Edgy, hard-core, and wildly imaginative, this new thriller from New York Times bestselling author John Twelve Hawks (The Traveler, The Dark River, The Golden City) features an assassin-narrator unlike anyone we've seen before, set in a present-day dystopia.
Jacob Underwood is a contract employee of the Special Services Section, a shadow department in the faceless multinational corporation DBG. Jacob is not a businessman . . . he is a hired assassin . . . and his job is to neutralize problems deemed unacceptable by the corporation. Jacob is not like other employees, nor is he like other people. Suffering from Cotard's syndrome—a real condition that causes people to believe they are dead—Jacob perceives himself as nothing but a Shell with no emotion and no sense of right or wrong. Emily Buchanan is a bright young second-year associate for DBG, and she has disappeared without a trace. Suspecting she may have stolen valuable information and a fortune from the company, Miss Holquist—Jacob's handler at DBG—assigns him the task of tracking her down and neutralizing her. Jacob's condition allows him to carry out assignments with ruthless, logical precision—devoid of guilt, fear, or dishonor. But as his new assignment draws him inside a labyrinthine network of dark dealings, Jacob finds himself up against something he is completely incapable of understanding. Spark is an ingenious and chilling vision of modern-day humanity under constant, invasive surveillance and a pulse-pounding game of cat and mouse.
About John Twelve Hawks
JOHN TWELVE HAWKS is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Traveler, The Dark River, and The Golden City.
“What sets Spark apart is John Twelve Hawks’s expert characterization of Jacob Underwood, a first-person narrator whose view of the world is so unexpected and strange that we can’t take our eyes off him. This is an adrenaline-charged thriller–endlessly inventive–that winds through a landscape of cutting-edge technology with great assurance and skill.”
—LINCOLN CHILD, New York Times bestselling author of The Third Gate and coauthor (with Douglas Preston) of White Fire
"Spark is a marvel. An utterly gripping, unbelievably imaginative tale with all the heart, drive, and humanity that it's hero, Jacob Underwood, a contract assassin, lacks. Underwood is an amazing creation--a man afflicted with Cotard's Syndrome, who believes himself to be spiritually and emotionally dead. Yet as he travels the world, seeking his most important target, he discovers that somewhere inside of him, a spark still fires. At once a heart pounding thriller, a bitter indictment of our growing surveillance state, and a life affirming story of the indomitability of the human heart, Spark is the most satisfying book you will read this year!"
--CHRISTOPHER REICH, New York Times bestselling author of RULES OF DECEPTION and INVASION OF PRIVACY (spring 2015)
"The author of the Fourth Realm trilogy returns with a thriller about a contract killer who, following a brain injury, suffers from Cotard’s syndrome, a (genuine) form of mental illness in which the afflicted person believes he or she is dead. Jacob’s injury has totally changed his life; he needs a highly structured, uncluttered environment, and he needs to learn how to simulate all of the forms of human behavior that used to come naturally to him. But his new assignment, which involves locating (and then possibly killing) a missing woman, soon leads him into situations that are exceedingly disorganized and full of human emotion (which, as a "dead" man, he no longer experiences or understands). It’s been several years since the Fourth Realm trilogy ended, and some readers might have wondered if the author had only one story to tell. But guess what? As good as the Fourth Realm books were, this one may be even more appealing: less fantastic, more grounded in a contemporary real world, with a narrator who is deeply scarred and endlessly fascinating."
--Booklist (Starred review)