From the acclaimed author of Superstition and The Man Who Turned Into Himself comes a terrifying tale that will force readers to question everything they've ever believed about science and reality. Charlie Monk is the ultimate spy, willing to do absolutely anything to accomplish his mission. He has no conscience, no fear...and no memory. Charlie's fri...
From the acclaimed author of Superstition and The Man Who Turned Into Himself comes a terrifying tale that will force readers to question everything they've ever believed about science and reality. Charlie Monk is the ultimate spy, willing to do absolutely anything to accomplish his mission. He has no conscience, no fear...and no memory. Charlie's friend, Dr. Susan Flemyng, thinks she may have found a way to give him his memory back. As the two of them embark on a series of scientific experiments to try and recover Charlie's long-lost memory, they find something terrifying in the deepest recesses of Charlie's mind. Their discovery will turn science on its head, call reality itself into question--and force Charlie and Dr. Flemyng to risk their lives for the entire human race.
Charlie Monk thinks he knows who he is - a highly trained, covert government operative; the best there is at what he does. But perhaps he is a neurologically impaired patient at a special clinic who dreams that he is a secret agent. Or perhaps something else entirely, something unthinkable.
When a seemingly routine surveillance mission brings Charlie face-to-face with a memory from his childhood, his well-ordered life disintegrates and Charlie finds himself on the run from his former masters. As his world unravels and the line between what is real and what is virtual becomes more and more blurred, Charlie must use all of his training and unique abilities to uncover the truth. And to stay alive. The only one who can help him may well be the very person responsible for his condition: government scientist Dr. Susan Flemyng. Yet no more free than Charlie, Susan Flemyng also harbors suspicions about the people she works for. She wants to get out, and to do so, she needs Charlie's help.
The question is: Can Charlie trust her? More important, can he trust himself?
From Publishers Weekly
Only a few people know who Charlie Monk really is. Is he, as Monk himself believes, a highly trained government hit man? Or is he merely the laboratory fodder of scientists conducting mind control experiments? Ambrose, who has previously dabbled in such reality benders (Coincidence, etc.), handles this one with confidence, twisting the plot gently at first, then with a hard, satisfying crank toward the end. In between government hits, Monk leads a casual life in Los Angeles, partaking in the usual pleasures sought by virile young men. Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., Dr. Susan Flemyng toils away on the leading edge of her specialty: replacing visual memory in the minds of amnesia victims. She is doing so, however, under duress. A secret government organization has kidnapped her son and won't give him back unless she oversees several experiments. Monk, it turns out, is one of them. Ambrose has several surprises in store, including government planners who want to create a fighting force of warriors with human intelligence and simian brawn. Monk figures out much of what's going on, and he doesn't drag his knuckles in seeking vengeance. Featuring an intriguing cast of characters who never turn out to be quite what they seem, this latest from Ambrose provides several hours of exhilarating diversion and a scary glimpse of scientific possibilities.
Ambrose's sixth novel, published in Europe in 2000, gives new meaning to the phrase "living a rich fantasy life." Readers will leave the novel knowing less about what's going on than they did when they began it, and they won't mind a bit. This book, about a man who might be a superspy, or perhaps he's a clinic-bound mental patient, is a dazzling performance, a story that seems to be one thing, then turns into something else, then doubles back on itself, then stampedes off in an entirely unexpected, and bizarre, direction. At its center is Charlie Monk, a government agent whose life seems to be a series of life-and-death episodes--unless, as Charlie discovers, he's only imagining his life. This novel is mind-grabbingly elegant, a symphony of ideas that never, ever does what we expect it to. Propelled by its cast of characters, including Dr. Susan Flemyng (who is either Charlie's friend or his enemy, depending on what scene you're reading) and Latimer West (who may, or may not, be a supervillain), and by Ambrose's immense storytelling skills, the novel starts fast, gets faster, and soon has us holding on for dear life. And when the story comes to its crashing finale, we sit there, blinking, wondering what just happened here. And who the heck is Charlie Monk?