Debutante plagiarist Q.R. Markham’s temporarily-lauded spy thriller, Assassin of Secrets, is in fact a string of passages lifted from other books in the genre. No-one noticed until it was released, at which time readers noticed at once.
The book’s been recalled by publisher Little, Brown, whose president, Michael Pietsch, apologized in a prepared statement: “We take great pride in the writers and books we publish and tremendous care in every aspect of our publishing process, so it is with deep regret that we have published a book that we can no longer stand behind. Our goal is to never have this happen, but when it does, it is important to us to communicate with and compensate readers and retailers as quickly as possible.”
The author represented others’ work as his own, deceived and embarrassed those he worked with, and created a nightmare for his publisher, and deserves no sympathy or respect.
That said, the intensity and promiscuity of his literary swipeage is really something else; it’s relentless, often at length, from a wide variety of sources. If he’d just thrown it out there as a mashup, instead of roping the industry into selling it as a fully-original work, this would have been an excellent project. You don’t have to see it as some sort of snooty statement or deconstruction of the genre, just as a fantastic remix of classic Bond-dom that got lost on the way to the internet.
Accordingly, I have instructed our agents to acquire the rights to this books so that we may re-release it under the name QR Markov.
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