books, interviews, articles...
A propulsive, adrenaline-fueled supernatural thriller, THE THINNING tells the tale of world-renowned scientist Thomas Hawkin, who is drawn into a terrifying struggle with a uncanny force which seems to be guiding his family toward a ghastly fate.
THE THINNING blends the gripping medical thriller elements of Michael Crichton with the claustrophobic dread of Stephen King.
In 1999, Hawkin, then an ambitious Stanford PhD candidate, is vacationing in the Yucatán peninsula. While roaming an old village, he buys an ancient Mayan medallion from an eerie shopkeeper.
That evening, Hawkin’s local Mexican host warns Hawkin about this medallion, which is connected to the actual Mayan concept called the “Thinning.” The Thinning is a five-day period at the close of a Mayan calendar cycle during which the boundary of reality “thins” so otherworldly spirits can impact our fates—most often, for the worse.
The host goes on to say that precisely such a medallion was donned by a conquistador from this region five centuries before. After putting it on, the conquistador enjoyed 18 years of living like a god, then, over the course of the five days of the Thinning, the conquistador, his wife and his young son each came to a horrific demise.
Hawkin, a brilliant thinker and devout atheist, laughs off this old tale. But the next day, he receives devastating news which may ruin his career. He puts on the supposedly cursed medallion just to see if it might help.
The result is immediate and catastrophic. For the next 18 years, Hawkin accumulates boundless wealth and fame as a biotech pioneer, philanthropist, outspoken atheist, just as his rivals encounter tragic accidents and failure. Yet he secretly lives in dread of “Day One,” when the dark side of the curse will come into effect, as the Thinning begins.
When Day One finally comes, each precaution Hawkin has meticulously arranged to fend off the curse begins to backfire. The reader witnesses the most brilliant of men playing chess with fate, as in move after move, Hawkin is boxed in, thwarted, and surprised by the mysterious force, which cleverly ushers horror into the world around him. As the story races toward its climax, Hawkin flees into the Arizona wilderness with his family, in a desperate effort to escape the final act foretold by the curse: a horrifying murder committed by Hawkin himself.
In the end, the “force” which seems to be menacing Hawkin remains unexplained, leaving readers to draw their own conclusions about whether it is the darkness beyond us which is most fearsome, or the darkness within.
This dark, literary, psychological thriller recasts Euripides' timeless classic Medea in NYC's fast-paced TECH start-up culture.
Maddie is the estranged daughter of a rich, Kentucky businessman, working a ho-hum life in a local café. She meets Jason, an ambitious Comp Sci PhD graduate student from Ireland, with a white-hot start-up idea he's sure will make them both millions. After Maddie's father dies, Maddie puts her own dreams aside and plows her entire family inheritance into Jason's fledgling business.
When the pair moves to NYC, the disaster begins almost immediately. The business flounders. The inheritance money begins to vanish. Worse, Maddie suspects Jason might be keeping secrets from her, maybe hiding an affair.
Maddie, meanwhile, has secrets of her own. Her dark past, unknown to Jason, includes brief outbursts of anger, when Maddie has struck back in terrifying manner at those who've crossed her. She has struggled for years to avoid such outbursts again, and to keep them under wraps.
After three years and two children in New York, at a Christmas Party, Maddie finds out the truth about Jason's lies. When she confronts him, he presents her with a draconian divorce, thinking he will soon ride off into the sunset, leaving Maddie in the lurch. Maddie, facing the collapse of her family, her finances and the most searing of marital betrayals, sets a shocking payback into motion.
A terse tale, set in the booming, high-intensity tech space, MADDIE takes on betrayal and vengeance as few other books do. Fans of Michael Lewis and Malcolm Gladwell will appreciate the insider’s portrait of today’s winner-take-all start-up hustle culture. Meanwhile, fans of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl and A.S.A. Harrison’s The Silent Wife will revel in the psychology of a wife’s intricate deception on her way to a breath-taking, cold-blooded revenge.
The author’s 10 years on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley as a news reporter, combined with his passion for retelling the classics, make for razor-sharp take on a timeless tragedy. Set over the course of a single day, MADDIE breathes fresh life—and a new, twist ending—into Euripides’ haunting myth of Medea.
interviews and articles...
Review: Leila Slimani's The Perfect Nanny, The Millions
Out Of Time, Interview With Me, Socialista / Geejam Recording Studio, Jamaica
Mary Gaitskill And The Dignity Of The Nowhere Girl, The Millions
To Live, Yu Hua's Brief Masterpiece, Grub Street