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The Kills: Sutler, the Massive, the Kill, and the Hitby Richard House
Synopses & Reviews
AN EPIC MASTERWORK OF INTERNATIONAL INTRIGUE SET IN THE ASHES OF WAR-TORN IRAQ, ITALY, AND AREAS IN BETWEEN.
The Kills is an epic novel of crime and conspiracy told in four books. The story begins with a man on the run and ends with a burned body. Moving across continents, characters, and genres, you wont find a more ambitious or thrilling novel this year.
Camp Liberty is an unmanned staging post in Amrah City, Iraq, the place where the detritus of the war is buried, incinerated, removed from memory. Out of the blue, plans are announced to transform it into the largest military base in the country, code-named the Massive, with a postwar strategy to convert the site for civilian use. Contracted by HOSCO International, the insidious company responsible for overseeing the Massive, Rem Gunnersen finds himself unwittingly commanding a disparate group of economic mercenaries at Camp Liberty when the mysterious Stephen Lawrence Sutler arrives.
As the men are unwittingly pitted against one another by HOSCO, the situation grows increasingly tense. And then everything changes. An explosion. An attack on a regional government office. When the dust settles, it emerges that Sutler has disappeared, and more than fifty million dollars of reconstruction funds are missing. Sutler finds himself accused and on the run. Gunnersen and his men want revenge for months of abuse and misinformation. Out of the chaos Paul Geezler, a man more involved than hes willing to admit, rises to restore order. And then theres the vicious murder of an American student in Italy. A murder that replicates exactly the details of a well-known novel that has found itself into the hands of various characters throughout this gripping tale.
"Longlisted for the Man Booker, House's thousand-plus-page novel is an intense, frustrating yet unforgettable tale of U.S. contractors working amid corruption, betrayal, and murder in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein. The novel is made up of four books. The first, 'Sutler,' follows Brit John Ford (aka Sutler), a contractor at Camp Liberty in Baghdad. After employer Paul Geezler of HOSCO International instructs him to draw his final payment using a convoluted system of accounts, a deadly explosion sends Sutler on the run; Geezler claims the contractor stole $53 million from funds allocated for the Massive, a military complex to be built in the desert. The Massive exists only on paper, in contrast to Camp Liberty's burn pits for destroying medical and military waste, which are very real but undocumented. The second book, entitled 'The Massive,' follows the men who tend the burn pits, as each meets a premature demise. In the fourth book, 'The Hit,' Sutler is sighted at three separate locations, and Geezler goes missing. Set apart from books one, two, and four, the third book, 'The Kill,' set in Naples and populated with prostitutes and language students, is metafiction at its most gruesome. While it's different from the other three books, it addresses the same themes: how do killers become killers? How do victims become victims? How do perpetrators turn into victims, and vice versa? How do money, people, places, and crimes disappear? House probes but does not answer these questions. He presents intriguing characters and enthralling scenarios, then leaves readers to make sense of it all. This huge undertaking is notable for its ambition, and it seduces with both its shortcomings and its accomplishments." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A MASTERWORK OF INTERNATIONAL INTRIGUE SET IN THE ASHES OF WAR-TORN IRAQ, ITALY, AND AREAS IN BETWEEN.
The Kills is an epic novel of crime and conspiracy told in four books. It begins with a man on the run and ends with a burned body. Moving across continents, characters, and genres, there will be no more ambitious or exciting novel published this year.
About the Author
Richard House is a writer, artist, filmmaker, and teacher. He is the author of two short dark novels, Bruiser and Uninvited, published by Ira Silverberg in the Serpents Tail High Risk series. He is a member of the Chicago-based collaborative Haha, whose work has appeared at the New Museum, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and the Venice Biennale. He teaches at the University of Birmingham and is the editor of Fatboy Review, a digital literary magazine.
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