cover image We Hear Voices

We Hear Voices

Evie Green. Berkley, $26 (384p) ISBN 978-0-593-09830-1

Green debuts with an electrifying science fiction thriller that chronicles the aftermath of a pandemic. Rachel Jackman struggles to keep her family afloat in a London ravaged by the J5X virus, which has proven fatal to many. Rachel’s young son, Billy, contracts the virus but makes a miraculous recovery, spurred back to health by the urging of his new imaginary friend, Delfy, who encourages him to eat and rest. At first, Rachel doesn’t think much of Delfy, but Billy, restored to full health, soon becomes obsessed. Under Delfy’s unyielding influence, Billy lashes out against his family with increasing violence, prompting Rachel to seek professional help. She takes him to psychiatrist Graham Watson, who is studying a group of children who all had the virus and all recovered with the help of imaginary friends. Meanwhile, Rachel’s daughter, Nina, who’s training to be an astronaut, discovers a clue about the virus’s origins wrapped up in a web of corporate secrecy. Green’s truly terrifying tale wisely focuses on the human element in the midst of a global catastrophe. Green makes it easy to feel for Rachel as her family threatens to collapse and to root for Nina as she pursues her dream, and the sharp, empathetic characterizations make the mysterious threat of Delfy all the more chilling. Green is sure to make a splash. Agent: Hillary Jacobson, ICM Partners. (Dec.)