For those who haven't quite caught up with the great Dan Mallory scandal, here it is in brief - plus the link to the original article that was published in the American press. Dan Mallory is the real name of author A J Finn whose novel, The Woman in the Window, is one of last year's great publishing success stories. You know - the debut novel that went straight to the top of the bookseller charts, and got him the $multi-million film and book deal that we lesser mortals can only dream of. But it turns out that he is a fantasist of the first order, in short, a liar! I have some sympathy for him, (I say this quietly, not wishing to attract the venom of the Tweety-pies who have turned out in force to vilify him) because surely all of us who write fiction are also liars and fantasists, no? For myself, I get so far inside my characters' heads that I end up imagining I am them; when I was writing my novel about the starving Donner party folks my grocery bill was astronomical as I stocked up on oats and flour and other essential supplies. Not sure what 'grits' are but I would have bought those, too, if I had come across them in Aldi. But Mr Mallory took things a tad too far.... claiming to have cancer, sending emails purportedly from his brother, saying his parents were dead - not to mention the CV that was 'tweaked' - come on, we all do it - 'tweaked' into the realms of Disney.
Well, leaving aside the issue of all the international publishing houses that took him at his word and gave him fantastic jobs, and the academics that gave him prestigious and highly-coveted places on top-notch university courses, what makes me laugh is the one tiny thing that sticks out like a sore thumb and, surely, SURELY must have made someone, SOMEWHERE think, hang on a sec! Which is his account of being mugged in London. By someone with a gun. Really??? This was in Shoreditch, not the Bronx. This London mugger said, apparently, "Do you want me to shoot your mother-f***ing mouth off?" Again. REALLY? In Shoreditch? *Falls about laughing.*
So here's the link. Fascinating reading!! https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/02/11/a-suspense-novelists-trail-of-deceptions