Caleb Carr, an historian by training, is the acclaimed author of the historical thrillers, THE ALIENIST and ANGEL OF DARKNESS. He is also a screenwriter and biographer.
Famous for his bestselling thrillers re-creating old New York (The Alienist; The Angel of Darkness) and trained as a military historian (The Devil Soldier), Carr leaps into the future for his third novelDand lands with a thud. Set about 25 years ahead, the first-person narrative describes the grim adventures of Gideon Wolfe, a bestselling author who joins forces with a band of outsiders intent on alerting the world to the dangers of excess information untempered by wisdom. By 2023, the Internet has multiplied wildly the ability of power possessors to deceive the general populace, resulting in a globe devastated by ecological blight and filled with near-zombies glued to computer screens. Some groups have escaped this fateDparticularly those living in unwired if disease-ravaged areas of Africa and AsiaDand a few, led by the enormously wealthy and brilliant brother-and-sister team of Malcolm and Larissa Tressalian, have vowed to fight it. These two, with a small crew, bring Gideon aboard their fantastic flying/diving fortress vehicle. They explain that for years they've seeded world-shaking disinformationDfor instance, that Winston Churchill plotted the outbreak of WWI and that St. Paul advocated lying about the life and miracles of Jesus in order to spread the faith. They've planned to reveal these hoaxes as such, to warn about the power of disinformation, but they're stymied by both the cleverness of their own lies and by a new threat that sees one of their hoaxes lead to possible nuclear Armageddon. This book is as much didactic essay as novel, filled with preachy talk. Characters are broad but memorable, and there's some brisk action, but the suspense relies too much on forebodings and cliffhangersDno doubt because the text originally appeared as a serial in Time magazine, from November 1999 to June 2000 (it's been slightly revised for this edition). The prose Carr uses is elaborate, near-VictorianDperhaps a holdover from his other novelsDand ill suits a futuristic tale. As readers navigate it, they won't be quite killing time, but they'll be wounding it for sure. (Nov.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
'KILLING TIME is a convincing and well-written look into an all too plausible future.' SFX MAGAZINE
Historical novelist Carr moves from the past to the future in his latest novel. The year is 2023, and narrator Dr. Gideon Wolfe, a noted criminal psychologist, has just been asked to solve the murder of a special-effects man. The victim left behind an encrypted computer disc that revealed the existence of conspiracies at the highest level. Someone out there has been manipulating information to mislead and even terrorize the public. Who are they, and why are they doing this? During the course of his investigation, Wolfe makes some unusual allies who are experts in advanced technology. Perhaps they can shed some light on the matter, before Wolfe's enemies catch up to him. As usual, Carr's well-written prose deftly combines character development and a fast-paced plot. Fans of The Alienist and Angel of Darkness won't be disappointed by this futuristic adventure. Highly recommended for all libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/00.]ÄLaurel Bliss, Yale Univ. Lib. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.