| Don't Look Twice |
by Andy Gross
GLENN: Andy Gross' book is out. Andrew Gross has a new book out called Don't Look Twice, today. His last book out was The Dark Tide. How are you?
GROSS: Hey, Glenn, glad to be back with you.
GLENN: You are such a soft-spoken guy. I read your books and people are dying, people are running across busy streets and then it's like, "Hey, Glenn, how are you?"
GROSS: I'm not that spoken and my books aren't that violent, either.
GLENN: Oh, come on, there's people dying.
GROSS: Well, I'm a thriller writer. People have to die. The stakes have to be important.
GLENN: So you've got your new book. Explain it. Because I want to talk to you about it, but I don't want to blow anything at the end. So you explain it so I don't blow anything.
GROSS: You know, the hardest thing you can ever ask an author is to say what your book's about, you know. So we listen to a stammer. Basically this book picks up where The Dark Tide left off and follows --
GROSS: Ty Hauck through a retribution killing that takes place in Greenwich. My books take place in moneyed affluent Greenwich and it follows --
GLENN: But your main character is not moneyed?
GROSS: No, he is a blue-collar guy, he's a policeman and I think it's a good foil for him to be the person that's sort of, you know, wading through all these conspiracies that take place with people who are a lot more powerful than he is in town and in New York. And ultimately this thing winds through this retribution killing, winds through some casino gaming schemes and then ultimately lands at the doorstep of some of the very powerful people in the state and beyond an Iraq war profiteering conspiracy.
GLENN: All right. Now, Andy, I'm glad you said it.
GROSS: Which I shouldn't have said because that's --
GLENN: No, no.
GROSS: That's in the last 20 pages of the book, of course.
GLENN: I mean, it was kind of like, "All right, well, now I don't have to read the book." But here's the thing: You had me at "Hello." You had me, and I get to the last 20 pages and I'm like, "No, no, no, no, please, no."
GROSS: Well, you know, we might be on different sides of the issue, but I think from what I know that you guys talk about on this show, we might be closer to it than you think because, you know, my books always end up with people in power who don't speak the truth, who don't -- who aren't honest, you know. And --
GLENN: So wait a minute. Wait, wait, because I will give you that I don't think there should be no-bid contracts, I don't think there should be -- you know, I don't think there should be favors being done. I think there are people who profit off of war. I think that helicopter thing that happened -- and this happened back in December, the thing that was exposed, you know, with the helicopter blueprints of Marine One being on the front page of the Tehran Times. That happened with the Bush administration where the thing leaked. I think personally someone said, "Okay, we're going to have a hard time getting this helicopter thing passed. Why don't we expose the plans of the old one so then we have to have a new one."
GROSS: I'm sure. I think wherever you and your viewers come down on what happened in Iraq, I think it's pretty clear that the country was put out for bid into private hands and I'm sure a lot of how people got those quote/unquote contracts are pretty unseemly. But I have to say that my book really isn't about Iraq as you know.
GLENN: No, I know it's not.
GROSS: It's really, you know, a murder mystery that starts with something that happens on the streets of Greenwich and then winds through various other things and also pits Hauck against his own very politically connected brother in this cover-up that tears their own family apart.
GLENN: Okay. You live in Greenwich, Connecticut?
GROSS: I live about eight miles. My kids go to school in Greenwich. So I'm pretty close.
GLENN: Are you independently filthy rich, money shooting out of your butt and stuff?
GROSS: I don't know, but I do pay -- my property taxes are high. I'm on the New York side. So I pay the property taxes, not the Greenwich side.
GLENN: Holy cow. Do you believe -- because you're on the liberal side of things which is, you know, totally fine. I won't have to eat you. But do you believe in trickle-down economics?
GROSS: No. As long as you ask, no.
GLENN: Okay. The Greenwich situation as I see that melting down, I mean, it's, wow. I mean, there are $20 million homes just sitting there empty.
GROSS: Oh, well, I believe in reverse trickle-down economics, absolutely.
GLENN: That's what I want to ask you. How come you believe -- how come liberals believe in it in one direction but not the other direction?
GROSS: I guess you're right. I mean, clearly -- and I'm just sort of personalizing it with my book. I mean, one of the things -- the book I'm working on now actually because it's centered here is very much into the collapse of this economy, not just the economy but of people, as you say, that had $20 million homes and now, you know, literally can't even go and, you know, don't want to even be seen shopping in the local stores. You know, it's had a huge, huge psychological deflation on the town and I think the town is just emblematic on one level of what's happening across the board. You know when the rich people are, you know, caving in that everyone out there is feeling the pain. So --
GLENN: Yeah, when you -- I mean, when the rich people -- and Greenwich is such, you know, such an exaggerated example. I mean, it's almost a cartoon. Greenwich is just -- I mean, it is the greatest concentration of wealth I think in the country.
GROSS: It is, it is.
GLENN: It makes Beverly Hills look like paupers.
GROSS: You know, the joke about Greenwich is anyone who's ever been there -- I'm sure not a lot of your readers have -- there were cops on every street corner that would manage the traffic all the way down so it could take 20 minutes to go five blocks down. Now there's no cops in town anymore because nobody even comes here. So, you know, it's --
GLENN: Right. Wait, wait, wait, that's a joke but is it serious? Have you guys gotten rid of the cops?
GROSS: Not that there's no cops in town. There's no cops on Main Street managing the traffic. Nobody's here anymore.
GLENN: Really? The last time -- I was there a year ago Christmas and I had never seen the cops and they wear the white gloves and everything else and, you know, some old Greenwich guy with, you know, his Basset Hound and his Ascot and he was like --
GROSS: Hey, listen. What I like about Greenwich quickly is the following: My books are really about people that your readers would know. They are about --
GLENN: I know they are.
GROSS: Yoga moms or they are about dads that run up and down the sidelines cheering their kids on.
GROSS: They just might be CEOs. And so I like the orbit to New York, I like the fact that it's a power haven, you know, it's not really just about the wealthy but it is about influence and power and corruption.
GLENN: Yeah. And see, that's -- you know, because you say about, you know, the corruption, you know, when it was hand in hand with war, et cetera, et cetera, how can people who understand corruption be for empowering the government to get even bigger?
GROSS: Now you are asking a question. How much time are you going to give me on the show? I'm not sure --
GLENN: Not enough for you to look good in the end.
GROSS: You know, I think right now people are placing their hopes in government. Now, not everybody, but I honestly believe you see the polls that they are. And so you know, I just got off the phone a little while ago. I actually ran a business for years. I ran Head, which is a large ski apparel, ski company and tennis. So I'm not totally one-sided on this thing.
GROSS: But on the other hand, you know, I think right now the situation is so dire that we have to place our trust in government. And if government fails us now, I think we're going to be living with that feeling of betrayal for the next 20 years in this country.
GLENN: I happen to agree with you on that. And I will tell you, America, Andrew Gross's books, The Dark Tide, was just riveting. Couldn't put it down. Same with the new book, Don't Look Twice. Pick it up. It's in bookstores everywhere. Thank you, Andy, appreciate it.
GROSS: Thanks, Glenn, appreciate it.
GLENN: You bet. Bye-bye.