Organizational psychologist Dr. Waters is a happily solitary guy with a few deep attachments, including to his boss Paresh Rajput, the owner of a thriving hi-tech aerospace company. Until something really bad happens to CEO Rajput, which throws Waters into a lunatic swirl of murderous stalkers, corporate intrigue, amorous female executives, and crafty cops who see the inscrutable psychologist as murder suspect #1.
Waters is hardly defenseless. A weight-lifter and former wrestler, ace poker player and master student of human nature, he takes it all on with surprising strength and determination.
If they only knew. As with the connivers surrounding him, Waters has his own secrets. Autistic as a child, he lives with the consequences—some blessings, others a curse. And a love affair that’s hidden even more deeply, or so he thinks.
You’re Dead is a mystery/thriller, an adventure story, though in the context of the present zeitgeist the financial stakes of hi-tech ascendancy and flourishing commerce, corporate and personal venality, manipulations by the rich and powerful men and women and the ugly presence of base criminality that crackles around the fringes. It’s about troubled and troubling minds, and institutions that struggle to assert relevance, but also how one man, single-minded and apart, can disrupt what the lead detective on the case calls “their clever-clever ways.”
Every writer has their themes and preoccupations. For Knopf, it’s the intricacies of the mind, the most complex organism in the universe. The aberrations, as well as the indefinable “normal.” You’re Dead is an action-filled examination of what happens when minds of all kinds collide.
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“Tension starts high and just keeps growing in this smart tale…Riveting.”
Booklist (starred review) on A Billion Ways to Die