Dare to Know: A Novel (Hardcover)
September 2021 Indie Next List
“A company can tell you with 100% accuracy when you are going to die. But what happens when you live beyond your expiration date? As you read Dare to Know, your sense of reality will melt away.”
— Bob Lingle, Off the Beaten Path Bookstore (NY), Lakewood, NY
Dark Matter meets Annihilation in this mind-bending and emotional speculative thriller set in a world where the exact moment of your death can be predicted—for a price.
Our narrator is the most talented salesperson at Dare to Know, an enigmatic company that has developed the technology to predict anyone’s death down to the second. Divorced, estranged from his sons, and broke, he's driven to violate the cardinal rule of the business by forecasting his own death day. The problem: his prediction says he died twenty-three minutes ago.
The only person who can confirm its accuracy is Julia, the woman he loved and lost during his rise up the ranks of Dare to Know. As he travels across the country to see her, he’s forced to confront his past, the choices he's made, and the terrifying truth about the company he works for.
Wildly ambitious and highly immersive, this thought-provoking thriller explores the destructive power of knowledge and collapses the boundaries between reality, myth, and conspiracy as it races toward its shocking conclusion.
“A fascinating, compulsively readable thriller.”—The Guardian
“Imagine Donna Tartt’s The Secret History getting a good edit at last, and you glimpse something of this book’s occult power. Essential reading for the gathering dark.”—The Times Saturday Review
“An entertainingly mind-bending read.”—Financial Times
“Audaciously clever and well-written...a quite superb piece of storytelling: vivid, thought-provoking and unsettling.”—SFX Magazine (5 stars)
“A creepy thriller that reads a little like Stephen King writing Glengarry Glen Ross.”—GeekDad
“Imagine what would happen if Chuck Palahniuk, Enrico Fermi, and the Brothers Grimm got together to raise a child...Sci-fi, snark-horror and futuristic thriller fans will love it.”—Terri Schlichenmeyer for The Guam Daily Post
“[An] enjoyable slipstream thriller....Readers with a taste for the synchronicity of the cosmic with the commonplace are sure to be entertained.”—Publishers Weekly
“Dare To Know will prompt the reader to consider the philosophical implications of life and death itself.”—Booklist
“[A] genre-bending thriller...good pacing and clever plotting keep the pages turning.”—New York Journal of Books
“A razor-smart sci-fi corporate noir nightmare. Dare to Know is what happens when Willy Loman sees through the Matrix. A heartbreaking, time-bending, galactic mindbender delivered in the mordantly funny clip of a doomed antihero.”—Daniel Kraus, co-author of The Shape of Water
“Philip K. Dick energy infusing Death of a Salesman emotional timbre....I loved it.”—Kieron Gillen, author of The Wicked + The Divine and Once & Future
“Imagine Rod Serling hijacking Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross into The Twilight Zone, and you've got a glimmer of James Kennedy's doom-laden, genre-defying novel Dare to Know. A fresh and morbid twist...Kennedy spins a slow-burn nightmare in which something is clearly coming apart at the seams, but is it our self-cursed narrator or the whole of existence?”—Stephen Segal, author of Geek Wisdom
“Time shifting from present to past, and possibly the future, Kennedy seamlessly integrates philosophy, first love, Beatles music, jaw-dropping science fiction and the four stages of civilization, and turns it all into a fast-paced, existential, mind-expanding thriller—a thoroughly enjoyable read.”—Paul Dinh-McCrillis for Shelf Awareness
“Dare to Know is something of a mind-twister reminiscent of Philip K. Dick.”—SF2 Concatenation