As if the Palm Beaches weren’t home to enough celebs, including authors in various genres, the annual Palm Beach Book Festival imports some. From other states, that is. Nobody from outside the country, so far. They’d probably fear being locked up and deported by the guy who lives here part-time at digs on the ocean where potentates and assorted pompous asses hang out, and plays golf across from the county jail.
I’ve gotten in free to a couple of these book bashes, and managed to palm off copies of MURDER IN PALM BEACH: The Homicide That Never Died to some pretty important dudes. Last year, there was Jeffrey Toobin, the CNN cable network’s legal expert, publicizing his latest book, American Heiress; and James Patterson, the … well, as the emcees say, “Our next guest needs no introduction.”
He’s one the festival folks had to import from only a few miles away – the island where the aforementioned deporter-in-chief relaxes after nine or 18 taxing holes. Patterson may be risking deportation, too, for consorting lately with a previous president (The President Is Missing, a novel) whose wife had the nerve to win more votes in the 2016 election than said deporter did, even though he was helped by James Comey and Vladimir Putin. Donald Trump has not gotten over that phenomenon.
But I digress. At this year’s festival, I slipped my murder novel to another bigwig, Dan Rather, who was there to tout his book, What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism, but is better known as the former longtime anchor of CBS Evening News. Mary Rogan, a great gal who heads the Palm Beach Flagler Rotary Club in Palm Beach and had me address the group about my book, snapped a photo of me with Rather, and put it on Facebook.
The reason I wanted these loquacious men of letters to have my book was that I figured there was the slimmest chance one of them might decide the story warranted wider dissemination. That’s because events it delineates were true and in the public interest. MURDER IN PALM BEACH is not the usual mystery novel. It is what’s known in the literary world as a roman à clef, or, as some wit dubbed it a few years ago, “faction” – a novel based on real events and/or persons.
In the thin guise of fiction, the book discloses who the real killer of a prominent Palm Beach citizen was in 1976, revealing that it was not the man who was convicted and spent 15 years in prison. Even more important – and the main reason I gave copies to these high-profile individuals – was that the book exposes the person behind the assassination. I knew they (and everybody else) would instantly recognize the name, and might want to look into the book’s claims further. Because anyone who reads the book should be able to discern who it was (I offer to tell readers if they can’t figure it out). The event is a matter for the history books; the facts of what transpired are, I think, too important to be buried forever.
Have I aroused your curiosity? Want to delve into the same book that Jeffrey Toobin, James Patterson and Dan Rather likely have at least perused? Two are top journalists, always interested in important news events, and one is a resident of the town where this sensational, shocking event occurred and made headlines for 15 years. Who knows? Interest shown by any of them could lead to a re-examination of the case.
You can get MURDER IN PALM BEACH here, in print or eBook format: www.bobbrinkwriter.com. My contact information is on the website, so you can always contact me to discuss the book.