JT Lawrence is a long-legged redhead with a penchant for words and pretty things, who believes happiness can be measured in passport stamps, laughter decibels and the bulge of one’s bookshelf. Janita, an awarded art director with an advertising background, writes novels, plays and short stories in between running her online bookstore, completing her degree in literature and psychology, planting things, practising yoga and drinking beer.
Johannesburg 2021: Kirsten is a roaming, restless synaesthete: a photographer with bad habits and a fertility problem. A strange, muttering woman with dog hair on her jersey approaches Kirsten with a warning, and is found dead shortly afterwards. The warning leads her to the Doomsday Vault and a hit list of seven people – and Kirsten’s barcode is on it.
Slade Harris will do anything for a story and now he is desperate and going under. He doesn’t think twice about jumping out of a plane or conducting disastrous love affairs to gather material. But his self-indulgent life is catching up with him: stumbling through his late thirties hopeless and a little drunk, his agent after him like a particularly stubborn rash, waiting for his next money-spinning Work of Genius, which is a year overdue and which Slade has not yet started. To celebrate his dismal situation – Everest-like debt; unrequited love; a fear of turning into his sad, shuffling father and the severest case of writer’s block ever experienced by man – Slade has a dazzling, dangerous idea, born of a febrile mind, frustration and outrage, which sets off events that will change his life forever. It’s going to be Slade’s ultimate story, and all he’s hoping for is to survive it.