Synopses & Reviews
Journey back to the 1940 World's Fair by San Francisco Bay, where jazz musician Ray Sherwood is appearing with Jack Donovan and His Orchestra at the baronial Claremont Hotel. As Swing begins, Ray is on his way to meet a college student named Gail at Treasure Island, the extravagant San Francisco exposition that rivals the New York World's Fair that same year. While waiting for Gail, Ray encounters a mysterious Frenchwoman who, shortly after propositioning him, plunges to her death from the Fair's tallest tower. Ray is immediately drawn into a complex and seductive mystery that will require all his nerve and improvisational ingenuity. Swing will be accompanied by an audio CD of original music composed and arranged by the novel's Tony Award-winning author and composer, music that is an important part of the book's plot as well as its period atmosphere. Although the novel is complete within itself, the CD's musical score enhances one's reading experience and offers additional clues that can help unlock Swing's most ominous secret. Brilliantly written, skillfully evoking the Big Band era and the lost world of Treasure Island, Swing is a unique and dazzling treat by a master storyteller.
“Swing just might be the best historical thriller of the year. Certainly it is the most creative.”
In the swinging big band era, jazz saxophonist and arranger Ray Sherwood is haunted by personal tragedy. But when Gail Prentice, a beautiful and talented Berkeley student, seeks his help in orchestrating an original composition slated to debut at the newly created Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay, Ray is diverted from his worries and drawn to the beguiling coed. Within moments of their first meeting, however, Ray witnesses a horrifying sight: a woman plunging to her death from the islands emblematic Tower of the Sun.
Ray soon finds himself trapped in a coil of spiraling secrets in which nothing is certain, including Gails intentions toward him and her connection to the dead woman. And as events speed toward the shocking climax, Ray must unlock an ominous puzzle with sinister implications that stretch far beyond anything he could imagine.
About the Author
Twice a recipient of the Mystery Writers of Americas coveted Edgar Award, Rupert Holmes is no stranger to the worlds of mystery or music. His first novel, Where The Truth Lies,
has been made into a major motion picture by director Atom Egoyan starring Kevin Bacon, Colin Firth, and Alison Lohman. For his Broadway musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Holmes became the first person in theatrical history to solely win Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Music and Lyrics, while Drood
itself won the Tony Award for Best Musical. His comedy-thrillers for the stage include Broadways Accomplice and Solitary Confinement. His most recent work for Broadway, Say Goodnight, Gracie,
earned Holmes the 2004 National Broadway Theatre Award and a Tony nomination for Best Play. He also created and wrote all four seasons of the critically acclaimed, Emmy Award-winning television series Remember WENN, set in 1940. Swing
's musical milieu is a reflection of another part of Holmes's career: He received a Drama Desk Award for Best Orchestration and arranged and conducted Barbra Streisands classic album Lazy Afternoon.
The Los Angeles Times has called Rupert Holmes “an American treasure.”
From the Hardcover edition.