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Crack-Up: A Psychological Thriller [Kindle Edition]

Eric Christopherson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $3.99

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Book Description

Best Mystery Novel, Red Adept Annual Indie Awards 2010

In this psychological thriller, Argus Ward is a former U.S. Secret Service agent who runs a protection agency catering to the rich and famous. His best-kept secret--which he shares with lawyers and doctors and even psychiatrists--is his status as a high-functioning paranoid schizophrenic. One day, with little warning, he turns psychotic for the first time in twenty years. He lands in a secure psychiatric facility, charged with the murder of his most famous client, high tech industry billionaire John Helms, the wealthiest man in America.

Argus has no memory of the killing. A blood test suggests to him that some unknown enemy had switched his anti-psychotic medication with identical-looking dummy pills to purposely drive him insane.

A sign of lingering paranoia? His doctor thinks so. Even his wife.

Yet Argus escapes incarceration to prove his theory. With the law on his trail and a ticking time bomb in his head--due to a lack of medication--he discovers that his disease had been "weaponized" by a powerful group to secretly assassinate John Helms as part of a multiple assassination conspiracy of world-wide significance.

Or has Argus simply lost his mind again? What in the end is "real" and what is only imagination in his story?

And what is justice for the criminally insane?

Come lose your grip on reality. Read CRACK-UP.

* * * * * * * *

Also by Eric Christopherson: THE PROPHET MOTIVE

San Francisco police detective John Richetti infiltrates a bizarre cult on the trail of two murder suspects. But a series of sophisticated brainwashing techniques pushes him beyond the breaking point ...

Product Details

  • File Size: 397 KB
  • Print Length: 217 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #402,786 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
106 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't Put It Down July 30, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Plot/Storyline: 5 Stars

Ever imagined what it's like to be a paranoid schizophrenic? This book will show you. You will cringe from the emotions invoked by this thriller. You might even become a little paranoid yourself.

The protagonist, Argus, of this book already knows that he has a problem. However, he also knows that his medication controls it. So, what happens when he sees a naked stewardess serving drinks on a plane and none of the other passengers notice? Well, he must be going crazy again, right?

There are many plot twists and turns while Argus goes on a journey to try to figure out what is real and what is not. He also needs to clear himself of a murder charge. This is a bit difficult to do while in a mental institution.

Reading this book will have you on the edge of your seat, unable to put it down. I was actually sad to see it end.

Character Development: 4 3/4 Stars

Argus is a very logical character. Although he suffers from a mental illness, readers can easily put themselves in his shoes to understand the realistic decisions made by him.

I did wonder at times why he didn't spare a little more thought to his wife and child.

Writing Style: 5 Stars

This book is extremely well written with tight, concise prose. Every single sentence forwards the plot and story line.

Editing/Formatting: 5 Stars

This is a self-published work without an error to be found. It is of better quality than many commercially published books. The Kindle formatting is also excellent.

Rating: PG-13 due to minimal violence and mature psychological issues
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Argus Ward is a hero with a secret. Everyone knows he once saved the President's life, but very few people are aware that he's also a paranoid schizophrenic. Luckily, he's been able to keep his condition under control with medication...

...until he sees a naked flight attendant on a corporate jet and begins a slow, torturous descent into insanity.

Argus suspects someone discovered his secret and sabotaged his medication to make him go crazy.

But how can he know anything for sure when he can't even distinguish what's real from what isn't?

And therein lies the premise of Eric Christopherson's "Crack-Up" - one of the BEST thrillers I've read in ages.

Christopherson is a master storyteller. His first book is easily in the same class as the giants of the genre.

"Crack-Up" is an incredible debut novel and an absolute must-read.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hooked from the start September 8, 2010
By VickiT
Format:Kindle Edition
`"Listen to me, son," said the caller. My father? "Kill John Helms." Then he hung up.'

What happens when the lines between reality and delusion start to blur? Paranoid schizophrenic Argus Ward sees and hears things, but how much of it is real? What about the voices telling him to kill his most famous client...

Crack-up hooked me from the start. By the end, I was almost as paranoid as Argus. A fast-paced, excellently crafted thriller, gripping from start to finish. I look forward to reading more from this author.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book rocked February 20, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was among the best 2 or 3 thrillers I read in 2010, and I read a few dozen. Writing is tight, the pace is breathless, and the main character is complex enough that you simply must find out what happens next. Highly recommended
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, Original Thriller August 20, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an amazing look into the mind of the paranoid schizophrenic, complete with auditory and visual hallucinations. Conspiracy theorists will love the plot with its many twists and mysteries, each compounded by the fact that every single minute could be a delusion or hallucination or could be real...the reader, trapped in the mind of the unmedicated schizophrenic is along for the ride, trying to parse out what's real and what isn't, all while trying to solve a conspiracy that could lead to (another) murder.

The fast pace of this book makes it feel short, although it's actually a pretty good length for a novel. It's well written, with almost no formatting errors, and kept me entertained with it's unusual and original premise. Despite it's fantastic nature, the novel actually reads like it's a believable situation and you will find yourself second guessing your first assumptions over and over again.

A great read. Well worth the 99 cents they were charging for it in Kindle edition. I'm looking for other novels by this author, and I wouldn't be surprised if they up the price soon because the quality is worth much more than that.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to Believe July 29, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition
Not bad writing. Not a bad idea. Problem: believability. I just couldn't buy, the whole time, that a crazy guy who has to take drugs not to see hallucinations would ever be allowed anywhere near the presidential secret service. I've worked in Washington and other guv jobs, (but never in secret service). I can tell you there is NO WAY he would get such a job if there was even a blip of uncertainty on that lie detector or drugs in his records. No way. Not ever.

Nor would such a person be allowed to be a hot-shot rich guy's bodyguard. Background checks would be performed there as well. These stark pieces of reality kept occurring to me throughout the book, and halting my enjoyment. I still give it 3 stars, because the book isn't bad otherwise and its cheap.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Crack up
This was a different read for me. For the most part I did enjoy the book. How difficult life is for people with mental issues. Good read. I found it hard to put down..
Published 22 months ago by Kathy Gisi
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This book had times that were outright hilarious, and times that were unbelievably full of suspense. Read more
Published on April 16, 2013 by Killa
5.0 out of 5 stars page turner
Fast paced novel that keeps you reading to the end as fast as you can. The book also makes you aware that maybe a big brother could be created.
Published on June 7, 2012 by Anna M. Licona
5.0 out of 5 stars autorpholloway
I like this book because: I like books written in the first person, I like espionage-type books, I like paychological thrillers, I like lots of surprises, I like stories where the... Read more
Published on April 11, 2012 by authorpholloway
5.0 out of 5 stars An unreliable narrator tells a thrilling story.
I saw "Crack-up" by Eric Christopherson mentioned in the Amazon forums, and thought it looked interesting. I'm glad I picked up a copy, as it was a very entertaining read. Read more
Published on January 28, 2012 by Sara Jo Easton
3.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly Ordinary
This was on okay read, not horrible, but not exhilarating either. The story is basically about mental illness and the stigma attached to that in the United States. Read more
Published on September 13, 2011 by Amazon Customer
Published on June 27, 2011 by BONFOGLIO
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting!
This book was so excitng for me, I couldn't put it down. I loved trying to figure out what was real and what was imagined.
Published on June 8, 2011 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Prett good read
Not bad read, good idea of what goes on the mind of people with mental disorders/diseases. Humerous @ times, especialy towards the end when Argus hasn't taken his meds. Read more
Published on June 4, 2011 by Becca
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Finally a Kindle original that is a great read.

Crack-Up is a ripping yard about a security consultant - Argus Ward - who also happens to be a high functioning paranoid... Read more
Published on April 11, 2011 by peter
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More About the Author

Eric Christopherson has more than 150,000 copies of his books in circulation worldwide.

He is a former police officer and federal government consultant.

A summa cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler, he also has a graduate degree from Duke University.

He was born in California, grew up in New England, and has since lived throughout the United States and a bit in Asia. He now lives in semi-rural Ohio with his wife, Seiko, a toddler son, Keith, and an infant daughter, Annabel.

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Topic From this Discussion
To the Author
Thanks so much for the review! Couldn't have asked for a better first one.

Thanks also for the advertising. I've sold a lot of books today. Now I will go check out these forums you mention...
Jul 31, 2009 by E. Christopherson |  See all 3 posts
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