Synopses & Reviews
From acclaimed author Alexander C. Irvine comes a gritty near-future thriller in the paranoid, prophetic vein of Philip K. Dick and Richard K. Morgan.
One hundred years from now, with Americans hooked into an Internet far more expansive and intrusive than todays, the world has become a seamless market-driven experience. In this culture of capitalism run amok, entrepreneurs and politicians faced with rampant overcrowding in the nations penal system turn to a controversial new method of cutting costs: life-term buyouts. In theory, buyouts offer convicted murderers the chance to atone for their crimes by voluntarily allowing themselves to be put to death by the state in exchange for a one-time cash payment, shared among their heirs and victims, based on a percentage of what it would have cost taxpayers to house and feed them for the rest of their natural lives. Its a win-win situation.
At least thats what Martin Kindred believes. And Martin is a man who desperately needs something to believe in, especially with his marriage coming apart and the murder of his brother, an L.A. cop brutally gunned down in the line of duty, unsolved.
As the public face of the buyout program, Martin is a lightning rod for verbal and physical abuse-but he embraces every challenge, knowing his motives are pure. But when evidence comes to light that a felon in line for a buyout may have been involved with his brothers death, Martins professional detachment threatens to turn into a personal vendetta that will jeopardize everything-and everyone-he holds dear. Inspired by todays politics, Buyout is an unforgettable look at an all-too-believable future . . . and one mans struggle to do the right thing.
"In this neat, high-concept thriller, Irvine (The Narrows) introduces us to L.A. in the year 2040, where global warming and high-tech identity theft are daily facts of life. Martin Kindred, a mid-level insurance executive, works for a company pioneering a radical new prison cost-cutting program. Convicts serving life without parole are offered millions of dollars in exchange for immediately 'taking the needle,' and Martin is tasked with vetting the prisoners for execution and presenting the awards to their beneficiaries. The controversial program immediately revitalizes the pro-life movement and puts increased strains on Martin's already fragile marriage. Then Martin's brother, a cop, is murdered and both the program and his life begin to unravel. This well-written, suspenseful and just slightly absurdist novel will appeal strongly to fans of classic dystopian science fiction with a smooth modern twist." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)