Attorney Douglas Schofield’s second novel, ‘Succession’, takes genre fusion in all the right directions, melding political thriller, medical drama, legal drama, and historical romance into an exciting, fast–paced adventure.
Attorney Douglas Schofield’s ‘Succession’, a novel that has already grabbed Hollywood interest, has all the right stuff to grab the attention of a much wider audience than the typical political thriller due to Schofield’s savvy plotting. Along with all the standard tropes of the political thriller—a power struggle that includes people of the highest rank, a hired assassin, a charismatic media mogul, a combat-trained security officer, and a beautiful woman who is right at the heart of things—Schofield weaves in several other genres, thereby providing entertainment not only for die-hard thriller aficionados but also audiences who may not be regular thriller readers.
The preface, set in Richmond, England, in 1759 has all the trappings of a Georgian romance novel, right down to the man at the center of events—the Prince of Wales, the 20-year-old youth who would soon become George III. The first chapter continues the focus on the British monarchy both by its timing—the morning of Princess Diana’s funeral—and by the fascination with British royalty that prompts the protagonist, Emma Parks, albeit at the behest of a close friend, to watch the live broadcast.
But the first chapter also introduces another genre. Emma Parks is a medical doctor, born in Maine and living in Bayonne, New Jersey. Her profession provides a segue and within a few pages, the aftermath of the car accident that killed Princess Diana has given way to the aftermath of a drunk driving accident on Route 185 in Bayonne, and the story switches to medical drama, as Dr. Parks saves the accident victim’s life in the ER.
A phone call for Emma as she passes the nursing station at the opening of Chapter 4 begins to weave in the political thriller, and identifies Emma as the beautiful woman who will be at the center of it. A mysterious caller, claiming to be a journalist, wants to speak to Emma about what he says he knows about the provenance of an heirloom vase she had presented on an episode of the ‘Antique Marketplace’ television series. Although suspicious, particularly because the caller is traveling immediately from London to see her based on what she considers to be very little cause, Emma agrees to speak to him again.
As the story unfolds, Schofield introduces the legal drama promised by the title. It can be summed up in one question: Given the lineage of George III and his heirs, who is the rightful ruler of the United Kingdom?
This groundwork laid, the rest of the book weaves these strands together, with enough twists and turns to satisfy the die-hard thriller reader and enough romance, history, emergency treatment, and legal ramifications for everyone else.
The idea for ‘Succession’ comes as much from the author’s inquisitive turn of mind as from a particular spark of an idea. “My first degree was in history,” Schofield explains, “and I’ve always made a bit of a hobby of poking around in the back alleys of past centuries, watching for obscure facts or characters that might power a plot set in the present but rooted in the past. Joined with this interest is my personal enjoyment of alternate history. What if ‘this’ had happened instead of ‘that’? Where would that have led? How would history have been changed?”
Whether readers come to the book as Anglophiles, romance novel devotees, thriller fans, legal drama buffs, or medical drama addicts, they are in for a well-wrought tale and a load of excitement, with much more to come, since this is the first book of a planned trilogy.
‘Succession’ is published in paperback in the UK by Miwk Publishing Ltd, and in eBook format by eBookIt.com. It is available in digital form at eBookIt.com, and from popular online retailers, including Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, Apple’s iBookstore, and Indigo’s eBookstore.