His Agent Is No Different Than Any Powerful Man

By Neal Comment

Mark Winegardner had so much fun writing The Godfather Returns that he’s going back for seconds. The Godfather’s Revenge will “explore the role organized crime may have had in the assassination of a charismatic young President,” says Publishers Marketplace. Not John F. Kennedy, mind you, but James Kavanagh Shea, whose father used to run a bootlegging operation with Vito Corleone…no connection to historical reality there whatsoever, right? Of course, if you’ve read Returns, you know Winegardner’s already dropped some hints about Shea’s murder that only indirectly involve the Corleones (a neat twist on Charles McCarry’s The Tears of Autumn, no less). So I’ll be curious to see how he manages to pull Michael back in.

Neil Olson handled rights for the estate of Mario Puzo and Amy Williams at Collins McCormick repped Winegardner, with the book going to Dan Conaway at Putnam. Putnam published the original Godfather back in ’69; Returns, like Puzo’s final three novels, was acquired by Jon Karp in his Random House days. And here’s a fun data point: before Conaway came to Putnam, he was at HarperCollins, where he picked up a thriller called The Icon…which was written by Neil Olson.

(And you thought I was going to say Putnam made him an offer he couldn’t refuse…)