The Stark Truth

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Stark “Tommy” Thompson III, born to wealth and social prestige, has drifted through college, law school, and an unsuccessful marriage with a minimal investment on his part. At the opening of THE STARK TRUTH he is continuing to drift through life, engaging in a series of meaningless and relatively unexciting affairs without the will or the desire to alter his circumstances. Then, seemingly by accident, he meets Katherine “Kitty” Goldmark Sprague and his drab, mundane existence is dramatically transformed. Suddenly, Tommy Thompson finds himself out of control on a sexual roller coaster filled with roman candles.

Much in the manner of an expert angler, Kitty sets the hook and then carefully maneuvers Tommy into the net. Obsessed by Kitty’s ability to satisfy his every fantasy, Tommy is driven over the ethical edge into the fast-paced and dangerous world of insider trading and homicide. It is not an easy journey for Tommy, but soon he is in too deep to escape comfortably and safely. Then, much to his horror, Tommy discovers that Kitty has played this game before, with deadly consequences for her partners. If Tommy is to survive he must muster the emotional wherewithal to meet and defeat Kitty on the ground of her own choosing.

The pseudonymous author of THE STARK TRUTH is obviously familiar with the mores and attitudes of the super-rich and those whose purpose in life is to make the wealthy much wealthier. Moreover, he is able to create truly reprehensible characters possessed of no redeeming virtues without rendering a moral judgment or presenting them in a heroic mold. In short, THE STARK TRUTH is a carefully crafted and complex novel about the amoral individuals who make it necessary for the Securities and Exchange Commission to keep an ever-vigilant eye on the financial community.