Two boys discover a forty-year-old skeleton, and an old man trudges through a San Francisco park to an appointment at the Fior d’Italia Restaurant. Thus begins a story filled with love, political intrigue and murder.
The Separatist is two parallel stories: One about Julia Rice, a newspaper reporter, and the other about Mr. Anderson, an eighty year old man who roars into her life like an aging lion.
Forty years ago, Mr. Anderson was a separatist, a man hired by clients to manufacture damning evidence to be used to sever relationships between spouses, business partners or lovers.
But he had to flee the country to escape a Chinese warlord, Liu Kwong. Now he has returned, and he asks Julia to tell his story so he can bring Kwong to justice and closure to his life. Julia hesitates, but finally agrees when the old man offers to help her find her father, for whom she has searched since he abandoned her as a small child.
Julia learns that Mr. Andersen was hired forty years ago by Kwong to sever relationships with a woman, Kathy Griffith, who he claimed was his mistress. Andersen discovers Kwong’s real reason for wanting “to get rid of” Kathy is to prevent her from exposing his illegal smuggling operations, and if he is not successful, Kwong will have her murdered. In the process of investigating Kathy, Andersen falls in love with her, creating an agonizing dilemma. If he does not ruin Kathy’s reputation, Kwong will have her murdered, but if he fulfills the contract, he will destroy her trust and lose her anyway.
Like Andersen, Julia is trapped by her own past. She knows her father roams the country promoting fraudulent land schemes, but despite his unsavory character, she hopes to find him someday. But as Julia navigates the twists and turns of the separatist’s dangerous world, she makes startling discoveries that shake her confidence and nearly cost her her life. She has no choice however, but to continue down the path laid out for her by Mr. Andersen, for she knows it is the only way to bring peace to her life.
Trivia about Gordon Snider: He was an advertising account manager before he turned novelist. With pen and camera in hand, his research took him to many places all over the world but his favorite is the library. There he fell in love with the librarian, my auntie Fey Ilaguenio (and so my signed copy). He has two more novels with Helm Publishing, The Hypnotist, Venice Lost