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AFTERLIFE Paperback – July 18, 2017
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The Amazon Book Review
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An Amazon Best Book of July 2017: After you read dozens upon dozens of thrillers, sometimes their twists and turns become more like predictable wiggles. Not so in Afterlife. Toward the beginning, there were a handful of moments where I thought, “I can see where this is going….” I was wrong every single time, and I finally wised up and just settled in for the ride. FBI agent Will Brody and Assistant Special Agent in Charge Claire McCoy have a panicked Chicago on their hands when a serial sniper takes down his seventeenth victim outside a high-end grocery store. But it’s not until the killer lays a cunning trap for the agents tracking him that Brody and McCoy realize that they are facing someone—or something—that has never been seen before by the FBI’s behavioral specialists. A ghost story, a love story, a whole lot of action, and a true-blue indictment on the corrosiveness of evil form the flexible backbone of this whip-smart thriller that corkscrews like a bronco. --Adrian Liang, The Amazon Book Review
“Edgar finalist Sakey follows his Brilliance Trilogy with a remarkably conceived and passionately realized supernatural thriller.…Balancing lyric romance and altruistic self-sacrifice with horrifying scenes and wrenching violence, Sakey comes up with a fascinating answer to the eternal question of why humans exist.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Sakey follows up his incredible Brilliance Trilogy with an otherworldly stand-alone thriller about a subterranean war between gods and monsters...employ[ing] all his storytelling gifts to craft a noodle-bender of the first order. A love story enmeshed in a twisty thriller that peels back the universe to see what lies beneath.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“AFTERLIFE is simultaneously a beautiful love story, a grim tale of apocalyptic conflict, and an opportunity for an insightful writer to ruminate on the eternal verities. Great appeal across genres.” —Booklist (starred review)
“Sakey has crafted an original and unpredictable tale that puts a different spin on the battle between good and evil.” —Associated Press
“Sakey has crafted a compulsive thriller.…His world-building is pretty epic, and the community of characters…reminded me of Stephen King’s The Stand. It’s amazing what a skillful writer with ‘a sense of theater’ and a brilliant imagination can do.” —The Minneapolis Star Tribune
“AFTERLIFE drags the reader along at a breathless pace.…Excellent, addictive, and eminently re-readable fiction.” —RT Book Reviews (Five Star Gold review)
“Imagine the love story in the film Ghost dropped into The Matrix. Astonishing.” —Don Winslow
“Truly incredible. An epic, original vision. My brain is still bent.” —Blake Crouch
PRAISE FOR MARCUS SAKEY
“Ridiculously good…Sakey is the master of the mindful page turner.” —Gillian Flynn
“One of our best storytellers.” —Michael Connelly
“It’s depth and intelligence and passion and emotion that set Sakey apart.” —Lee Child
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Will Brody is a member of an FBI task force in Chicago reporting to Claire McCoy who is a beautiful woman as well as being a very talented manager. While their on the job relationship is straightforward and correct they have also fallen in love and look forward to a life together with Will resigning from the FBI in order not to compromise Claire. But the best laid plans of mice and men often are thwarted by events and that is what happens in Afterlife. Will is killed by an explosion during a raid on the residence of a suspected serial killer. Claire is devastated but must carry on with the investigation of the killer. As for Will; he remembers being killed but awakens absolutely unmarked by the bomb blast into a Chicago vastly different than the area he was working in for the FBI. The city is dark, cars lay about abandoned and he spots some people armed with machetes moving about. What is happening when both the "dead" Will and Claire find that their love can somehow go on and search for each other.
Mr Sakey describes a multi layered afterlife that the two lovers must navigate in order to both stay together as well as defeat an evil that transcends the many sectors they face in life after death. Reading this novel can only be done by the avid reader in one fell swoop hypnotized and drawn in by the concepts presented and described. It will come as no surprise that the book has already been set up as a motion picture produced by Ron Howard. Computer aided movie techniques will lend themselves to the visual feast required to showcase the events and bring Mr Sakey's work to the Silver Screen. Very different and very well done indeed.
Why? It posits a very different type of afterlife for humanity: one that is as dependent upon personal 'choice' as while alive, is still open to baser human instincts...and, is horribly dangerous to both the dead and the living. There is no separate heaven/hell...instead sinners and saints are thrown into the same place; where the different rules can cause them to act in opposition to the way they acted when 'living'. In short, it subverts what every 'holy' person has been preaching for millennia...and, is all the more fun for its temerity.
It makes for a narrative that demands full attention...as there are numerous, honest and mind-bending plot twists along the way. It builds worlds, develops characters and challenges the reader in the best ways...all while telling a truly ripping yarn.
My only serious caveat: Sakey went a wee bit overboard with the overwhelming 'soul mates for eternity' luv of his two protagonists. But, that's just the attitude of a 60 year-old curmudgeon ;-) Its a very different and rewarding supernatural tale; and, will make a great movie if the source material is honored.