AT MORNING PEAK
Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books
Pub Date: June,
first solely-authored novel by critically-acclaimed novelist and Academy
Award winning actor Gene Hackman, PAYBACK AT MORNING PEAK is a brilliant and moving Western, a coming of age
story and a tale of vengeance.
Hackman is co-author of three novels: Escape From Andersonville,
Justice for None, and Wake of the Perdido Star. He
is a two time Academy award–winning actor with lauded performances in
such films as Unforgiven, Bonnie and Clyde, The French
Connection, Mississippi Burning, and Hoosiers.
about his forthcoming novel in an featured interview with Time Magazine,
Questions for Gene Hackman"
for past novels
"For their third collaboration, two-time Academy
Award–winner Hackman and Lenihan (Justice for None)
competently mine Civil War lore to dramatize a prison escape. Southwest
Georgia’s Andersonville, aka Fort Sumter, was as bad a Confederate POW
stockade as the gut-wrenching descriptions here (“an Old Testament
nightmare”) attest. Union Capt. Nathan Parker, commanding the Michigan
5th (aka Parker’s Rangers, famed as a mounted infantry unit), is
captured along with 23 of his men outside Washington, D.C., during Jubal
Early’s July 1864 Confederate raid. Two months later, Nathan breaks
out, vowing to return and save his soldiers. Between the violent clashes
undertaken with his hired guns, Nathan copes by reciting Thoreau and
fondly recalling his lover, Darien Crosby. He presses his noble if not
reckless mission despite his raiders’ slippery loyalties, and the
result is a rousing take on familiar territory."
* Justice for None reached #8 on the Denver Post Bestseller list
and Endorsement Highlights
"Steeped in a sense of period authenticity…..Shades of the movie
The Defiant Ones, as Boyd and George flee the same white authorities.
Shades, too, of the mood of Hackman's first major film role, as Buck
Barrow in the Depression-era gangster drama Bonnie & Clyde…..
Hackman and Lenihan have the talent to tell a gripping story and to
paint believably complex characters. And they succeed in placing it all
in a hot, dusty American summer where the corn grows high, front porches
come with a resident lazy hound dog and lynchings are still a rural
melodrama, with all the moral complexities, last-minute revelations, and
gravel-pounding....that the genre requires....[Hackman and Lenihan's]
second historical tale recalls classic American courtroom thrillers from
To Kill a Mockinbgird to Intruder in the Dust, but is closer to John
Grisham’s recent Faulkner-Lite efforts....Great small town period
detail with standard-issue courtroom scenes....and an appropriately
bitter twist ending."
their second collaboration, [Hackman and Lenihan] mix historical fiction
with elements of the murder mystery…[A] suspenseful story.…The
authors show a good understanding of locale and time period, and [the
protagnoist] is portrayed with enough depth to make readers care about
[for WAKE OF THE PERDIDO STAR]
"A swashbuckling sea story written like a classic sea story should be written, with all the legendary action. A fascinating read you can't help but enjoy."
"Hackman and Lenihan bring a fresh perspective and lots of gung-ho enthusiasm to the historical maritime genre...the action throughout is fast-paced and exciting, sometimes surprising, and all of it drenched in salt water and realistic descriptions of the period's seamanship, underwater salvage operations and deep-sea diving...The novel's descriptions of the sailors' battle with the winds and waves are breathtakingly realistic....Fun. "
--Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 5, 1999
"The sea has always been a good setting for adventures; from Joseph Conrad to Patrick O'Brian, there has been no shortage of stories about shipwrecks and pirates. An unexpected addition to the genre comes from actor Hackman and underwater archaeologist Lenihan. [Jack O'Reilly's] adventures [are] always entertaining...Readers will absorb some arcane information [on] the 19th-century version of scuba diving. The characterization is well-done; Jack and his intellectual friend Paul are joined by an interesting, well-drawn cast of both friends and villains. Recommended. "
"Lenihan's extensive knowledge and deep love of the sea coupled with Hackman's uncanny ability to breathe life into characters make Wake of the Perdido Star a knockout of a first novel. "
--Nevada Barr, author of Blind Descent
"An intriguing coming-of-age adventure full of information about early 19th-century diving, salvage and piracy...The authors do a fine job of blinding historical and technical details into their narrative. Of particular interest are sections—including a well-constructed, exciting ending—in which the crew of the Star must learn to accomplish takes modern sailors take for granted: how to stay under water for more than five minutes without drowning and how to refloat a sunken ship."
--Publishers Weekly, September 6, 1999
"In Wake of the Perdido Star, Jack O'Reilly leads a memorable crew of characters on an astonishing globe-circling adventure. Hackman and Lenihan have crafted an epic tale of honor and betrayal, of revenge and hope, and ultimately justice and redemption. "
--Tom Grace, author of Spyder Web
"An American swashbuckler [with] satisfying action and rousing derring-do. "
"A stirring yarn, filled with heroes and villains who are larger than life, with a knowledge of seamanship and the diving technology and physiology of the day that equals the great sea writers who have set the standard. "
--Arthur J. Bachrach, Ph.D.
Historical diving expert; contributor to The British Museum Encyclopaedia of Underwater and Maritime Archaeology
"A rousing good tale...the action explodes off the pages...It's rare to find good action backed by solid research and knowledge of the sea. "
--James Delgado, President, Council of American Maritime Museums
"It's what booksellers like to call a page-turner, a corker, a cracking good yarn."
--Associated Press, December 6, 1999
Set in the
1920s in the Midwest (where Gene was raised), JUSTICE FOR NONE is a
character-driven novel with a strong mystery element. It opens as the
protagonist gets implicated in a murder he didn’t commit (of his
ex-wife), and is forced to go on the run. He finds himself on the run
with a black convict (also wrongly accused), and the two of them must
traverse the Midwest, trying partly to prove their innocence, and also
to unravel their own pasts and come to terms with society around them,
of which they have both always been on the fringe.
Perhaps best described
as a cross between The Defiant Ones and Anatomy of a Murder,
JUSTICE FOR NONE
is a hybrid literary/commerical novel, atmospheric, rife with historical
detail, and strong characterization. It breaks new writing ground for
Hackman and Lenihan, and is sure, like their first novel, to be a
critical and commercial success.
Rights: Contact Simon & Schuster