cover image Unthinkable


Brad Parks. Thomas & Mercer, $24.95 (352p) ISBN 978-1-5420-2495-2

At the start of this tense thriller from Parks (Interference), Richmond, Va., stay-at-home dad Nate Lovejoy is kidnapped. His abductor, Lorton Rogers, explains that Nate is the unwilling guest of Vanslow DeGange, who can foresee some of the future. This ability enables Vanslow to identify situations where murder is justified to protect multiple lives from the unforeseen consequences of an individual’s actions. Lorton, who works for an organization that protects humanity by arranging that violence, says Nate must kill his wife, lawyer Jenny Welker, to prevent climate catastrophe. Jenny has been working on a class-action suit against a polluting power company whose emissions have made many sick. Vanslow predicts that her lawsuit will lead the defendant to invent an apparently clean-energy solution that would yield “the most devastating greenhouse gas ever created.” Initially dismissive of Lorton’s claims about Vanslow, Nate learns that they may be true. Parks makes suspension of disbelief to his premise accessible via solid prose and characterizations. Readers who enjoy jaw-dropping but credible plot twists will be enthralled. Agent: Alice Martell, Martell Agency. (July)