Suspense Magazine, February 2010
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And Dan was supporting the family as well. And the mother gradually died. And, evidently, that sort of cleared up. And then she died. The brother had already died.
Instead, he reviewed a collection of essays by the poet Geoffrey Hill. She lives for at least part of the year in a large house in Amagansett, near the Devon Yacht Club, where a celebratory lunch was held for Mallory last year. At the wedding, she and Dan danced. This year, Pamela and other family members were photographed at a talk that Dan gave at Queens University of Charlotte. Dan has described travelling with his mother on a publicity trip to New Zealand. He and Pamela have been married for more than forty years.
His maternal grandfather, John Barton Poor, was the chairman and chief executive of R. General, which owned TV and radio stations. Dan and Jake Mallory have two sisters, Hope and Elizabeth. The family spent summers in Amagansett. From a dim corner of her hospital room I surveyed the patient, who appeared, tucked primly under the crisp sheets, not so much recouping from surgery as steeped in a late-evening reverie.
Her blank face registered none of the pristine grimness which so often pervades medical environs; hopeful hints of rose could be discerned in her pale skin; and with each gentle inhalation, her chest lifted slowly but reassuringly heavenward. Mine, by contrast, palpitated so furiously that I braced myself for cardiac arrest.
This strategy apparently failed with Princeton. But the essay feels like a blueprint for the manipulations later exerted on Craig Raine and others: inspiring pity and furthering ambition while holding a pose of insouciance. Wong told me that Mallory did not work on the script. I learned it was O. Mary Carmichael, a Duke classmate and his editor at TowerView , told me that Mallory was now likely to sweep into a room.
He later said that he had never had the condition. This is the point—of course—at which the father of the house walked in! In subsequent interviews, Mallory does not seem to have brought up this bathroom again. But the exchange gives a glimpse of the temptations and risks of hyperbole: how, under even slight pressure, an exaggeration can become further exaggerated.
For a speaker more invested in advantage than in accuracy, such fabulation could be exhilarating—and might even lead to the dispatch, by disease, of a family member. The meeting continued, as a conference call. Get down! He took courses on twentieth-century literature and wrote a thesis on detective fiction. And his e-mails to me were like that, too; they were always very amusing. As Kelly recalled, by the end of the two-year course Mallory was making frequent trips to America, apparently to address serious medical issues.
He applied to be an assistant to Linda Marrow, the editorial director of Ballantine, an imprint of Random House known for commercial fiction. He later said that he had once had brain cancer himself. Mallory was given the job. These registered as messages of disdain, or as territorial marking. Mallory was suspected of responsibility but was not challenged. No similar cups were found after he quit. A few months later, after Mallory had moved to Oxford, his former employers noticed unexplained spending, at Amazon.
When confronted, Mallory acknowledged that he had used the card, but insisted that it was in error.
He added that he was experiencing a recurrence of cancer. Highsmith subverts all that. Through some alchemy, she persuades us to root for sociopaths.
Daniel Mallory. At Oxford, Mallory became a student-welfare officer. Mallory sometimes saw John Kelly, his former professor, for drinks or dinner. He recalled that Mallory once declined an invitation to a party, saying that he would be tied up in London, supporting a cancer-related organization. He claimed that he had two Ph. Toward the end of , he was hired as a mid-level editor at Sphere, a commercial imprint of Little, Brown. Mallory was amusing, well read, and ebullient, and could make a memorable first impression, over lunch, on literary agents and authors. He tended to speak almost without pause.
He wittily skewered acquaintances and seemed always conscious of his physical allure. He mentioned a friendship with Ricky Martin. This display was at times professionally effective. Others found his behavior off-putting; it seemed unsuited to building long-term professional relationships. It was performative and calculating. Mallory, who had just turned thirty, told colleagues that he was impatient to rise.
Having acquired a princeling status, he used it to denigrate colleagues. Mallory moved into an apartment in Shoreditch, in East London. In the summer of , Mallory told Little, Brown about a job offer from a London competitor. He was promised a raise and a promotion. By then, Mallory had made it widely known to co-workers that he had an inoperable brain tumor. He seemed to be saying that cancer—already identified and unequivocally fatal—would allow him to live for almost another decade.
Some co-workers wept after hearing the news. Mallory told people that he was seeking experimental treatments. He took time off. For a while, he wore a baseball cap, even indoors, which was thought to hide hair loss from chemotherapy. Before the office closed for Christmas in , Mallory said that, as his parents had no interest in seeing him, he would instead make an exploratory visit to the facilities of Dignitas, the assisted-death nonprofit based in Switzerland.
Mallory said that he had found his visit peaceful. The rival C. Mackenzie declined to comment. When challenged at Little, Brown, Mallory claimed that the rival C. In August, , Mallory left Little, Brown. The terms of his departure are covered by a nondisclosure agreement.
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Mallory was not fired. This fact points to the strength of employee protections in the U. Or an oar. When Mallory left, many of his colleagues were unaware of any unpleasantness.
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There was even a small, awkward dinner in his honor. Two weeks before Mallory left Little, Brown, it was announced that he had accepted a job in New York, as an executive editor at William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins. Publishing professionals estimate that his starting salary was at least two hundred thousand dollars a year.
Suspense Magazine Series by Tiffany Colter
That fall, he moved into an apartment in a sixty-floor tower, with a pool, in midtown, and into an office at Morrow, on Fifty-third Street. Some book editors immerse themselves in text; others focus on making deals. Mallory was firmly of the latter type, and specialized in acquiring established authors who had an international reach.
At some point that winter, Mallory stopped coming into the office. This mystified colleagues, who were given no explanation. Writing from a Gmail address, Jake said that Dan would be going to the hospital the next day, for the removal of a tumor. Please keep him in your thoughts. That e-mail appears to have been addressed exclusively to contacts in the U.
He says that he is looking forward to being fitted with a spinal-fluid drain and that this will render him half-man, half-machine. Recipients wrote back in distress. After all, who would fabricate such a story? I sent books and sympathies. The next week, Dan wrote to Chris Parris-Lamb, the agent. Like Tom Ripley writing letters that were taken as the work of the murdered Dickie Greenleaf, Dan was apparently communicating with friends in a fictional voice.
Jake Mallory is thirty-five. In it, she and Jake, who got married that summer, look happy and hopeful. Jake Mallory did not respond to requests for comment. However, the tumor appears to have been completely removed. The ventriloquism is halfhearted. While in a New York hospital, Dan was a dot on the map, exposed to visitors. Reports from the ward would require the clutter of realist fiction: medical devices, doctors with names.
The pain is apparently quite severe, but he is on medicine.
A Suspense Novelist’s Trail of Deceptions
He will most likely be going home today. Not when sober, at any rate. Mallory suggested meeting the agent for drinks, or dinner, a week or two later. While this setback is not welcome it is not permanent either, and at least Dan can now say he has had two lucky escapes in the space of two months. This would daunt a mere mortal but not my brother. I want for him to do the same, although I understand that he is tired of having to rebound from things.
A week later, in an apparent attempt at a reset, Dan Mallory wrote a breezy group e-mail under his own name. When Mallory returned to work that spring, after several weeks, nothing was said. After his return, Mallory came to work on a highly irregular schedule. Unlike other editors, he rarely attended Wednesday-afternoon editorial meetings.
Mallory bought a one-bedroom apartment in Chelsea, for six hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars. The kids realize it, and of course nobody believes them. I recently spoke with Victoria Sanders, an agent who represents Karin Slaughter, the thriller writer. I compete in the Olympic discipline of dressage.
Germany is the Mecca for the sport. But for the most part I wasn't really on hiatus. I spent the better part of a year battling some health issues that left me with little energy for anything else. Fortunately, it turned out not to be anything life threatening, but I lost months of writing—and riding—time.
They can go on for years without anyone around them suspecting, not even their own spouse.
During that time, Rader was married and had two children. He worked for a home security alarm company, was a Cub Scout leader, and was active in his church. One co-worker described him as the kind of man she would ask to walk her to her car at night if she felt unsafe.
No one in Rader's life ever suspected he might be the man who murdered ten people in their own community. Honestly, how did we live? Vince is a very prominent character in general.