A heart-stopping corporate thriller by the New York Times bestselling author of Burn Factor and Storming Heaven
Through an inexplicable series of unwanted promotions, Trevor Barnett has become the lead spokesman for the tobacco industry just as it's on the verge of extinction. Plaintiff's attorneys have filed a $200 billion lawsuit that the industry will be unable to appeal.
America's tobacco companies react by doing the unthinkable -- they close their plants and recall their products from retailers' shelves. Not another cigarette will be manufactured or sold until the industry is given ironclad protection from the courts.
Trevor becomes the target of enraged smokers, gun-toting cigarette smugglers, and a government that has been cut off from one of its largest sources of revenue. Soon it becomes clear that his role has always been to take the brunt of the backlash and shield the men in power from the maelstrom they'd created.
Abandoned by friends, family, and the industry his own ancestors helped build, Trevor finds an unlikely ally in a beautiful anti-tobacco lobbyist with whom he's secretly been in love for years. Together they hatch a plan to fight back. . . .
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Kyle Mills is the author of Sphere of Influence, Burn Factor, Free Fall, Storming Heaven, and Rising Phoenix.
Dennis Boutsikaris received an Obie Award for his performance in Sight Unseen and was Mozart in Amadeus on Broadway. His films include *batteries not included, The Dream Team, and Boys On The Side. His TV work includes And Then There Was One, The Last Don and Chasing The Dragon; he was most recently the D.A. of NY in Sidney Lumet's 100 Centre Street.From Publishers Weekly:
With this sixth novel in as many years (following last year's Sphere of Influence), Mills departs from his usual suspense thriller format of mass murder, conspiracy and terrorist threat. What he presents instead is a timely and chilling tale hinging on the power of Big Tobacco to bring the American government and economy to a standstill. Trevor Barnett, 32, is heir to a giant tobacco conglomerate called Terra. He is also a lazy ne'er-do-well who works for the company only because his trust payments are tied to his employment in the tobacco industry. He knows cigarette smoking kills people, but doesn't really care, believing that smokers have the right to make their own decisions. The tobacco industry is about to lose a $250-billion class-action lawsuit, a judgment the industry cannot appeal. Such a ruling will permanently bankrupt all of the tobacco companies, and Terra's ruthless CEO, Paul Trainer, is not about to let that happen. After making some snappy and irreverent comments at a board meeting, Trevor suddenly and unwillingly finds himself spearheading a tobacco offensive that shakes the nation. Big Tobacco closes all its plants and recalls all its tobacco products in a clever game of chicken, facing down the courts, Congress, the White House and the antismoking lobby. The result is a catastrophic loss of tax revenue and political donations, and an angry population of smoking voters who want their cigarettes back. The novel's plot is carefully crafted and original, filled with corporate and political intrigue, treachery, betrayal and the complex backroom deals that keep big companies humming along. With a refreshing lack of sanctimony, Mills turns the tobacco wars into grist for an absorbing business thriller.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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