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.
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.
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Skinner is exceptionally intelligent and well written. The characters and dialog are original, fully developed and memorable. Huston writes clearly and evocatively. The scenes and character actions are so descriptive and imaginative that you feel like your reading a movie. Hope there is a sequel.
Huston is by far my favorite author. It has been years since he released a book, I know he was working on the show for HBO (fail for not taking it). But I am really looking forward to this book.