Anyone familiar with Charlie Huston’s fast-paced; action- packed novels knows that each and every one of his books is as unique and as special as his characters. He is also familiar to comic book fans for his wonderful work on such established characters as "Wolverine" and "Moon-Knight".
From his “Joe Pitt Casebooks” about modern day vampires, to the “Henry Thompson” trilogy, “The Shotgun Rule”, “The Mystic Arts of Erasing all Signs of Death”, and “Sleeper”, Huston’s books are full of sharp dialogue, non-stop thrills and kick-butt stories. And his latest, “Skinner”, is no exception.
Skinner is the product of a very odd upbringing. Raised in a glass box by autistic parents bent on proving a scientific theory, he has never experienced real emotions or human relationships, which makes him even better suited for his job as a private security specialist whose specific job is asset protection.
His maxim is “The only way to secure an asset is to ensure that the cost of acquiring it is greater than its value”. This credo has served him and those he protects very well. That is, until Skinner, himself is devalued and thus becomes expendable.
After a failed assassination attempt, Skinner disappears. When word of a potential cyber-terrorism attack that would threaten the entire world becomes fact, he is once again called into service.
Skinner’s new asset is Jae, a young woman who sees patterns where there are none and solves puzzles that no one else realized needed solving. Together they travel the globe, following clue after clue, all the while growing closer and closer to both unbelievable danger and each other.
During the course of the novel, their desperate search will take them from Florida to Stockholm to India to find the source of the attack before other opposing security forces, international terrorists or their own people find them first.
A first-rate thriller with edge of your seat excitement, Skinner is also the tale of deeply damaged individuals and a terrifying warning about what can happen to a society that relies so heavily on social media and electronic communications for its information and personal interactions.
At its core, “Skinner” is a cautionary tale of a not so distant future and one made even more terrifying by its utter plausibility.
For espionage fans, thriller fans, or just fans of a fantastic story, Charlie Huston’s “Skinner” never disappoints.
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And, for all things Anne Rice, please visit the "Anne Rice Examiner" page. Her latest book, "The Wolves of Midwinter", a sequel to "The Wolf Gift", will be released October 15th, the same day, "The Heavens Rise", Christopher Rice's latest novel will also be released. Look for my review of both soon after that.
Coming up, a review of "The Blood Vivicanti" by Becket Ghioto, a new take on the vampire mythology sold in serial form.
See you next time!