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In a near future where climate change has severely affected weather and agriculture, the North End of an unnamed city has long been abandoned in favor of the neighboring South End. Aside from the scavengers steadily stripping the empty city to its bones, only a few thousand people remain, content to live quietly among the crumbling metropolis. Many, like the narrator, are there to try to escape the demons of their past. He spends his time observing and recording the decay around him, attempting to bury memories of what he has lost.
But it eventually becomes clear that things are unraveling elsewhere as well, as strangers, violent and desperate alike, begin to appear in the North End, spreading word of social and political deterioration in the South End and beyond. Faced with a growing disruption to his isolated life, the narrator discovers within himself a surprising need to resist losing the home he has created in this empty place. He and the rest of the citizens of the North End must choose whether to face outsiders as invaders or welcome them as neighbors.
The City Where We Once Lived is a haunting novel of the near future that combines a prescient look at how climate change and industrial flight will shape our world with a deeply personal story of one man running from his past. In lean, spare prose, Eric Barnes brings into sharp focus questions of how we come to call a place home and what is our capacity for violence when that home becomes threatened.
In this prequel to Eric Barnes's acclaimed cli-fi novel The City Where We Once Lived, six sets of characters move through a landscape and a country just beginning to show the signs of cataclysmic change. A father and his young children fleeing a tsunami after a massive earthquake in the Gulf. A woman and her husband punishing themselves without relent for the loss of both their sons to addiction, while wildfires slowly burn closer to their family home. A brilliant investor, assessing opportunity in the risk to crops, homes, cities, industries, and infrastructure, working in the silent comfort of her office sixty floors up in the scorching air. A doctor and his wife stuck in a refugee camp for immigrants somewhere in a southern desert. Two young men working the rides for a roadside carnival, one escaping a brutal past, the other a racist present. The manager of a chain of nondescript fast-food restaurants in a city ravaged by the relentless wind..
While every night the news alternates images of tsunami destruction with the baseball scores, the characters converge on a city where the forces of change have already broken—a city half abandoned, with one part left to be scavenged as the levee system protecting it slowly fails—until, in their vehicles on the highway that runs through it, they witness the approach of what looks to be just one more violent storm.
HARLAN COBEN PICKS THE YEAR'S BEST CRIME WRITING
Hand-picked by number one bestselling author Harlan Coben, this definitive anthology showcases the best of this year's crime-writing, from the masters of modern suspense and the stars of the future alike. Whether ingenious detective story or hardboiled noir, action-packed thriller or stylish historical mystery, these twenty stand-out stories should form the cornerstone of any crime reader's library.
Edited by Harlan Coben
Harlan Coben is the number-one bestselling author of eighteen novels, including Tell No One, Promise Me, and The Innocent. He is the winner of the Edgar, Shamus, and Anthony awards. He lives in New Jersey with his family.
'Excellent... 20 winning short stories, many by relative unknowns... Other contributors include such pros as Lawrence Block, Loren D. Estleman, and Mickey Spillane and Max Collins.' Publishers Weekly
'Offers a variety of tastes and textures... the best of Coben's Best really is first-rate.' Kirkus
Core Communications, a data technology company,
from 30 people to over 5,000. Now a $20 billion
company made legendary by its sudden success,
Core is based on a technology no other company
can come close to copying, a revolutionary
breakthrough known as drawing blood from a
mainframe.” And Robbie, its 35-year-old CEO, is
acclaimed worldwide for his vision, leadership and
Except that all of it is based on a lie. The technology
doesn’t work, the finances are built on a Ponzi
scheme of stock sales and shell corporations, and
Robbie is struggling to keep the company alive,
to protect the friends who work for him and all
that they’ve built. Each day, Robbie tries to push
the catastrophe back a little further, while his
employees believe that they are all moving closer
to grace,” the day their stock options vest, when
they will be made rich for their faith and loyalty and
hard work. The details of the lie are all keyed into
a shadowy interface that Robbie calls Shimmer, an
omniscient mainframe that hides itself, calculates
its own collapse, threatens to outsmart its creator
and to reveal the corporation’s illegal, fragile
Shimmer is the story of a high-tech crusade nearing
its end. The shell game Robbie has created is finally
running out of room. And Robbie is the only one
who knows or who has a chance to make things
right. Or is he?
A breathless debut novel that charges the
atmosphere with suspense and surprise and
delivers complex characters you can root for in
spite of their flaws, Shimmer is Robbie’s race
against the truth.