Authors: David Rotenberg
The Placebo Effect
“This novel heats up and never stops.”
âThe Globe and Mail
“The success of his epic novel
, which was published in 2008, demonstrated that Rotenberg could break away from convention without loosening his hold on the imagination of his readers. Rotenberg blends the best of [his previous] books in his latest effort,
The Placebo Effect
“The Placebo EffectÂ .Â .Â .
is a thoughtful, challenging novel masquerading as aÂ .Â .Â . thriller.”
âQuill & Quire
“A moody speculative-fiction thriller.”
âThe Winnipeg Free Press
is heart pounding and brutal. It puts you right into the thick of the city, its people, its passions.”
âJurgen Gothe, NUVO
“Rotenberg's ShanghaiÂ .Â .Â . is a place full of effective, unexpected entertainment.
is jam-packed with story and adventure.”
Praise for the Zhong Fong series
“Rotenberg has a real talent for characterization and place, taking readers right into the urban heart of Shanghai, with its eighteen million people and conflicts between tradition and modernization.”
âThe Globe and Mail
“Rotenberg's take on the street life, bureaucracy, and sheer mass of Shanghai cleverly captures a wonderful, baffling city.”
“This delightful seriesÂ .Â .Â . gets better with each new novel.”
âThe Chronicle Herald,
“A fascinating journey into a remarkable culture.”
“Readers will be clamouring for more Rotenberg.”
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I'd like to thank three doctors who are helping me through some pretty trying times:
Dr. Laurence Klotz, who goes the extra yard for me
Dr. Kasra Khorasani, who helps me keep my mind from going into overdrive
Dr. Ken Lipinski, who offers consultation and words of wisdom whenever I ask
To the three of you, this one's here because of your help.
And as always there would be no books without Susan, Joey and Beth.
The gods themselves cannot recall their gifts.
For fear of nightmares
Humanity will abandon dreaming.
Just watch 'em.
TREET SUBWAY WALL CIRCA
This is a foolish country. And this town with its obsessively symmetrical old church is ridiculous.
These people believe they will live forever. They hide death behind walls and bury it in places with names like Pleasant Valley and Peaceful Rest. We in the East know that death is neither pleasant nor restful.
Perhaps we spend too much time thinking about our deathsâbut death is real. It is the only certainty. And to refuse to confront a certainty is a foolishness. A foolishness that all these Americans will be forced to abandon when we force them to understand that Judgement awaits everyoneâeveryone.
Look at all these kids and their parents. Look at them. So self-satisfied. So convinced they are specialâthe chosen ones. And they all love America. Well, why not? America is going to make most of these privileged kids rich. While backed by their military might this horror of a country makes the rest of the world its slaves. And these science profs up there on the stage invented much of the military prowess of this country while these students all around me are preparing to take their places.
All are soldiers of the oppressor.
But there will be justiceâeven here, on this pampered campus in upper New York State there will be justice. It will come. As surely as putting potassium permanganate together with glycerin will cause a massive explosionâit will come.
LEONARD HARRISON, HEAD OF THE NSA, A TOMMY LEE JONES
without the snarkâor the smileâwas hiding something.
He's always hiding something
, Special Agent Yslan Hicks thought, but she wasn't going to be drawn into guessing what the hell it was. So she leaned back in her chairâand waited.
Finally he reached into his briefcase and pulled out her latest report and dropped it on her desk.
“Something wrong with it?” she asked.
“No. It's perfectâlike all your workâperfectÂ .Â .Â . as far as it goes.”
“Meaning what?” Then she quickly added, “sir.”
“Meaning that you've accurately stated what we know about the synaesthetes we've been tracking.”
She nodded for him to complete his thought.
So she prompted, “Yes?”
“But we don't know very much do we, Special Agent Hicks? After six years of tracking and investigating and spending millions of dollars, what do we really know?”
“Names, addresses, abilitiesâ”
“And which ones are of no use to us.”
“Yes. Silly synaesthetes.”
“Knowing the smell of colours hardly helps us keep the homeland safe.”
“We agreed on that long ago and removed them from our database.”
“Leaving us withÂ .Â .Â . our special synaesthetes.”
Yslan thought about that for a second, then said, “If they actually are synaesthetes.”
“Agreed. But we had to call them something.”
“Why not just call them what they areâgifted. Call them the Gifted.”
“Semantics.” He was suddenly angry. He was bright, diligent and incredibly detailed in his analysis, but when those qualities failed to solve a problem he seemed to somehow fall and his anger bloomed. As it did now. “Go through them one at a time for me,” he said, pointing at the file.