Novel of the week: The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz
Part page-turner, part literary satire, this novel is an ‘unusual mix’, but ‘a thrilling one’
Jean Hanff Korelitz’s 2014 novel You Should Have Known – a murder story set on the Upper East Side – was turned into last year’s “must-watch” miniseries The Undoing, said Maureen Corrigan in The Washington Post. Now, she’s back with an equally propulsive work – a tale of “sticky fingers in the literary world”.
Jacob is a once-lauded author who now teaches “prose fiction” at a Vermont college. One day, a student tells him the plot of a novel he’s writing – and to Jacob’s surprise, it’s genuinely brilliant. When the student dies, Jacob incorporates the plot into his own novel – which, sure enough, becomes a massive bestseller.
At this point, the novel becomes a “Highsmithian psychological thriller”, said John Dugdale in The Sunday Times. Jacob starts receiving emails from someone calling himself “Talented Tom” – who knows about his theft. Turning detective, “he tries to identify his accuser in order to silence him”.
Part page-turner, part literary satire, The Plot is an “unusual mix”, said Katie Rosseinsky in the London Evening Standard, but “a thrilling one”.
Faber 336pp £8.99; The Week Bookshop £6.99
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