Cover image for True believers
True believers
Richardson, Doug, 1959-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Avon Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
391 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


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From the acclaimed author of Dark Horse comes a riveting, high-concept thriller about a condemned psychopath's plot to control an influential American family.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Screenwriter Richardson (Die Hard II) is true to form in this cinematic treatment of a U.S. senator's nightmare, orchestrated by a barbaric cult leader from his death row cell. Wesley Dean Theroux, convicted of murdering most of his cult, saved a few acolytes to carry out his plot to father an heir. The woman chosen to give birth to Theroux's offspring is Boston political campaign strategist Gwen Corbett-SullivanÄthe wife of a Massachusetts senator and vice-presidential hopeful, Will Sullivan. The infertile Sullivans are inexplicably lured to a bogus clinic in Texas run by cultists and Gwen is artificially impregnated, possibly with Theroux's semen. Then cult henchmen kidnap near-term Gwen and imprison her near Spokane, after murdering her watchdog aide and setting up the senator as a suspected wife abuser. Theroux's prison cell laptop (allowed for his self-run legal defense) has a hidden cell phone chip that lets him instruct his "children" and plant phony Internet rumors to sabotage Will's career. With the FBI on his tail, only the senator's loyal chief of staff and a few employees help him search for Gwen and fight the bottle. An ally appears in Theroux's prosecutor, whose own life has been devastated by the cult and who drops secret clues about Theroux's plan. When it turns out that Theroux's media interviews contain evil commands when played backwards (like the rumored Beatles' album); and when Theroux's laptop is confiscated, the action ramps up to a flaming climax. Richardson (Dark Horse) riffs off aspects of real-life cults and his many shady charactersÄlike the cybersleaze journalistÄfill the plot with histrionic, even gimmicky twists. Still, this is a good beach read for high-tech thrill-seekers, as the action is fast-paced and as frantically energized as Internet stock. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Richardson (Dark Horse, LJ 1/97) revisits the insidious side of politics and throws in the machinations of a charismatic cult leader for good measure. Young senator Will Sullivan and his wife, Gwen, are the ultimate 1990s coupleÄsuccessful, stunning workaholics. Only one component is missing from their American Dream: a baby. Enter Dr. Harvey Bertrand, a fatherly fertility expert with a private clinic. But it quickly becomes apparent that someone is toying with the Sullivans at a national, very public levelÄand the stakes include the very life Gwen carries. An imprisoned serial killer, already noted in the history books for "resurrecting" 12 chosen followers after giving them cyanide Jell-O cocktails, is claiming fatherhood of Gwen's fetus. Does Gwen carry the spawn of a demonic messiah? Richardson has a flair for taking on the challenge of a somewhat outlandish premiseÄand delivering. Recommended for popular fiction collections.ÄSusan A. Zappia, Maricopa Cty. Lib. Dist., Phoenix (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.