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Sixteen-year-old Robert Smith thinks he has grown up just like
every other teenager in Essex, England. Sure, he can't remember
much of his childhood. Memories about his birth parents feel
manufactured. Hopping around from foster home to foster home
through the years, he doesn't recall ever getting sick or seriously
injured. All he has are his dreams, and those bad dreams feel real

Dr. Andrews tells Robert that his surgery will be a routine
endoscopy, which will check for a stomach ulcer. Everything is
going as planned --- IVs, anesthesia, gurneys, doctors, scalpels
--- until the anesthesia stops working and Robert wakes up. Doctors
are calling for more doctors. Men with holstered pistols stand
guard around the room. The confusion increases as the doctors try
to figure out what they're seeing. "What the hell are you?" one of
them asks. That single line sets Robert off. He has to get out of
there. Whatever he does, he must escape.

Stolen cars, guns, fraudulent news stories, murders, kidnapping,
fake IDs and secret societies --- the intense chain of events that
follows will have readers grasping for answers right along with
Robert. Who are these mysterious men in the hospital? What are they
looking for? Everyone wants something, especially men packing guns
in an operating room. Who are they working for? Who, or what, do
they think Robert is?

This is one of those crucial questions --- "Who am I?" If Robert
doesn't know who he is, then he doesn't really have much of
anything. No beginning. No end. What does it mean if he can't trust
what's inside his body? Doctors don't know what's wrong with him.
People whom he knows nothing about are trying to kill him. The
situation forces him to question all he has ever known and
experienced. Everything he thinks he knows is fading. Nothing is
permanent anymore. All he has is a gun and the whiteness that fills
his brain when things get out of control.

All he has is now.


Reviewed by Jonathan Stephens on October 18, 2011

by Kevin Brooks

  • Publication Date: February 1, 2007
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: The Chicken House
  • ISBN-10: 0439899737
  • ISBN-13: 9780439899734