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Johannesburg, now. A wave of New Age belief has radically altered the country's political landscape, but not everyone buys into the miracle. An affair, mysterious suicides and an elaborate political hoax send three troubled characters spiralling into the most dangerous week of their lives.
Jay Rowan does his job and doesn't ask questions. He's already in probationary therapy for a drunk-driving accident, and he's not looking for trouble. There's already a large man with a pigtail who turns up far too often for Jay's comfort. Now Kenneth Lang has hired Jay to paint in the windows of apparently random vacant rooms and, when Jay discovers that someone has died in each of the rooms, he tries not to ask why.
But Beth Talbot, the married woman he is seeing, is compelled by the deaths, especially by the supposed suicides of two students in a residence building. Her growing obsession leads her to a student group, Out Of Our Minds, which opposes the government's policies, accusing them of mind control. They deliberately wear grey in a display of blatant - and increasingly dangerous - anti-colourism.
Gaia Peace, the party that swept to power ten years ago on the back of a miracle cure for crime and a revolutionary social welfare programme, is still firmly ensconced, but the cracks are showing. The security protest movement of citizens who object to being forced to reduce their security is gaining strength, changing tone and becoming more violent.
Kenneth Lang has survived a long career of political change, and is not about to start questioning orders, even when they are as misguided as senior minister Meg Hewitt's latest obsession, project Dark Windows. A mystical charlatan has convinced her that she can attract a world-changing supernatural visitation, the Arrival, but it is not Lang's business to correct delusions. When his daughter attempts suicide, though, apparently under the influence of OOOM, he is forced to reassess his beliefs.
Meanwhile, Beth is attacked and Jay must help her uncover the truth behind her attack and the suicides. With the Arrival just days away, political and personal tensions are coming to a head. This week, Jay, Beth and Lang will all be forced to test the limits of their loyalty. Is Lang right, or will coming events change their world forever? Dark Windows is a sexy, compelling literary thriller.
Publication date: 2014-05-01