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, the hero of this exceptionally smart thriller from Huston (Sleepless), gets his name from having been raised for the first 12 years of his life inside a Skinner box a chamber devised by 20th-century psychologist B.F. Skinner to conduct behavioral psychology experiments on animals. A former CIA agent whose early isolation has made him particularly suited to the trade of killing, Skinner is now a highly paid security technician who specializes in guarding clients, known as assets. One such asset is Jae, a genius analyst who likes to spend her time wandering an unnamed desert taking drugs and building tiny robots. The mysterious Terrence, who used to run the security firm Kestrel Dynamics, has worked up a solo operation for Skinner and Jae, which eventually leads them to a momentous discovery in the streets of Dharavi, a slum in the city of Bombay. Stunningly original characters, wildly surprising twists, and an ending that s both unexpected and moving make this an extraordinary genre stand-alone. This is the sort of book you want to reread just to see how the trick was done.