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Extended Audio Sample Jack of Spades: A Tale of Suspense, by Joyce Carol Oates Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joyce Carol Oates Narrator: Joe Barrett Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Andrew J. Rush has achieved the kind of critical and commercial success most authors only dream about: his twenty-eight mystery novels have sold millions of copies in nearly thirty countries, and he has a top agent and publisher in New York. He also has a loving wife, three grown children, and is a well-regarded philanthropist in his small New Jersey town.

But Rush is hiding a dark secret. Under the pseudonym “Jack of Spades,” he writes another string of novels—dark potboilers that are violent, lurid, even masochistic. These are novels that the refined, upstanding Andrew Rush wouldn’t be seen reading, let alone writing, until one day his daughter comes across a Jack of Spades novel that he has carelessly left out and begins to ask questions. Meanwhile, Rush receives a court summons in the mail explaining that a local woman has accused him of plagiarizing her own self-published fiction. Rush’s reputation, career, and family life all come under threat—and unbidden, in the back of his mind, the Jack of Spades starts thinking ever more evil thoughts.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Oates’s latest suspense tale follows the psychic takeover of Andrew J. Rush…by the secret persona he uses to pen lurid genre novels. For added fun, Oates garnishes this machismo-laden struggle with a leavening pinch of one of her favorite feminist topics: witchcraft.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • Jack of Spades[is] the distinguished novelist’s latest example of disturbing but compelling psychological suspense. Oates is smooth—so smooth that readers barely notice how she tightens her silken noose of a plot around their throats.”

    Seattle Times

  • “A chilling thriller…Gothic in its paranoia but thoroughly modern in its observations on fame’s destructive powers.”

    Bustle magazine

  • “Sleek and suspenseful…Readers are sure to be gripped and unsettled by [Oates’s] depiction of a seemingly mild-mannered character whose psychopathology simmers frighteningly close to the surface.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A great psychological noir novel…[A] tour de force…This tale of suspense makes for another high-caliber Oatesian outing, displaying flair, noir sophistication, and [Stephen] King-like flourishes.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “A mystery writer slowly becomes subsumed by his dark alter ego in Oates’ tale of literary madness…With its homages to Poe…and the horror masters Jack of Spades so admires, this latest unsettling and chilling thriller from Oates does not disappoint.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A Publishers Weekly Top 10 Book for Spring 2015
  • An O Magazine Best Book of the Season's Mysteries and Thrillers
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