28 Seconds by Michael Bryant
Toronto, Oct 17, 2011.... Publishing Director Diane Turbide has acquired rights to 28 Seconds by Michael Bryant, the former Attorney General and Ontario cabinet minister charged with killing cyclist Darcy Sheppard in Toronto in 2009, an event that provoked a media frenzy and widespread public controversy.
A night that began with a dinner to celebrate his 11th wedding anniversary ended in a jail cell for Mr. Bryant. He was charged with dangerous driving causing death and criminal negligence causing death. Ironically, he had helped write the legal test for the same charges sixteen years earlier.
Bryant, as Ontario's Attorney General, was the man responsible for administering 500,000 criminal charges every year in Ontario. He now faced prosecution by the very same justice system. The charges were eventually dropped, but nothing could undo what had happened to Mr. Sheppard - or Mr. Bryant.
28 Seconds will chronicle the fateful aftermath of that late summer evening in August 2009, an evening when everything changed for the Harvard-educated lawyer, politician, and CEO. In the book, Bryant speaks publicly for the first time of personal challenges and his own battle with some of the very demons shared by Darcy Sheppard.
Looking straight at the realities of the adversarial court system and a prison system filled with addicts and the mentally ill, Bryant decided to dedicate himself to the cause of legal reform. Michael Bryant is the ultimate insider, and his perspective is a fascinating assessment of what happens on both sides of the law.
"There is an untold story within this tragedy, and I wanted to share that story. It's important to pass along lessons learned regarding our justice system. I'm ready to speak to these very personal issues," says Bryant.
"Michael Bryant's story is one that is unavoidably sensational," says Publishing Director Diane Turbide. "What really attracted me to this book was the unflinching description of one man's descent into a kind of hell. He has been humbled by what happened, but more important, wants to rededicate himself to public service and to overhaul the justice system. And he has never lost sight of the fact that a man died."
The book deal was negotiated by literary agent Rick Broadhead of Rick Broadhead and Associates and will be published under Penguin's Viking imprint. The book is strictly embargoed until its publication date in fall 2012. Bryant will donate a portion of any proceeds from the book to the Pine River Foundation for adolescent mental health and substance abuse treatment. Bryant is a volunteer member of the board at the Pine River Institute.