Cover image for Book Club kit : Reckless disregard
Title:
Book Club kit : Reckless disregard
Publication Information:
Amherst, NY : Seventh Street Books, 2014.

Random House Inc 2014
ISBN:
9781616148812
Physical Description:
8 books (352 pages) ; 21 cm + 1 discussion guide
Series:
Parker Stern novel
Language:
English
Abstract:
"Former topnotch attorney Parker Stern, still crippled by courtroom stage fright, takes on a dicey case for an elusive video game designer known to the world only by the name of "Poniard." In Poniard's blockbuster online video game, Abduction!, a real-life movie mogul is charged with kidnapping and murdering a beautiful actress who disappeared in the 1980s. Predictably, the mogul--William "the Conqueror" Bishop--has responded with a libel lawsuit. Now it's up to Parker to defend the game designer in thesuit. In defending Poinard, Parker discovers that people aren't who they claim to be and that nothing is as it seems. At one point, his client resorts to blackmail, threatening to expose a dark secret about Parker. Then, many of the potential witnesses who could have helped the case die prematurely, and the survivors are too frightened to talk. Parker begins to feel as if he's merely a character in a video game, fighting malevolent Level Bosses who appear out of nowhere and threaten to destroy him. "-- Provided by publisher.

"A lawyer and former child star, Parker Stern, now hobbled by glossophobia, struggles to get back to his glory days as a prosecutor in Los Angeles"-- Provided by publisher.
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Book Club Kit BOOK CLUB 1 .CIRCNOTE. *****8 BOOKS, 1 DISCUSSION GUIDE*****
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Summary

Summary

Former topnotch attorney Parker Stern, still crippled by courtroom stage fright, takes on a dicey case for an elusive video game designer known to the world only by the name of "Poniard." In Poniard's blockbuster online video game, Abduction! , a real-life movie mogul is charged with kidnapping and murdering a beautiful actress who disappeared in the 1980s. Predictably, the mogul--William "the Conqueror" Bishop--has responded with a libel lawsuit. Now it's up to Parker to defend the game designer in the suit.

In defending Poniard, Parker discovers that people aren't who they claim to be and that nothing is as it seems. At one point, his client resorts to blackmail, threatening to expose a dark secret about Parker. Then, many of the potential witnesses who could have helped the case die prematurely, and the survivors are too frightened to talk. Parker begins to feel as if he's merely a character in a video game, fighting malevolent Level Bosses who appear out of nowhere and threaten to destroy him.



Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

In Rotstein's contrived second contemporary legal thriller featuring child actor-turned-attorney Parker Stern (after 2013's Corrupt Practices), a video game creator known only as Poniard is in trouble. William Bishop, a major Hollywood power player, is suing Poniard because he claims that the gamer's latest hit, Abduction!, identifies him as the kidnapper of actress Felicity McGrath, who disappeared in 1987. Poniard, who refuses to reveal his true identity, hires Stern to fight the defamation suit. The road to the truth takes a number of improbable and convoluted turns. For example, Lovely Diamond, Stern's former lover, turns out to be Bishop's attorney-and her son has a special link to Abduction! Readers should also be prepared for some overwrought prose (e.g., "the heart is truly the reservoir of love and emotion, because my own heart gambols and twirls and finds a jubilant equilibrium I thought was gone forever"). Agent: Elizabeth James, Sandra Dykstra Literary Agency. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Kirkus Review

Now that he's survived the dark forces that were arrayed against him in Corrupt Practices (2013), tongue-tied Los Angeles attorney Parker Stern is ready to defend the world's most elusive client in a libel suit.Like Rupert Murdoch, William H. Bishop, dubbed "the Conqueror" because he'll do anything to get his own way, owns a chain of newspapers, television stations and media outlets that circle the globe. But he won't be happy till he crushes Poniard, the pseudonymous video game designer whose latest production, "Abduction!," recasts the 1987 disappearance of bipolar actress Felicity McGrath as a kidnapping at the hands of the Conqueror's goons. Even though Parker is now working for Judicial Alternative Dispute Solutions, whose members try to resolve legal disputes through mediation, Poniard is determined to drag him back into the courtroom. And Poniard's equally determined not to appear there himself. He doesn't need to answer Bishop's libel charge in person, Poniard airily assures Parker via email. In fact, Parker doesn't even need to know his client's real name or whereabouts. Understandably reluctant to represent such a will-o'-the-wisp, Parker changes his mind when Poniard threatens to make Parker's past as a child movie star public knowledge and when he sees a chance to go up against his former girlfriend, ex-porn actress Lovely Diamond, in court. Although the suit is a civil action, Poniard's defensethat "Abduction!" isn't libelous because Bishop really did have Felicity McGrath killedopens up a criminal dimension that produces more fresh corpses in the present the harder Parker looks into the past.Endless novelties, endless twists, endless complications, endless surprises in and out of the courtroom. Whatever you read legal drama for, it's here, along with a whole lot of other stuff you never thought to ask for. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Alcohol is usually the chosen Achilles' heel for fictional fighters of evil, as in private eyes and lawyers. Rotstein gives his hero, L.A. courtroom attorney Parker Stern, a refreshingly new and entirely credible hero's impediment stage fright. This phobia came on suddenly, as phobias tend to do, in the first Parker Stern novel (Corrupt Practices, 2013) after Stern's longtime mentor was found dead, a supposed suicide. In the second novel in the series, Stern has reached an unhappy solution, that of being a pretrial mediator. He sees himself as a complete burnout. But a spark remains. Stern is assigned to mediate a libel suit brought by a media mogul (on the level of Rupert Murdoch). The plaintiff, William Bishop, is suing a video-game designer for embedding clues in the game Abduction! that point to him as the kidnapper and murderer of an actress in the 1980s. An intriguing aspect of this legal thriller is the way that the action tends to mimic a video game, with Stern getting more and more enmeshed with false leads and bad guys. The real-life body count starts to mount, too, as Stern's potential defense witnesses die under suspicious circumstances. Stern is a wonderfully complex hero in an occupation that forces him to combat his limitations. And this novel's action really puts the thriller in legal thriller.--Fletcher, Connie Copyright 2010 Booklist