Synopses


THE PERCEVAL NOVELS (Fall 2007)

Perceval’s Secret (was Perceval) — Book 1, published March 2014

Perceval’s Shadow — Book 2, first draft completed

Perceval in Love — Book 3, first draft begun

Perceval’s Game — Book 4, brief synopsis, outline begun

Perceval’s Choice — Book 5, brief summary

Synopsis for PERCEVAL’S SECRET (Book 1):

In June 2048, a tense international community waits as the Chinese and Americans meet in Vienna, Austria to try to defuse China’s threat to the world economy.  The Chinese aspire to be the only superpower, economically and politically, and have consolidated their power in the Pacific through the Asia-Pacific Coalition (APCO).  The Americans, supported by the Russians and the Europeans, may be the only obstacle in China’s path.  America, however, has been losing its footing at the top because of an ongoing guerrilla insurgency by the western states, a secession movement, and paranoia over terrorism that brought the New Economic Party (NEP) to power in 2018.  Over the years, the NEP has restructured the government gradually to change it from a representative democracy to a dictatorship to control every aspect of life for the protection and security of the country, and especially for the profit of the NEP elite.

American orchestra conductor Evan Quinn is fed up and frustrated with the control the NEP’s Arts Council wields over artistic life in America.  He wants to be free to pursue his music career and to live as he wants.  When the Arts Council sends him on a tour to Europe, he defects in Vienna after his last tour concert.  Now he believes he can finally study and conduct the music he wants to conduct and live free.

But Viennese Police Inspector Klaus Leiner suspects Evan is a spy.  In Leiner’s experience, most American defectors have been spies.  In addition, the NEP government allows little travel abroad, and Leiner knows that those who do travel abroad work for the American government either as diplomats, trade representatives or spies.  Quinn has the perfect cover: he truly is an orchestra conductor, the son of renowned dissident writer Randall Quinn whom Evan says the American Internal Security Services murdered, and a genuine defector.  After debriefing Evan, Leiner sets up surveillance (human and electronic) on him to collect evidence to prove he’s a spy.

Evan plunges into his new life and with the help of Vassily Bartyakov, a Russian pianist, and Nigel Fox, a British artist manager, he begins to build his career and establish his home in Vienna.  He learns about a Mr. Redfield who smuggled his father’s writings and composer Joseph Caine’s music out of America, and who set up trust funds in London for the royalties from their publication.  Each trust is worth millions of dollars of lost profit to the NEP.  Caine, Evan’s mentor and godfather, left his trust fund to Evan, who claims it.  Evan needs to prove his father is dead in order to claim his father’s trust fund, and the Americans are saying he’s alive and well and living in Minneapolis to prevent Evan’s claim.

The Americans try to discredit Evan, claiming he’s mentally and emotionally unstable.  Leiner believes Evan may suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (he’s seen it before in Americans), but cannot confirm it because Evan will not agree to talk to a psychologist.  Evan believes he’s perfectly fine.  Although the Americans assured Evan that they’d leave him alone after his defection, Bernie Brown, a CIA agent stationed at the American Embassy in Vienna, openly follows and harasses him.  Will he kill Evan so the NEP can claim the trust funds?  In addition to Brown’s surveillance, Evan assumes Leiner also has surveillance on him and uses techniques his father, a leader in the Underground Resistance in America, taught him to elude them and to protect himself.

Neither Leiner, nor Brown, nor any of Evan’s new friends could ever guess the secret that Evan carries within him.  That secret is Perceval.

Perceval made Evan’s European tour possible.  Perceval gives Evan the power that he’s craved since his powerless childhood.  Evan believes Perceval is his final key to unlock the door to his complete freedom.  He must keep Perceval secret in order to survive.  But Perceval is not music and not of the soul.  Perceval forces Evan to make choices and take action that shatter the Chinese-American talks in Vienna, and threaten to shatter Evan as he comes face to bloody face with the tragic, life-changing consequences of those choices.  He discovers that Perceval is actually the key that locks freedom’s door, and he must serve that secret in order to live the life he truly loves as a musician and conductor.

More synopses to follow as novels are completed

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5 responses to “Synopses

  1. Thanks for keeping me up to date on your progress. I look forward to reading the whole series. The writing is clear and compelling.

  2. Fascinating! International espionage and classical music — what a great combination!

  3. Thats very good to know… thanks

  4. “… He discovers that Perceval is actually the key that locks freedom’s door, and he must serve that secret in order to live the life he truly loves as a musician and conductor.” Now this sentence is what I find the most intriguing. What are we willing to serve – not just do, but serve in order to do what we desire. That service is the true price we pay. It can be the price of our souls.

    • Writers often must “serve” others in some way, e.g. teach, work at another job, etc., but I wanted to explore the effect of being trapped by a secret that both hurts and helps an artist. In this circumstance, the artist is then an antagonist against him/herself. Evan Quinn is an honest guy. The secret is going to eat at him inside, so how will he deal with it? — which makes it interesting for me to write, and I hope, for others to read.

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