Creating comic books, writing for HBO – including the pilot for his own bestseller The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death, and continuously turning out noir crime novels for his fans keeps Charlie Huston pretty busy. Charlie has been called “the voice of twenty-first century crime fiction,” by the Washington Post, and is the author of the Henry Thompson Trilogy, the Joe Pitt Case Books, a sustained run on Marvel Comics’ Moon Knight, and multiple stand-alone novels. Join us for the launch of this Anthony Award-nominee’s latest, future espionage thriller, Skinner.
Skinner founded his career in "asset protection" 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 "the voice of twenty-first century crime fiction," SKINNER is Charlie Huston's masterpiece--a new kind of thriller for a new kind of world.
What LAPD cop Parker Hass wants is a world both safe and just for his wife and infant daughter. But then a plague of insomnia strikes. Working undercover as a drug dealer in a Los Angeles ruled in equal parts by martial law and insurgency, Park is tasked with cutting off illegal trade in Dreamer, the only drug that can give the infected their precious sleep. After a year of lost leads, Park stumbles into the perilous shadows cast by the pharmaceutical giant behind Dreamer. Somewhere in those shadows a secret is hiding. Drawn into the inner circle of a tech guru with a warped agenda, Park delves deeper into the restless world. His wife has become sleepless, and their daughter may soon share the same fate. For them, he will risk everything. Whatever the cost to himself.
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.
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 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.