from manuscript to bookstore -- the publishing process

Back on the road
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Tomorrow, just overnight, to an independent bookstore in Northampton (the Odyssey, 7pm) and the next day to do a drop-in signing at Kate's in Cambridge at 2 on my way home. Then back home for months! I like being on the road but enough is enough, time to focus on the new book. I mean, I got into this game to WRITE, right?

Posting the text of the Wall Street Journal review as requested, because it's a paid site. Thanks to Skip, who sent it along, me not being a subscribed to that site.

"The events of 9/11 brought out the best in many people: public servants and private citizens alike. Now they have inspired a personal-best from suspense novelist S. J. Rozan, whose "Absent Friends" (Delacorte, 367 pages, $24) anchors the chronicle of a group friendship to the horror of
that autumn morning.

"Friends and fellow firefighters call the brave and resourceful Jimmy McCaffery "Superman," and indeed, in Ms. Rozan's story, no fireman was braver on 9/11. McCaffery perishes while helping others to safety. Butlater newspaper articles suggest less savory aspects of his life: financial improprieties, possible links to a crime boss. McCaffery's friends -- some outraged, some anxious about past secrets --feel that the newspapers should let sleeping heroes lie. But when the investigative reporter who has been digging into McCaffery's past dies from a fall off the Verrazano Narrows Bridge (suicide?, murder?), his female colleague and lover picks up the torch and runs with it.

"Keeping the narrative pace strong and involving, Ms. Rozan tracks multiple characters -- the firefighter's ex-girlfriend, now the head of a philanthropic fund that bears his name; the semi-shady attorney who served as go-between in the fireman's covert good deeds; the reporter whose stories claim, ominously, that "the investigation is continuing." Ms. Rozan also conveys the sights, sounds, smells, and moods of New York City on that infamous September day and after. Few thrillers so effectively combine historical and imagined deeds in such a moving fashion."

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