Charlie Huston is the author of the Henry Thompson trilogy, the Joe Pitt casebooks, and the bestsellers THE SHOTGUN RULE and THE MYSTIC ARTS OF ERASING ALL SIGNS OF DEATH. He lives with his family in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles has become the city that never sleeps: an insomnia epidemic is sweeping the town, causing psychosis. As people begin to lose their minds, the line between reality and nightmare blurs. LAPD officer Parker Haas can sleep, but he's wide awake. Going undercover to find the source of Dreamer - the black market drug that gives the afflicted the sleep relief they crave - he is plunged into a dark and restless world. But as he edges closer to the truth, Park must beware the enemies hiding in the shadows. Park's also battling a personal nightmare. His wife has been sleepless for months, and the final phase of the disease - 'the suffering' - is close. Soon, Park must decide what he'll do to save his loved ones, whatever the cost to himself...
A high-concept spy thriller that pushes the genre into the 21st century. Skinner wasn't like other boys. He appeared to have no emotions, powered by reason and logic alone. And to the CIA, he's the perfect asset. An assassin they can programme and control. But now Skinner has been tasked with a new mission. One that will place him at the heart of a deadly conspiracy. Even for an operative with Skinner's off-the-wall skillset, it's a suicide mission. And Skinner begins to wonder if he's become too good at his job for his employers to keep around. For the first time, Skinner has to decide whose side he's really on. And if the price of his own survival is worth paying.
Skinner founded his career in "e;asset protection"e; on fear. To touch anyone under his protection was to invite destruction. A savagely effective methodology, until Skinner's CIA handlers began to fear him as much as his enemies did and banished him to the hinterlands of the intelligence community.Now, an ornate and evolving cyber-terrorist attack is about to end that long exile. His asset is Jae, a roboticist with a gift for seeing the underlying systems violently shaping a new era of global guerrilla warfare.At the root of it all is a young boy, the innocent seed of a plot grown in the slums of Mumbai. Brought to flower, that plot will tip the balance of world power in a perilous new direction.A combination of Le Carre spycraft with Stephenson techno-philosophy from the novelist hailed by the Washington Post as "e;the voice of twenty-first century crime fiction,"e; SKINNER is Charlie Huston's masterpiece--a new kind of thriller for a new kind of world.
It's like this: a series of bullet-riddled bad breaks has seen rogue Vampyre and terminal tough guy Joe Pitt go from PI for hire to Clan-connected enforcer to dead man walking in a New York minute. And after burning all his bridges, the only one left to cross leads to the Bronx, where Joe's brass knuckles and straight razor can't keep him from running afoul of a sadistic old bloodsucker with a bad bark and a worse bite. Even if every Clan in Manhattan is hollering for Joe's head on a stick, it's got to be better than trying to survive in the outer-borough wilderness. So it's a no-brainer when Clan boss Dexter Predo comes looking to make a deal. All Joe has to do to win back breathing privileges on his old turf is infiltrate an upstart Clan whose plan to cure the Vyrus could expose the secret Vampyre world to mortal eyes and set off a panic-driven massacre. Not cool. But Joe's all over it. To save the Undead future, he just has to wade neck-deep through all the archenemies, former friends, and assorted heavy hitters he's crossed in the past. No sweat? Maybe not, but definitely more blood than he's ever seen or hungered for. And maybe even some tears-over the horror and heartbreaking truth about the evil men do no matter who or what they are.
There's only so much room on the Island-only so much blood-and Manhattan's Vampyre Clans aren't interested in sharing. So when the Vyrus-infected dregs of New York's outer boroughs start creeping across the bridges, the Clans want to know why. Bad luck for PI Joe Pitt. Joe used to be a Rogue, working off his own dime, picking his own gigs, but tight times and a terminally ill girlfriend pushed him to the renegade Society Clan. Now he has all the cash and blood he needs, but at a steep price. The price tonight is crossing the bridge, finding the Freak Clan, and figuring out what's driving the savages to scratch at the Society's door. No need to look far-the answer lies around the corner in Gravesend. From uptown to the boardwalk, war drums are beating. Murderous family feuds and personal grudges are being drawn and brandished, along with the long knives.
Every day, more and more people have been found to have contracted the illness. It reveals itself gradually, inhibiting sleep, eating away at one's mind, birthing panic and confusion, until the final few months before death known as the suffering. The epidemic has swept the globe, and now infects one in ten people. Straight-arrow cop Parker T. Haas is working undercover as a dealer in the black-market trade of Dreamer, the only known drug that offers relief for the sleepless. The drug is in small supply and impossibly high demand, and in his darker moments, Park admits to himself that his interest in it goes beyond the professional. His own wife, Rose, has been sleepless for months, and they haven't yet found the courage to find out if their infant daughter is also sick. Though the stress at work and at home are weighing on him, Park presses on, feeling like he's on the cusp of learning something crucial about the disease.
As the concluding volume of this highly acclaimed series opens, Joe has spent a year splashing around in the city's sewer system, protecting the perimeters of the ground on which his love, Evie, now lives. Above ground, Manhattan's Vampyre clans have at last abandoned any claims on civility and have finally sprung fully for each others' throats. But as Vampyre civil war rages, Joe is tracked down by an old acquaintance and pulled back to the surface. At last, the many questions that have driven him will be put to rest - and the many friends and foes who have defined his world will either be put in the ground or will claw their way to survival. The carefully maintained peace is forgotten. When the stakes are this high, there can be no neutrality - only winners and losers. But when the blood stops flowing, what side will Joe Pitt be on?
After exposing the secret source of blood for half of Manhattan's Vampyres, private eye Joe Pitt is definitely a dead man walking. For a year, he's sloshed around the subway tunnels and sewers, tapping the veins of the lost, while above ground, a Vampyre civil war threatens to drag the Clans into the sunlight once and for all. What's it gonna take to dig him up? Just the search for a missing girl who's carrying a baby that just might be the destiny of Vampyre-kind. Not that Joe cares all that much about destiny and such. What he cares about is that his ex-girl Evie wants him to take the gig. What's the risk? Another turn playing pigeon in a shooting gallery. What's the reward? Maybe one shot of his own. What's he aiming for? Nothing much-just all the evil at the heart of his world.
Webster Fillmore Goodhue has found temporary work as one of the mop-up crew for the Los Angeles County crime division. In other words, he cleans up grisly crime scenes for the cops. When the daughter of a recent Malibu suicide victim asks for his help cleaning up after her brother has gotten into a little trouble, every cell in Web's brain is telling him to turn her down. But she's very attractive, and before he knows it, he's well on his way to getting his face kicked in, facing down some gun-toting LA cowboys, and hanging on for dear life. And that's only the beginning.
Joe Pitt's life sucks. He hasn't had a case or a job in God knows how long, and his stashes are running on empty. What stashes? The only ones that count to a guy like Joe: blood and money. The money he uses to buy blood; the blood, he drinks. Hey, it's that or your neck, buddy. The only way for him to lay his hands on both is to take a gig with the local Vampyre Clan. See, something new is on the streets, a new high, a high so strong it can send a Vampyre spazzing through Joe's local watering hole. Till Joe sends him through a plate-glass window, that is. It won't be long now before he's slapping stoolies, getting sapped, and being taken for a ride above 110th Street. Someone's pulling Joe's strings, and he's gonna cut them when he finds them-the strings and the hands that hold them.
Those stories you hear? The ones about things that only come out at night? Things that feed on blood, feed on us? Got news for you: they're true. Only it's not like the movies or old man Stoker's storybook. It's worse. Especially if you happen to be one of them. Just ask Joe Pitt. There's a shambler on the loose. Some fool who got himself infected with a flesh-eating bacteria is lurching around, trying to munch on folks' brains. Joe hates shamblers, but he's still the one who has to deal with them. That's just the kind of life he has. Except afterlife might be a better word. From the Battery to the Bronx, and from river to river, Manhattan is crawling with Vampyres. Joe is one of them, and he's not happy about it. Yeah, he gets to be stronger and faster than you, and he's tough as nails and hard to kill. But spending his nights trying to score a pint of blood to feed the Vyrus that's eating at him isn't his idea of a good time. And Joe doesn't make it any easier on himself. Going his own way, refusing to ally with the Clans that run the undead underside of Manhattan-it ain't easy. It's worse once he gets mixed up with the Coalition-the city's most powerful Clan-and finds himself searching for a poor little rich girl who's gone missing in Alphabet City. Now the Coalition and the girl's high-society parents are breathing down his neck, anarchist Vampyres are pushing him around, and a crazy Vampyre cult is stalking him. No time to complain, though. Got to find that girl and kill that shambler before the whip comes down...and before the sun comes up.
There's a bad vibe in the air. Every Vampyre in Manhattan feels it in their bones . . . and in their blood. The mother of all gang rumbles is brewing between the divided Clans of the city's undead. A battle royal for more turf that will tear the island from stem to stern. And just his luck, Joe Pitt is smack in the middle of it.A rogue Vampyre who shunned Clan life, Joe's his own man. Kind of. Thing is, there's certain people have a claim on his talents. When they need someone who's . . . expendable, they call on Joe Pitt. They're calling now. With war drums beating from the Hudson to the Harlem River, Joe's been dispatched into the uncharted territory of Brooklyn to seal an alliance with the Freaks - a Clan who more than live up to their name. But across the bridge, things go south with savage swiftness, as Joe gets swept into a murderous family feud between crazed Clans that will paint the borough scarlet from Gravesend to Coney Island.
New York's favourite rogue detective, Joe Pitt, is about to find himself caught in a nasty power struggle between competing Vampyre clans. Down to his last few bags of blood and behind on rent, Joe takes on a decidedly dirty job: finding the source of a powerful drug that's hit the street, one strong enough to affect Vampyres and make its users do unpredictable things, things that could bring unwelcome exposure to New York's Vampyre community. Unfortunately, that entails crossing the mid-Manhattan turf of the Coalition into the equally fearsome territory of the Hood in Harlem. One thing about Vampyres: they have plenty of time on their bloodstained hands to engage in complex, violent feuds. Worse, Joe might be some powerful player's idea of a sacrificial pawn ...
Henry "e;Hank"e; Thompson's got a good thing going-a hut on a quiet Mexican beach, morning swims, a nice breakfast place a few miles down shore ... until a backpacker with a Russian accent shows up and starts asking questions about his past. Questions Hank doesn't want to deal with. And then the backpacker mentions the money ... and Hank's parents. So Hank makes a fateful move ... because no one threatens Hank's family. Now Thompson is on the run-dodging federales and Russian mobsters, sneaking past the US Border Patrol, negotiating with nefarious businessmen, and trying desperately to avoid dying at the hands of two hell-bent surfer bums who fancy themselves his allies. The result is a full-throttle thriller, a cinematic adventure full of booze, bullets, loyalty, and love.
They live among us, slaves to the very condition that empowers them. They are the Vampyre, and their sole chance at survival lies in banding into Clans. Only Joe Pitt has gone his own way. The upside is freedom. The downside is there's nobody on his side when trouble comes around. Joe gets rough receptions from all the countless Clans shifting about on the island of Manhattan, but his current trouble is with the Coalition - the Clan that controls the city river to river, from 14th Street to 110th Street. To make things right, Joe takes on his most perilous case: The daughter of a prominent New York family is missing, and her Vampyre fascination makes Joe the ideal man for this high-stakes job.With his ferocious style, Charlie Huston offers a thrilling new twist to one of our oldest myths.
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