A government secret about the end of the world will change what’s left of a man’s suburban life in this thriller by an Edgar Award–winning author.
California businessman J. Middleton Little is on company assignment in Chicago when he’s caught eavesdropping on a top-secret confab between high-level government officials. J. knows he isn’t just hearing things; they actually referred to the coming Armageddon. To ensure his silence, J.’s been offered the chance of a lifetime: seven seats on an “ark” scheduled to carry the last vestiges of the human race from Earth before the apocalypse. In a matter of minutes, J. has gone from a self-described “middle-class, middle-income, middlebrow man-of-the-street” to one of the most privileged men in the universe. The only stipulation: He can’t tell a single soul until the proper time.
For now, it’s back to life in Burbank with his dutiful, intuitive wife; an underhanded and scheming son; his impossibly spoiled daughter; his unhinged father; and a mother-in-law whose religious fanaticism is making J. think twice about his role as savior—especially when he finds himself shadowed by an insidious pack of secret agents, counterspies, and a lone madman on a terrifying mission.
Soon enough, J.’s once-ordinary world will be ripped apart by threats, deceit, cover-ups, secrets, and shifting family loyalties. It will also leave J. wondering what he really does know, what he doesn’t, what he’s been led to believe, and above all, why. J. Middleton Little has a lot to learn before the end.
This smart, inventive thriller by “the American queen of suspense novelists” is impossible to put down (New York Telegraph).
About the author
Edgar Award–winning Charlotte Armstrong (1905–1969) was one of the finest American authors of classic mystery and suspense. The daughter of an inventor, Armstrong was born in Vulcan, Michigan, and attended Barnard College, in New York City. After college she worked at the New York Times and the magazine Breath of the Avenue, before marrying and turning to literature in 1928. For a decade she wrote plays and poetry, with work produced on Broadway and published in the New Yorker. In the early 1940s, she began writing suspense.
Success came quickly. Her first novel, Lay On, MacDuff! (1942) was well received, spawning a three-book series. Over the next two decades, she wrote more than two dozen novels, winning critical acclaim and a dedicated fan base. The Unsuspected (1945) and Mischief (1950) were both made into films, and A Dram of Poison (1956) won the Edgar Award for best novel. She died in California in 1969.
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