew of Malta, Doctor Faustus), who is also a spy for those close to Queen Elizabeth. There are numerous players and it isn’t easy keeping them straight. There are also several brief lessons in history, and irrelevant oddities that add color to the proceedings. Each of the older segments begins with a quote from one of Marlowe’s works. Clearly, superior intellect is at work here. The novel is old-fashioned in its density. Anyone who prefers the streamlined works so popular today should steer clear. The writing is solid. 330 pages, it is not a challenging read but likely enjoyable for those who have the patience for complexity. That is not easy for me in this my 71st year, but I think I got most of the details straight, and an afterword helped. Does it take liberties with history? Yes, but isn’t that the case with most historical fiction? Curiously, the author has not published another book, although various sources cited that one was on the way. In fact, I was unable to find much info on Silbert’s present activities, or on book sales, although The Intelligencer is touted as a best seller at Amazon, where 88 readers have rated it, forging to a consensus of 3.9 on a scale of five. I’ll go with 3.25. The title refers to a term used to describe spies in Elizabeth’s time. Here’s the brainy beauty:
Light rain forced me to the dreaded Avenue Y viaduct and it looked like it would be more of the same ol’ same ol’ there until a young woman in a car asked about the display. She parked and approached, her mother beside her. She bought a spiritual work of non-fiction, a kids book and A Kind of Rape, a novel by Henry Kane; and her mom purchased Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem, told from the point of view of a stutterer, and a book I thought would never sell — Olives: The Life and Lore of a Noble Fruit by Mort Rosenblum. Turns out her last name is Olivo. To my surprise, the book has a strong rating at Amazon, where 51 users forge to a consensus of 4.3 on a scale of five. My thanks, ladies, and also to the gentleman who stopped to schmooze. His family emigrated from Puerto Rico long ago. One of ten siblings, nine brothers, one sister, all but four have passed away and two have mental problems.
My Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Vic-Fortezza/e/B002M4NLJE
Read Vic’s Stories, free: http://fictionaut.com/users/vic-fortezza