You’re super-rich and someone has canceled you on social media, denigrated you in an article, or, worst of all, hacked your computer, and unless you pay them all your dirty, illegal secrets are going to be exposed. What do you do? You call Melvin Ritkin.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Melvin’s a consultant and works mainly with publicists. But according to Melvin himself, he’s “a dirty, slimy opportunist: a grifter and a liar, a catfish and a cyber bully. I enable deep fakes, spread vicious rumors, and sling bullshit far and wide on the almighty internet for whoever pays me the most.”
In digital strategy and crisis management he’s categorized as a “whatever needs to happen to get the job done type of consultant–a fixer.”
Melvin mostly works for Titus, a “thirty-two-year-old narcissist worth over $400 million…A man born into money and privilege who became a movie star” and his sycophants. His latest assignment is to manipulate positive reviews for a movie that’s about to be released that Titus has directed and financed with his cohorts. Using a combination of bribery and blackmail Melvin manages to coerce eleven out of twelve, but when the last reviewer threatens to expose his illegal acts, Melvin and his associate murder him and make it look like an accident.
Titus thinks it’s unfortunate but since it appears the crime will go undetected he gives Melvin another assignment – manipulate the vote for the Oscars.
That’s when Melvin’s porn star wife, Ruby, and mother of their baby daughter discovers her husband’s secret retirement/insurance stash – incriminating digital files he could use to blackmail his previous clients. Those files also reveal the kind of work he does and the havoc he’s wreaked on their behalf. Ruby’s shocked and appalled at “the monster” her husband truly is and leaves with the kid and the evidence.
Now Melvin’s the one whose life can be destroyed if Ruby decides to take this evidence to the authorities. If she does, will all his tech-savvy and nefarious social media skills keep him from spending the rest of his life in prison?
In Public Opinion, author Nathan Pettijohn tells you everything you want to know and more about what’s fake, fraudulent and just distasteful on the internet as well as how reputations can be destroyed, created or rehabilitated. This intriguing novel, ringing with authenticity, will have you reconsidering your digital footprint as it reveals just how vulnerable we all are.
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|Mystery, Crime, Thriller