The Steep Climes Quartet: Book One
by David Guenette
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Pub Date 18 Aug 2023 | Archive Date 13 Mar 2024
Climate fiction and thriller, Kill Well tells the story of a young climate activist caught up by a Big Oil deal that is willing to kill for profit.
In one quick glimpse, her world collapses.
Cynthia Wainwright was on her way to yet another fossil fuel divestment pitch, but now she is on the run. Her boss, a V.P. at Carbon’s End, is dead and someone is trying to make it look like she pulled the trigger.
Chicago’s record-breaking heatwave has a death count, riots, and rolling brownouts, and Jimmy Caine, recent graduate and even more recently laid off, is abandoning the city, heading home to the cool green hills of the Berkshires. On the long North Shore Limited train ride, a pretty woman named Cyn is in distress and he needs to help.
Davin Caine, post-divorce, has a big house and even bigger bills, and he is happy that his son is on his way home to Housatonic, but now with this mysterious young woman in tow. An even bigger problem is the contract killer who may be on the way to the house, working for powers operating in the shadows and desperate to tie up loose ends.
What is it really like to live in our time of climate change? For most Americans over the next two or three years, it may seem mostly just some unusual news about bad weather, even as signs and trends point to a coming overturn of our comfortable lives, including the growing financial costs levied on our day-to-day lives by global warming. But make no mistake, there is a war going on, especially in the land of Free Market, and when millions and billions of dollars are at stake, meddlesome climate change activists can become a factor for the bottom line.
Kill Well is the first book in The Steep Climes Quartet, a provocative series that examines the near- and mid-future consequences of climate change through the lens of Berkshire County, Massachusetts, where subtle and not-so subtle consequences reveal that the impending world of global warming is already a decisive part of our everyday lives.
If you love well-researched fiction and find entertaining character-rich books a favorite way to better understand the complexities, challenges, and compromises that lie ahead for us all, this series is for you.
"Kill Well is a smart, taut thriller that grabs you on the first page and keeps you guessing all the way to the suspenseful conclusion. David Guenette knows a lot about hacking and corporate skullduggery, and he knows a lot about people too.
—Tom Perrotta is author of Election and Little Children, both of which were made into critically acclaimed, Academy Award-nominated films, and for Little Children he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. His novels The Leftovers and Mrs. Fletcher have been adapted into TV series on HBO. His most recent novel is Tracy Flick Can’t Win.
David Guenette manages to show that the climate crisis is already affecting our energy and food bills and intensifying the drama of local politics. Kill Well is a fun ride but uncomfortable, too, as we get another way to think about where we’re heading all too quickly.
—Karen Christensen, CEO and Publisher, Berkshire Publishing Company and author of Eco Living, The Green Home, Home Ecology(book), and Home Ecology (Substack newsletter)
No drowned worlds or climate-ravaged zombies, but a solid story with compelling characters that leaves you thinking that you haven’t been thinking nearly enough about climate change. I can’t wait until the next book in this series hits.
—Larry D. Gussin, Gussin Climate Action Fund at The Sierra Club Foundation
Climate change is not something that is happening independent of people's lives, but rather is already part of each of our lives. This book helps you see that, and, like a magic trick, gives a poignant, entertaining, and funny read along the way.
—Winslow Eliot, author of ten novels, including Bright Face of Danger, Heaven Falls, The Happiness Cure, and A Perfect Gem, and several nonfiction books, including WriteSpa: An Oasis for Writers and What Would You Do If There Was Nothing You Had To Do? Practices to Create Your Life The Way You Want It To Be"