When Harden Campbell wakes cold and beaten in a dirt-floor cell, he finds only three other things in the room with him: the mutilated body of his good friend, an ancient typewriter, and a stack of blank paper, the top sheet of which has a single, typed sentence.
Tell me a story.
He knows the message is from Coyote, his brilliant, megalomaniacal roommate whose lust for power and reverence has recently revealed him for the true sociopath he is. Now, as the founder of a new religion with disturbing roots—Revelation—Coyote’s most evil side has emerged. From the moment Harden sees that stack of paper, he knows his one chance of escape is through his own words, and only his ability to successfully recount the dark story of what happened over the past year at Wyland University will determine whether he lives to see the woman he loves once again—or is silenced forever.
This will be the most difficult story Harden has ever written, and each word must be chosen with the utmost care. Because Coyote will be reading each and every one of them.
Harden Campbell, the hero of Wilson's enthralling thriller, awakens in pitch darkness lying on a dirt floor, unaware of how he got there. Feeling his way around, he bumps into a dead body. Then a light suddenly goes on, and he sees that he's in a locked room with the body of Derek, a friend with whom he recently celebrated his 21st birthday. Derek's throat is cut. Harden also sees a table with a typewriter; on top of a stack of paper is a sheet with the message: "Tell me a story." Harden suspects that his psychopathic college roommate, Wiley "Coyote" Martin, is responsible for his captivity, angry that Harden was cooperating with the FBI to obtain information for the agency on Coyote's shady activities. Harden types out a mesmerizing tale describing how Coyote took inspiration from a short story that Harden wrote for a class to create and build an extremist religion, which Coyote uses for nefarious purposes, including ruining the lives of innocent people. Wilson (The Comfort of Black) infuses his terrifying plot with intricate twists and turns, all totally credible.