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Shift: A Novelby Dale Peck
Synopses & Reviews
December 30, 2012
The apparition appeared at 11:22 a.m. over I-35, in the two- hundred-foot gap between the north- and southbound lanes where the interstate passed over Commerce Street. Traffic was heavy at that hour, but moving well: twelve lanes on 35, average speed sixty-six miles per hour, another six on Commerce traveling only slightly less fast. When the flaming figure appeared in the sky, the results were predictably disastrous.
According to the Texas State Highway Patrol, thirty-five vehicles collided with one another, resulting in seventy-seven injuries: cuts and bruises, whiplash, broken bones, concussions, at least three seizures. A pregnant woman went into labor, but both she and the baby—and, remarkably, everyone else involved in the pileup—survived the trauma. In addition to the injured, another 1,886 people claimed to have seen the apparition, making a grand total of 1,963, a figure later confirmed by both the Dallas Police Department and the Dallas Morning News. It was this last number that sent the story, already ricocheting around the airwaves and the Internet, into the stratosphere.
The time, date, and year that the thirty-fifth president of the United States had been assassinated, less than a quarter mile due east of the sighting.
It was possible—possible, though infinitesimally improbable—that this sequence was just a coincidence. Why hadn’t the figure appeared at 12:30 p.m. on November 22, skeptics were soon enough arguing on chat shows and blogs, the actual date and time of the assassination? What was harder for them to dismiss was the fact that every single witness, all 1,963 of them, reported seeing exactly the same thing. This wasn’t a fuzzy image of a crucified Jesus on a piece of toast or the shadowy outline of the Virgin Mary in an MRI. In fact, none of the twenty-six traffic and surveillance cameras with a view of the area recorded anything besides the accident itself. Nevertheless, each and every witness reported seeing—
“A boy,” Michael Campbell, twenty-nine, told one reporter.
“A flaming boy,” Antonio Gonzales, fifty-six, told the paramedic bandaging the gouge over his left eye.
“A boy made of fire,” Lisa Wallace, thirty-four, told the person who answered the 800 number of her insurance carrier.
“He looked right at me.”
“It was like he was looking for someone.”
“But it wasn’t me.”
There was a palpable sense of disappointment as witness after witness made this last admission, as if they’d somehow failed a test. But then their spirits perked up when they reported that they’d felt the boy coming, as if the privilege of witnessing his appearance was a blessing on the order of those bestowed on the sainted receivers of visions at Guadalupe, Lourdes, Fátima. One after another, witnesses reported the sensation of a tremor in the roadway that came up through their cars and was absorbed by fingers and toes and bottoms—the kind of vibration, Mindy Pysanky, a California native, described as “like the start of an earthquake.” Hands tightened their grips on steering wheels or door handles, eyes
Chandler Forrestal is drawn into a CIA experiment where a dose of LSD heightens his mental abilities, allowing him to uncover the plot to assassinate President Kennedy and resulting in a cross-country chase to change history.
A new caliber of thriller set at the collision of '60s counterculture and the rise
of dark forces in world government. Heroes creator Tim Kring injects history with a supernatural, hallucinogenic what-if.
Set in the crucible of the 1960s, Shift is the story of Chandler Forrestal, a man whose life is changed forever when he is unwittingly dragged into a CIA mind-control experiment. After being given a massive dose of LSD, Chandler develops a frightening array of mental powers. With his one-in-a-billion brain chemistry, Chandler's heightened perception uncovers a plot to assassinate President Kennedy.
Propelled to prevent the conspiracy of assassination and anarchy, Chandler becomes a target for deadly forces in and out of the government and is pursued across a simmering landscape peopled by rogue CIA agents, Cuban killers, Mafia madmen, and ex-Nazi scientists…all the while haunted by a beautiful woman with her own scandalous past to purge, her own score to settle. Chased across America, will Chandler be able to harness his “shift” and rewrite history?
Combining the nonstop style of Ludlum with the sinister, tangled conspiracies of DeLillo and Dick, and featuring cameos from Lee Harvey Oswald to Timothy Leary to J. Edgar Hoover, Shift is a thriller guaranteed to be equal parts heart-stopping and thought-provoking.
About the Author
TIM KRING is an acclaimed screenwriter and television producer. He is the creator and executive producer of the hit show Heroes. Shift is his first, much-anticipated novel.
DALE PECK is the author of nine books, including, most recently, Body Surfing and Sprout, both novels.
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