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Your name is Danny Carter. You're a happy man: you have a good job, and share a Chicago greystone with the woman you love. Life is better than you ever dared hope.

But things weren't always this way. Seven years ago you stood in a dark room over the bleeding body of man writhing in agony. You've prayed every day that your past would stay buried...because you weren't alone in that room.

Now, the man who stood beside you is back. He's the most dangerous person you can imagine — and he's demanding you help him do the unforgivable. Agreeing might cost your career, your relationship, even your freedom. Refusing will cost your life.

Winner of multiple awards and optioned for film by Ben Affleck, The Blade Itself is a relentlessly claustrophobic thrill ride from "a modern master of suspense" (Chicago Sun-Times).

"A hard-charging thriller...delivers a kick and leaves no loose ends."
The New York Times

"The first page turner of 2007...this is how immortality gets started."
CBS Sunday Morning

"One of this year's best...this literate, complex and wonderfully suspenseful novel marks the arrival of a major player."
San Diego Union-Tribune

"Sakey's brilliant debut is a must read...the tension ratchets up to almost unbearable levels."
Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"Snappy writing and a hair-raising climax."
Entertainment Weekly

"[A] white-knuckle story...[with a] cool, commanding style."
New York Times Book Review

"Even better than they say."
Chicago Tribune

"A pitch-perfect novel...Sakey gets everything right."
Florida Sun-Sentinel

"Few of us remember the debuts of some of today's best genre writers…with the publication of Marcus Sakey's first novel, we have the chance to."
Washington Post

"Truly excellent. Buy it today and read it tonight."
Lee Child, Bestselling Author of THE HARD WAY

"An astoundingly good writer...the terrifically engaging, poetically structured tale of a man both tortured and tempted by his criminal past."
San Jose Mercury News

"This amazing debut reminds me why I keep reading. "
Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Glows like the glaze on Sung porcelain."
The New York Sun

"Does not merely hint at greatness...this top-shelf crime novel delivers it."

"[A] terrific first novel."
The Globe & Mail

"A claustrophobic experience...had me whipping through the pages. BRAVO. "
Shots Magazine

"Marcus Sakey. You'll want to remember his name so you can say you read him before he was a big shot."
Toledo Blade

"Four stars...a great debut in the vein of early Elmore Leonard."
The Sun

"This is dark, unruly storytelling that nestles in your mind as if it were your own memories...Sakey's the real deal. "
Mystery Scene

"A rocket…taut, involving, and memorable...an original new voice in crime fiction."
George Pelecanos, Bestselling Author of THE NIGHT GARDENER

"Sakey holds a mirror up to the city and in its reflection captures local as well as universal truths."
Chicago Sun-Times

"Straight out of the new American noir tradition."
NPR "All Things Considered"

"Pelecanos hot, Leonard cool...tremendous."
The Independent (UK)

"Believe the hype."

"Sakey plays expertly with duality...a hard-boiled fugue on free will and individual responsibility."
Chicago Reader

"Fast pace, hard action and a vivid Chicago setting make an exciting read."
Literary Review (UK)

"The concept is clever, the execution enthralling."
Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine

"A really engrossing novel about crime and punishment."
Dallas Morning News

"All the hallmarks of true thriller writing — quick pacing, hard-boiled characters and hard crimes."
Time Out Chicago

"Strikingly good...a strong early candidate for best first mystery novel of 2007."
Book Page

"A terrifically good debut — streetwise, heartfelt, and exciting. I loved this book."
T. Jefferson Parker, Bestselling Author of THE FALLEN

"What a thrilling ride debut author Sakey has concocted."
Library Journal Starred Review

"Gritty and full of tension...sure to launch Sakey to the top of the new crime writers list."

"Amazing...well-written, fast paced....Sure to be one of the best debuts of 2007."
Independent Mystery Booksellers Association

"Sakey is a writer to watch."

"One of the most stunning and appealing works of fiction I've ever read...the crime debut of the decade."
Victor Gischler, Author of GUN MONKEYS

"A deft touch."
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"The best debut I've read in years. Sakey writes like the bastard child of Dennis Lehane and Laura Lippman, and he may be better than both."
J.A. Konrath, Author of RUSTY NAIL

"A promising start from a writer willing to get deep into a city's grit."
Kirkus Reviews

"Emotionally engaging from page one. You will not be able to put this down."
Harry Hunsicker, Author of THE NEXT TIME YOU DIE

"One of the best crime novels, period. Sakey's prose is titanium soul, and all in service of a tragic, exhilarating story you will not stop reading until the pages run out."
Blake Crouch, Author of LOCKED DOORS

"The story is riveting, the characters rich and textured...utterly convincing. I still have grime under my fingernails just from reading."
Jeffrey Anderson MD PhD, author of SLEEPER CELL

"The pace of Tarantino and the elegance of Ellroy. Boston has Lehane, D.C. has Pelecanos and now Chicago has its very own dark poet."
Ken Bruen, Author of THE GUARDS

"Doesn't just live up to advance hype, it blows right past it."
Sarah Weinman, Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind