Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Michael Pocalyko's "The Navigator"

Michael Pocalyko is an investment banker, CEO of Monticello Capital. His novel The Navigator, published on June 11 by Forge Books, is a financial thriller with the tagline “Wall Street Comes to Washington.”

“It’s a book,” he writes, “that crosses a whole lot of boundaries, deals with up-to-the-minute political anxieties, and addresses some major issues like the confluence of big business, big data, big government, and big regulation.”

And it has a lot of great characters. Here Pocalyko plays casting director in Old Hollywood:
I wrote The Navigator to be a terrifically cinematic book. The best thing about this novel is that there are not only three great main characters with depth and verve, but a rich supporting cast too.

These are magnificent roles for ten or more of our greatest actors today ... several of whom have recently been approached about The Navigator. That’s why I am dreamcasting historically. I also think it’s much more intellectual fun doing it that way.

Warren Hunter is a brilliant investment banker, the reigning master of the universe on Wall Street, a man of intellect, control, intensity, and overwhelming drive. Princeton, Harvard Business School, astonishing success and wealth even before he’s forty. And he’s coming apart inside. He’s the twenty-first century version of Jack Lemmon in about 1957, his Playhouse 90 years.

Rick Yeager is more complicated a guy who’s stumbled around with varying degrees of success and failure on the finance end of the high-tech world centered in Washington DC. All of the action in the thriller revolves around him as his world falls apart. He’s like Fred MacMurray in his Billy Wilder and Preston Sturges years, the wonderful American Everyman that he played before we pegged him as Steve Douglas, the Dad in My Three Sons. Rick is in every way the personal and acting complement to Warren—a wonderful part.

Julia Toussaint is bright, marvelous, gorgeous, and the moral center of The Navigator. She is a U.S. Senate legislative aide, and her role requires a psychological centeredness, restraint, and evident elegant and understated style. A young professional African American woman making her way in Obama administration Washington, she’s Dorothy Dandridge at Julia’s age, thirty-three.

Dutch, in his eighties, is a deeply troubled man confronting Alzheimer’s when his past unexpectedly intrudes upon his twilight. Hume Cronyn in his late prime.

Lauren Barr is amazingly strong and straightforward, the kind of woman who is compellingly appealing but you don’t know quite why. Myrna Loy as Nora Charles, only with a modern litigator’s personality, and even more mysterious and daring.

Horvath is a rational, incredibly competent bad guy, an old Cold Warrior and spy, a thinking man who is anything but a thug as he goes about his thuggery. Jack Palance with a Hungarian accent.

A mysterious older man, tall, thin, athletic ... nope, no spoilers here ... he is crucial to the plot of The Navigator, and if James Stewart played against type (as he sometime did), he’d be perfect.

U.S. Senator Tenley Harbison is hot, sixty, a former Ford model, ambitious, politically astute, and as driven in her own way as Warren Hunter is in his. She’s the über-modern version of Barbara Stanwyck or Maureen O’Hara.

Lois Carneccio is tough, determined, a Washington dealmaker, a money mover and kind of a lobbyist too.  Honor Blackman playing unapologetic northern New Jersey style, more Carmela than Snooki.

Every small universe has its rock stars, and in high-tech America, that part of it that’s in northern Virginia Beltway land, he’s Sanford Tuttle. Walter Pidgeon or William Holden in their character actor modes.
Learn more about the book and author at Michael Pocalyko’s website and Facebook page. You can also see the author act in the video trailer to The Navigator.

The Page 69 Test: The Navigator.

--Marshal Zeringue