In Wyoming, a little girl reads people's darkest secrets by the way they fold their arms. In New York, a man sensing patterns in the stock market racks up $300 billion. In Chicago, a woman can go invisible by being where no one is looking. They're called "brilliants," and since 1980, one percent of people have been born this way. Nick Cooper is among them; a federal agent, Cooper has gifts rendering him exceptional at hunting terrorists. His latest target may be the most dangerous man alive, a brilliant drenched in blood and intent on provoking civil war. But to catch him, Cooper will have to violate everything he believes in - and betray his own kind.
From Marcus Sakey, "a modern master of suspense" (Chicago Sun-Times) and "one of our best storytellers" (Michael Connelly), comes an adventure that's at once breakneck thriller and shrewd social commentary; a gripping tale of a world fundamentally different and yet horrifyingly similar to our own, where being born gifted can be a terrible curse.
"Starred Review. In this parable of democracy's downfall told in rapid-fire cuts, Sakey upends truths Cooper once thought self-evident, the truths people don't seem to want any more, preferring instead, 'safe lives and nice electronics and full fridges' - nothing less than the tragedy of our times." - Publishers Weekly
"Starred Review. Sakey's premise is utterly compelling; no committed thriller aficionado will be able to set the book down. His complex characters are deeply engaging, and his writing is propulsive." - Booklist
"Sakey's (The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes; Good People) is one of the more surprising thrillers of the year. It should appeal to both sf and mystery lovers." - Library Journal
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Rated of 5
Brilliance by Marcus Sakey
Not only is this an original concept but it is also a timely one. In the US, we have had the Snowden scandal, and many of us learned, though some of us had already suspected, that our government had been bugging its own citizens. Of course they claim it is for our own safety and that many terrorist attacks have been averted because of this program. Well what one thinks of that is neither here nor there, in this book Cooper finds himself working for a government agency that is charged with just such a task. Doing anything to keep the public safe, only safe for whom?
This is a suspenseful book, it really kept me turning the pages, wanting to find out how it was going to end. The Brilliants, are children born with unusual abilities. While there have always been savants, geniuses, now many more are being born than ever before. As usual, because it isn't understood, it is feared.
This book does make one think. When is it okay to bug your own citizens?
How does one know when they are being told the truth. Most of all, what can we do as regular people when we don't agree with what is happening?
Marcus Sakey was born in Flint, Michigan. He attended the University of Michigan, and collected single terms at grad schools in several states. He then spent ten years in advertising and marketing.
To research his books, he has shadowed homicide detectives, toured the morgue, gone shooting with Special Forces soldiers, ridden with gang cops, and learned to pick a deadbolt. His first novel, The Blade Itself, was featured on CBS Sunday Morning and NPR, and chosen both a New York Times Editor's Pick and one of Esquire Magazine's "Top 5 Reads of 2007." The Chicago Tribune called his second novel, At the City's Edge, "nothing short of brilliant." His third, Good People, came out to wide critical acclaim.
He lives with his wife in Chicago.
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