Sheila Heti describes it as "a deep, strange, and uncanny tale."
Iain Reid says, "This is a book to devour."
Lee Henderson describes it as "sinister good fun."
Lauren Oyler says, "It's gripping and unassumingly smart."
A journalist with a history of falsifying facts uncovers a story about a medical breakthrough that needs no embellishment–but there's a gruesome secret lurking behind the game-changing science.
Whitney Chase, a respected byline in the culture pages of the venerable New York magazine The Bystander, struggles with a mysterious compulsion to spice up her reporting with intriguing untruths and undetectable white lies. She refers to it as "the creep," or an overwhelming desire to improve the story as it is being told. She also has a special talent for getting away with it.
Whitney longs to move away from profiling rock stars and novelists and focus on the stories that "really matter." When a chance encounter leads her to a potentially massive story about a game-changing medical discovery, Whitney believes she's finally found a story that doesn't require any embellishment. The breakthrough's brilliant and charismatic doctor claims she's discovered "the Holy Grail of medical science": a synthetic blood substitute that, if successful, could save millions of lives and make her corporate backers extremely wealthy. When Whitney's investigation into this apparent medical miracle leads her to a string of gruesome deaths across the country, she becomes inextricably linked to a much darker and nefarious story than she could have imagined.
Set against the backdrop of the United States' invasion of Iraq and the decline of print journalism, Michael LaPointe's expansive, deftly plotted debut paints an affecting portrait of an increasingly unequal twenty-first century, exploring how deception, self-enhancement, and confidently delivered lies can be transfused into fact and constitute a broader violence against the social fabric and public telecommunications.... Read More