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Michael Gruber was born in New York in 1940 and attended Columbia University where he studied English.
In 1984 his cousin, Robert Tanenbaum, a successful trial lawyer, called him from his offices in Los Angeles asking him to look at the first hundred pages of a book he had written at the request of the publishing house Franklin Watts (now part of Scholastic). He says "I called him, and I said, 'This is unsalvageable. It's not a novel, it has no characters, no plot, nothing.'"
In return for half the advance, Gruber rewrote the novel, they renegotiated the contract and went into business. This arrangement continued for 14 books. Gruber says he created the characters and the novels based on stories Tanenbaum told him, or transcripts of cases Tanenbaum had worked on. However, Gruber's credit was limited to a thank you on the acknowledgements page.
When Gruber realized that he would never get cover credit for his work with Tanenbaum he started writing The Witch's Boy in 1996, but was unable to find a publisher. So he started to write Tropic of Night. Tropic of Night is set in Miami, Long Island and West Africa and tells the story of a series of ritualistic murders that sweep Miami. The book has strong supernatural elements, although Gruber points out, 'there is no supernatural. It's all part of the universe, although the universe is queerer than we suppose.
He lives in Seattle in an old fishing bungalow overlooking Lake Washington and Mercer Island, with his wife who is an artist.
The Agent: In the mountain fastness of the Hindu Kush a deadly game of deception and intrigue is entering its final phase. At its heart, a man known only as the Engineer. The Analyst: In the subterranean corridors of Washington an ambitious young NSA operative receives an intercept that confirms her agency's worst fears. But she's not convinced. She thinks it's a trap. The Mother: In a fortified village high above the Swat Valley, a hostage awaits execution. She can't out-fight her captors, but can she out-think them? Can she get into their heads before she loses hers? The Son: On the other side of the world, a Special Forces soldier in a clandestine branch of the American military plans a daring rescue operation. But to save his mother he will have to betray his country. At the intersection of East and West, of faith and fanaticism, of loyalty and betrayal, New York Times bestselling author Michael Gruber has created a provocative, high-calibre thriller where one family's convoluted past is catching up with the present, where nightmares and dreams can become real, where truth and lies can be one and the same.
Conspiring theories, old manuscripts, people prepared to kill for the secret and the ‘lost’ journal in Elizabethan English presented for you to find the clues, this is intricate stuff, weaving together a contemporary thriller and an historical mystery which eventually turns into a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse.Similar this month: None but try Kathleen McGowan.Comparison: Dan Brown, Kate Mosse, Sam Bourne.