Viking acquires 'first and best' Madoff book

<p>Viking has acquired the rights for what it hopes will be &quot;the first and the best&quot; UK book on Bernard Madoff, an American businessman charged with $50bn fraud. Joel Rickett, editorial director, bought UK, commonwealth and serial rights from Adrian Zackheim, president and publisher of Portfolio, Penguin USA.</p><p>The book is by Erin Arvedlund, a journalist who broke the first news of the story in 2001. &quot;People would much rather read the story of someone who&#39;s been following the story,&quot; said Rickett. &quot;Someone who was asking the questions, the tough questions, and not just jumping on the bandwagon.&quot; The working title of the book is <em>Don&#39;t Ask, Don&#39;t Tell</em>, which is the same name as her first major expose in Barron&#39;s, an American financial magazine. Viking has scheduled the book for publication in Spring 2010.</p><p>The book will &quot;get to the heart of the story,&quot; said Rickett. &quot;The Madoff scandal is an amazing story with a genuine villain - this was fraud on an epic scale. There are dozens of hasty Madoff book proposals flying around, but Erin Arvedlund is the best writer to nail it: she was asking the tough questions long before her rivals and all of Wall Street dared to believe Madoff was anything less than a demi-God. She will get right to the characters and issues at the heart of the con, and through them she&#39;ll tell a much wider story of greed, arrogance and stupidity.&quot;</p>