In the interview at the close of the novel, Gaige reveals that an Associated Press snippet about the Clark Rockefeller case was the seed idea for her story. Though Gaige states she chose not to research in detail this tale of a con man turned kidnapper, a great deal of information is readily available via news stories.
Rockefeller, whose real name is Christian Gerhartsreiter, rushed his daughter Reigh into a waiting limousine during a supervised custodial visit in July of 2008. Gerhartsreiter's devotion to his daughter was apparently the one thing that could bring down his house of cards - a lifetime of pretending to be someone else. In 2009, he was convicted of kidnapping his daughter and received a sentence of four to five years in prison. In March 2011, he was also charged with murder relating to a California cold case from the 1985.
If this true crime version of Schroder intrigues you, try The Man in the Rockefeller Suit by Mark Seal, a nonfiction recounting of Gerhartsreiter's unusual life that received numerous glowing reviews, including Jo Perry's BookBrowse review.
Photo courtesy of AP Press.
This article was originally published in February 2013, and has been updated for the
October 2013 paperback release.
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