By Daniel Pyne
(Blue Rider Press, Hardcover, 9780399171642, 304pp.)
Publication Date: December 30, 2014
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What if a man is placed in the Federal Witness Protection Program against his will?
And doesn’t even know what he supposedly knows that merits a new name, a new identity, a new life?
Jay Johnson is an Average Joe, a thirty-something guy with a job in telephone sales, a regular pick-up basketball game, and a devoted girlfriend he seems ready to marry. But one weekday afternoon, he’s abducted on a Los Angeles Metro train, tranquilized, interrogated, and his paper trail obliterated. What did he see, what terrible crimeor criminalis he keeping secret? It must be something awfully big. The trouble is, Jay has no clue.
Furious and helpless, and convinced that the government has made a colossal mistake, Jay is involuntarily relocated to a community on Catalina Islandwhich turns out to be inhabited mainly by other protected witnesses. Isolated in a world of strangers, Jay begins to realize that only way out is through the twisted maze of lies and unreliable memories swirling through his own mind. If he can locateor inventa repressed memory that might satisfy the Feds, maybe he can make it back to the mainland and his wonderful, even if monotonous, life.
Set in a noir contemporary L.A. and environs, Fifty Mice is a Hitchcockian thriller as surreal and mysterious as a Kafka nightmare. Chilling, paranoiac, and thoroughly original, it will have readers grasping to distinguish what is real and what only seems that way.
DANIEL PYNE’s screenwriting credits include the remake of The Manchurian Candidate, Pacific Heights, and Fracture. He made his directorial debut with the indie cult film Where’s Marlowe? Pyne’s list of television credits (writing and showrunning) is vast, and includes J. J. Abrams’s Alcatraz and Miami Vice. His two previous novels, Twentynine Palms and A Hole in the Ground Owned by a Liar, were published by Counterpoint Press. He lives in Southern California.
A unique thrill ride . A real cat-and-mouse story .This plot is both gripping and suspenseful, as the author offers up a secret that will make all us normal’ people out there think long and hard about the people powerful enough to change lives in an instant. Pyne is an extremely clever writer. Suspense Magazine
Advance praise for Fifty Mice:
“Exceedingly clever, expertly timed, and dripping with paranoia, the nightmarish scenario at the center of this thrilling story turns on a kick-ass dime.” – Karin Slaughter
"Screenwriter and author Pyne (Twentynine Palms) weaves a smart, exceedingly clever, and unusual tale with a horrible secret at its center, which is as much a late coming-of-age story as it is a thriller. Fans of brainy noir will find much to love in this highly satisfying, big-screen-ready book" – Kristin Centorcelli, Library Journal
“A unique thrill ride…. A real cat-and-mouse story….This plot is both gripping and suspenseful, as the author offers up a secret that will make all us ‘normal’ people out there think long and hard about the people powerful enough to change lives in an instant. Pyne is an extremely clever writer. “ – Suspense Magazine