An instant Wall Street Journal bestseller. Soon to be a major motion picture from Imagine Entertainment and producers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer.
Between life and death lies an epic war, a relentless manhunt through two worlds…and an unforgettable love story.
The last thing FBI agent Will Brody remembers is the explosion—a thousand shards of glass surfing a lethal shock wave.
He wakes without a scratch.
The building is in ruins. His team is gone. Outside, Chicago is dark. Cars lie abandoned. No planes cross the sky. He’s relieved to spot other people—until he sees they’re carrying machetes.
Welcome to the afterlife.
Claire McCoy stands over the body of Will Brody. As head of an FBI task force, she hasn’t had a decent night’s sleep in weeks. A terrorist has claimed eighteen lives and thrown the nation into panic.
Against this horror, something reckless and beautiful happened. She fell in love…with Will Brody.
But the line between life and death is narrower than any of us suspect—and all that matters to Will and Claire is getting back to each other.
From the author of the million-copy bestselling Brilliance Trilogy comes a mind-bending thriller that explores our most haunting and fundamental question: What if death is just the beginning?
Potentially Sensitive Areas: Strong language, Violence, Strong sexual themes, Murder, Cannibalism, Gore
Booklist starred (May 1, 2017 (Vol. 113, No. 17))
Sakey began his career with a series of smart, compulsively readable thrillers about more or less ordinary Chicagoans wrestling with personal problems and the zeitgeist, and getting into potentially fatal trouble. But with Brilliance (2013) and the Brilliance series that followed, he stepped brilliantly into the realm of speculative fiction. Afterlife is a deep dive into the unknowable. Chicago is being terrorized by a preternaturally lethal sniper, and FBI agents Will Brody and his lover, Claire McCoy, are desperate to end the terror. But Will is murdered by a bomb in an abandoned West Side church. Claire is bereft, but the dead Brody finds himself wandering the streets of a Chicago populated only by people armed with clubs, axes, and swords. Some threaten him, but Will encounters a group of people who lead him to their refuge. Meanwhile, Claire kills the sniper but dies in the effort. The couple are reunited, and they conclude that being together in the afterlife isn’t bad—except for the “eaters,” dead people who have learned that killing makes them stronger. Even worse, the sniper is organizing eaters into an army. 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.
Kirkus Reviews starred (May 15, 2017)
When two FBI agents are killed in the line of duty, they discover death isn’t at all what they imagined.Sakey (Written in Fire, 2016, etc.) follows up his incredible Brilliance trilogy with an otherworldly stand-alone thriller about a subterranean war between gods and monsters. The book opens with a story about a young boy in a cannibalistic horror scene on a ship at sea circa 1532. Then the book cuts to the present day, where FBI Agent Claire McCoy is leading a task force hunting the sniper terrorizing Chicago. She’s also newly in love with fellow agent Will Brody. But when Brody runs down the sniper, Simon Tucks, he’s killed instantly by a bomb. For Claire, that should have been the end of Will Brody, and yet….Next, Brody awakens in an ethereal version of Chicago leached of color and deprived of technology. His new companions explain that this is the Echo, a kind of purgatory for souls killed suddenly, violently. Unfortunately, this fate also falls upon Claire when Simon Tucks kills her in a suicide bombing, reuniting them even in death. From here, Sakey spins out an ambitious mythology that mixes horror, police procedural, and tense action with big questions about the nature of existence. In this new world, Eaters kill other people all over again to gain their life force. There is also a race of Elders, most notably our cannibal Edmund, who have lived hundreds of years by torturing the living. “All the random, inexplicable brutalities,” Sakey writes. “The school shooters and psychotic Uber drivers. The mothers who drowned their children. The serial killers with their duct tape and their butcher knives. The maniacs who fired round after round into crowded nightclubs, pausing only to reload. The atrocities for which there was no answer.” It’s a disturbing book born in dark times but one in which Sakey employs 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.
About the Author
Marcus Sakey is the bestselling author of nine novels, including the Brilliance Trilogy, which has sold more than a million copies.
His novel Afterlife is soon to be a major motion picture from Imagine Entertainment and producers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. His novel Good People was made into a film starring James Franco and Kate Hudson.
Marcus lives in Chicago with his wife and daughter. His website is www.marcussakey.com
Around the Web
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Afterlife on JLG