The Messenger, published by Delacorte Press in the US and Canada.
ISBN 978-0-345-52847-6 eBook ISBN 978-0-345-52848-3
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Stephen Miller’s potent immediate novel of a young terrorist loose on the streets of the United States is perfect for the readers of intelligent character-driven novels such as John Updike’s Terrorist and Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland. In this harrowing exploration of a young woman’s mission, Daria has been sent to America and she holds the power of life and death in her hands. This is the story of two outsiders existing in the margins of their respective worlds. They are two enemies of the state: Daria–born in a refugee camp, raised in poverty, and Sam Watterman–a scientist who told his government the things they didn’t want to hear and was discredited, an ex-pat in his own country. Daria’s odyssey will bring her to the United States, on a journey of vengeance. Watterman’s path will take him from enforced obscurity into the war rooms of American intelligence. In the next 16 days, Daria will learn to question everything she has been taught. Watterman will learn that even evil has a human face. This is the story of two people from opposite sides of the globe, who did not know the other existed but who will affect each other in profound–even devastating–ways. Their next sixteen days will be the most extraordinary journey in a reader’s life.
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“Stephen Miller’s novel The Messenger is both a high-stakes thriller and the story of a lost girl seeking answers to life’s most complicated questions. Warm, empathetic, fascinating, terrifying: The Messenger has it all!”
—Amanda Eyre Ward, author of Close Your Eyes
“A real snake-charmer of a tale, The Messenger doesn’t unfold, it uncoils. You can only stare, appalled and fascinated, unable to avert your eyes. A riveting read, from beginning to end. This is Cormack McCarthy territory. It goes way beyond its genre.”
- John MacLachlan Gray, creator of Billy Bishop Goes to War, author of The Fiend In Human, and more.
“A chilling, heart-thumping, masterfully-written thriller. Stephen Miller has created a complex anti-heroine in the character of Daria Vermiglio, a portrait of a bio-terrorist so well rendered that we can relate to her, understand her, and identify with her journey from complete conviction to regret for her actions once she meets some of her victims: the American poor. Miller pulls no punches in his richly detailed depiction of present-day, under-class United States, his portrayal as compassionate to his subjects as it is a denunciation of a system that has disenfranchised the majority of its citizens.”
–Carmen Aguirre – author of Something Fierce: Memories of a Revolutionary Daughter, winner of the 2012 Canada Reads competition.
“Miller writes beautifully, is hugely well-informed on the subject of biological weaponry, and, more impressively still, manages to say something strikingly original about contemporary terrorism. His American society – awash in meaningless commercialism, appalling inequalities, endemic racism and sexism – is the perfect target for his Middle Eastern anti-heroine’s dreadful mission. Miller gets it that, in the widest context, the war on terrorism, like the war on drugs, is as much about us as it is about them. A chillingly intelligent read.”