(First Two Chapters in Sample)
Jacob Underwood is a contract employee of the Special Services Section, a shadow department in a faceless multinational corporation called DGB. But Jacob isn’t an accountant or an IT specialist. He’s 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 down Emily 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, the perfect assassin 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.
"John Twelve Hawks" is a pseudonym and his real identity is unknown. Also known as JTH to his readers, John Twelve Hawks is the author of the new near-future thriller, Spark (October 2014), and the 2005 dystopian novel The Traveler and its sequels, The Dark River and The Golden City, collectively comprising the Fourth Realm Trilogy. The trilogy has been translated into 25 languages and has sold more than 1.5 million books.
“Spark is an even better introduction to the abundant dystopian talents of John Twelve Hawks than The Traveler
was… exhilarated… breathless action …[The] protagonist lives in an
ominous, technology-dominated world where machines aid or spy on all
aspects of life. Sometimes, they can do both, and the few free souls
left in society fear that a takeover by artificial intelligence isn’t
far away…Mr. Twelve Hawks sets up the battles in Spark as more
than simple combat. His appeal lies in his pairing of one system of
belief against another and letting them duke it out.” –Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“The novel, by the author of “The Fourth Realm Trilogy,”
is a fantastic blend of action and deeper questions about what it means
to be human.” –Nancy Hightower, The Washington Post
“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.” --David Pitt, BOOKLIST