Five Minds

The stunning speculative thriller

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Pub Date 2 Sep 2021 | Archive Date 1 Sep 2021

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'This clever, twisty debut really delivers. Gripping, well-written and intriguing on every level' - SARAH PEARSE

'Guy Morpuss is set to become a powerhouse in speculative crime. A feast of a book' - HELEN FIELDS

'Brilliantly inventive. If you liked The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, you'll love this' - EVE SMITH



The Earth's spiralling population has finally been controlled. Lifespans are limited to eighty years, except for those who make an extreme choice: to become a commune. Five minds sharing one body, each living for four hours at a time. But with a combined lifespan of nearly 150 years.

Alex, Kate, Mike, Sierra and Ben have already spent twenty-five years together in what was once Mike's body, their frequent personality clashes leading to endless bickering, countless arguments, and getting themselves stranded on a Russian arctic freighter. Wanting to buy upgrades for their next host body, they decide to travel to a Death Park where games are played and time can be gambled like money. But things go very wrong when Kate accepts a dangerous offer, and one of them disappears.

It soon becomes clear that someone is trying to kill off members of the commune. But why? Is one of them responsible? Or is an outsider playing a deadly game? It's hard enough to catch a murderer. It's almost impossible when you might be sharing a body with them...

This brilliant murder mystery blends classic crime with speculative fiction in a stunning debut. ________________________________________

'A whip-smart, searing debut, which grinds into the mind like cursed clockwork' - MATT WESOLOWSKI

'A mind-stretching and irresistible premise deftly spun into a twisty, page-turning action-thriller' - PHILIPPA EAST

'Consider my single mind blown! An astonishing and original concept, deftly executed' - DAVID JACKSON

'A mind-bendingly original debut. Nothing short of a cross-genre masterpiece' - ADAM CHRISTOPHER

'The world-building of Gibson with the pace of The Running Man. A fantastic ride' - TIM GLISTER

'This clever, twisty debut really delivers. Gripping, well-written and intriguing on every level' - SARAH PEARSE

'Guy Morpuss is set to become a powerhouse in speculative crime. A feast of a book'...

Advance Praise

“My mind is officially blown! Haven’t been able to stop asking myself: what would I choose? Worker, Commune, Android, or Hedonist? This clever, twisty debut really delivers. Gripping, well-written and intriguing on every level.” Sarah Pearse, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Sanatorium

“A whip-smart, searing debut with a story which grinds into the mind like cursed clockwork. I really loved it.” Matt Wesolowski, author of Six Stories

“Guy Morpuss is set to become a powerhouse in speculative crime. These ‘Five Minds’ will mess with yours. Tense, dark, gritty and high-concept, it’s a feast of a book.” Helen Fields, author of A Perfect Crime

“Five Minds spearheads an exciting new trend in speculative fiction, with a mind-stretching and irresistible premise deftly spun into a twisty, page-turning action-thriller. Clever, cool and thoroughly entertaining.” Philippa East, author of Little White Lies

“Five Minds creates the ultimate whodunit conundrum. This amazing concept blew my mind from the start. A thrilling, intelligent read that immerses you in a world where humanity is not confined to the physical body or limited by it – so time itself is a currency worth fighting, dying and killing for. Mind blowing, however many you have.” Janice Hallett, author of The Appeal

“Consider my single mind blown! An astonishing and original concept, deftly executed. This novel cries out for a screen adaptation.” David Jackson, Bestselling author of Cry Baby

“A brilliantly inventive, pacy debut with a great premise. A Maze Runner type world of complex death games and riddles that keep you guessing to the very end. If you liked The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, you’ll love this.” Eve Smith, author of The Waiting Rooms

“Five Minds is a gloriously mad crime thriller set in the near future. Part Bladerunner part Agatha Christie, this mind-bending pacy debut gives a whole new meaning to the locked-room mystery. Totally immersive. Five Minds deserves to be huge.” Imran Mahmood, author of You Don’t Know Me 

“A dazzling, thrilling rollercoaster ride: five strangers forced to share a body in a resource-depleted future find themselves caught up in a murder mystery. Full of ideas and excitement, it’s a gripping fast-paced read.” Alex Pavesi, author of Eight Detectives 

“Think Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle meets Running Man. So intelligent and yet so easy to read. Totally recommend.” SE Moorhead, author of Witness X

“Fiendishly clever and dashed with humour. You’re pulled into a world that is fully immersive. One of the most original books I’ve ever read!” Chris McDonald, author of A Wash Of Black

“A stunning concept that takes you on a terrifying trip with five souls crammed into one body, every one of them a suspect. Will take some dislodging from the top of my ‘best reads of 2021’ pile.” Robert Scragg, author of What Falls Between The Cracks

“I loved Five Minds – the world-building of Gibson with the pace of The Running Man. A fantastic ride and a brilliant debut!” Tim Glister, author of Red Corona

“Extraordinary. Mindblowing, original and fiendishly clever. I’ll be thinking about this book for a very long time. Quite brilliant.” Victoria Selman, author of Snakes and Ladders

“A gripping, clever and innovative story: this book sucked me into its dark, futuristic world where nothing is as it seems and no one can be trusted. The ending left me reeling! A fantastic debut.” Louise Mumford, author of Sleepless

“After a few pages I was hooked into a new world, manned by workers, andis, hedonists and communes. Imagine an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, The Hunger Games, Sophie’s Choice and a whodunit under one cover. I loved it and wouldn’t be surprised if it gets optioned for a movie.” Jenny O’Brien, author of Fallen Angel

“Thrilling dystopian sci-fi meets twisty murder mystery in this mind-bendingly original debut. Five Minds is nothing short of a cross-genre masterpiece.” Adam Christopher, author of Empire State

“Inventive, innovative and imaginative. Five Minds was a trip that had me thrilled and terrified in equal measure. Utterly mind-bending.” J.M. Hewitt, author of The Night Caller

“Amazingly addictive. A wicked, twisty blend of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, Blade Runner and even a pinch of Rollerball. You fiendish evil genius!” Kate Griffin, author of The Kitty Peck Mysteries

“I loved the brilliant, brain-grabbing Five Minds. An extraordinary concept with a spanking crime mystery at its heart.” Chris Lloyd, author of The Unwanted Dead

“High stakes gaming and the dark corners of the human psyche. Five Minds is a fascinating extrapolation of society, and a claustrophobic, deft whodunit.” Patrick Edwards, author of Echo Cycle

“A real feat of the imagination: wildly original and a thrilling read.” Louisa Scarr, author of Last Place You Look

“Clever, twisty, insightful. Reminded me of a cross between Michael Marshall Smith and Iain M Banks, and that at its best Sci-Fi raises themes that shine a light back on the contemporary world through a great story. Brilliant.” James Mylet, author of Lex

“Imaginative, twisty and brilliantly fun. I loved each of the expertly-drawn characters and their journey through a world where time is everything. A deliciously devourable tale that will have you on the edge of your seat.“ Lynsey James, author of Just The Way You Are 

“My mind is officially blown! Haven’t been able to stop asking myself: what would I choose? Worker, Commune, Android, or Hedonist? This clever, twisty debut really delivers. Gripping, well-written...

Available Editions

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ISBN 9781788165662
PRICE £12.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 71 members

Featured Reviews

There are not enough words for how much I enjoyed this book. It was entertaining, clever and the narrative was stunningly intelligent. I couldn’t put it down I was captivated. Five Minds. One Body. One Killer. I felt like I was reading more than one book in the same book by some of the best crime writers in the world. Challenging puzzles, suspense, intrigue, mystery, twists I couldn’t see coming – seriously nail-biting, edge of seat stuff. The ending was AMAZING I cannot wait to read more from this writer, definitely a book I will revisit many times and get a paper copy to annotate. Mr Morpuss, you sir have just become one of my favourite writers. Highly highly HIGHLY recommended.

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I had heard great things about this book and it certainly lived up to my expectations. It is very cleverly-written with a hugely gripping and intensive plot. Pure entertainment from start to finish and I look forward to reading more of Guy's work. A huge thank you to the publishers for the chance to read and review this great book. I will be recommending it to everyone!

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Wow. Westworld meets Maze Runner meets The Running Man meets Seven Deaths splattered with murder and riddles to solve. Such an immersive experience. This is such an intelligent novel and so expertly plotted. How did Guy even think this one up? I was all over the place trying to figure it all out. Also the world these characters live in is fascinating - there are so many tiny details that enrich the setting. And the concept? Oh my goodness. Imagine sharing your body with four others. I thought it about it all the time, which shift would I prefer and would it be better just to be a hedonist. I am still not sure! Let's talk about the games at the Death Park. A place where you gamble time and your life. They were riveting and as they played along you were there with them. Sifting through all the evidence like you were a detective. Trying to figure out the clues yourself and deciding how to win. I adored those games. So inventive. Then when you were finished you were right back to finding out who was attempting to kill you. Honestly it is like two books in one. The action never lets up. And the narrative is so compelling. You just have to find out what happens in the end. And how does Guy ensure five characters - that live in the same body - have unique voices? His craft in doing so is astounding. I especially enjoyed hearing about their pasts and what happened before they arrived at the park. I would love to say more but can't for risk of spoilers. Suffice to say the narrative has a rich depth that is often lacking in such a genre. This isn't just about the thrills and spills it's about life and it's meaning. At times it is terrifying, exhilarating and thrilling. But it is also sad and poignant. Such a mind blowing original book. I have no doubt this will be on cinema screens soon. You should buy it.

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC in return for an honest review. Five Minds by Guy Morpuss is a dystopian type sci-fi novel where 5 minds inhabit one body. When I first read the description of this book, I was intrigued about how it would work. Let me tell you - I LOVED THIS BOOK. It was such an interesting concept and I loved getting to know all the characters! It was very entertaining and I loved the 'games' as they were like a little side adventure! Definitely recommend!

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This is an incredible book. Planet Earth is overrun with humans, who are destroying the environment, so new rules have been made. At the age of 17, everyone must make a choice of how they will spend the rest of their lives. The protagonists decide to become schizos - five minds inside one body. The idea is ingenious, and the author carries it off with great skill. Each character has their own distinct personality, and the different threads of the story come together seamlessly. Five Minds had me hooked right from the beginning, I couldn't put it down! And the ending didn't disappoint either! This is a cleverly written novel with many layers, coupled with lots of action, twists, and intrigue. Highly recommend!

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Before Five Minds was made available on NetGalley, the author created a personality test (you can find it on his website) that would let you know what you would be. You are faced with four choices: hedonist / commune / worker / android. I was designed as a commune. A rarity. I was quite pleased with it. Then I read more and wondered if the control freak I am would be happy sharing a body with four other minds, only getting four hours of freedom to do whatever I wanted. That quiz only made me even more curious about the novel and when finally the day arrived and I was able to open the novel on my Kindle, I thought I was ready. I was not. Imagine being 17 and being selected with four other people you don’t know to share a body. Sure, you’ll live longer than anyone, but you’ll only be able to control your body for four hours per day and not much to say about what others do. Kate, Mike, Sierra, Alex, and Ben are chosen to live together. Or to cohabit. What a gamble, on everyone’s side. What if you are paired with total nutjobs who spend their allocated time doing drugs or trying to kill others? And of course, there is no way back! 142 years with strangers. Of course, you get to know each other, having to live one after the other, but you can’t actually see or hear what happens when it’s not your turn. I was uneasy just reading one POV after the other. Uneasy in a very disturbed way as I simply felt that if I kept reading, I’d understand. Did I understand? Yes, and no. And that’s one of the reasons I enjoyed this novel so much. Guy Morpuss pushes you to the edge, literally. Five Minds read like a game. A deadly one. Mystery, mistrust, games you actually play, games you witness and games you have no idea about. You are bound to take sides. But will you take the right side? Or is there a right side? This book is real entertainment with extraordinary consequences. Don’t worry, the flawless narration doesn’t leave room for confusion, and you always know who is in charge, for better or for worse! I was utterly captivated by how the author managed to turn his idea into a tangible and plausible world, so far from us and yet the foundations of humanity are always at the heart of the novel. What do we want? How do we get it? What is freedom? Those were some of the questions flinging back and forth in my head, in a tiny corner that subtly but firmly kept me connected to the characters. Five people. One body… and a lot of intrigue, blood, mystery, lies. Guy Morpuss created a brilliant experience threaded with beautiful and dark layers of exquisite fiction. Captivating, riveting, entertaining, Five Minds is twisty and twisted. Absolutely unique.

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