Publication Date: March 7, 2023
Coe Vessel, son of a legendary adman, lands the much-anticipated ad campaign of artist-provocateur Watanabe’s latest creation, a mysterious watch called Cassius Seven. The enigmatic Watanabe claims the watch can kill its wearer. Convinced it’s a high-art hoax, Coe and his team of renegade creatives work furiously to land the campaign and persuade the world that the watch (rebranded as Death Watch) is the must-have accessory for end-time capitalism.
Thanks to the team’s inventive launch, Death Watch finds eager buyers among the brazenly cocky, thoroughly disillusioned, and silently suicidal. Death Watch soon becomes a cultural phenomenon, harbinger of a new nihilism, and a target for moral outrage. Exactly what Watanabe envisioned. But his hoax turns horrific when the watches start going off, killing their wearers. Appalled, Coe and his team reverse course and work feverishly to alert would-be customers. But can they stop the juggernaut they set in motion?
Instead, the “watch” referred to in the title is literally an instrument that keeps time. In fact, once it is put on, it can’t be removed. However, what sets the Cassius Seven apart is that it is equipped with a random timer that can go off at any time, activating seven blades set to kill the wearer. It is truly a death watch.
Coe Vessel is no stranger to creating ad campaigns. When he’s asked to make a pitch for the Cassius Seven, he’s a bit skeptical until he learns that it’s all part of a social experiment to prove that people act against their own best interests.
With the very first Death Watch affixed to his wrist, Coe begins an unexpected adventure as spokesman to drum up sales. When a man wearing a Death Watch is killed, Coe and his team realize there is much more to this experiment than they realized.
Death Watch illustrates the shortcomings of human nature through the fascination with a device created to kill the user. The compelling storyline will easily capture your attention and hold it until the explosive ending.
I’m a novelist, former punk, ad man, and recovering Okie living in Boston. I write dark, politically inflected novels that have a redeeming sense of humor that pulls them out of the abyss. My books go on to foreign editions, film adaptations, and other lives. But most important to me is that my books connect with new readers, every day. Thanks to you for being one.
My latest novel is Death Watch, and it’s a wild ride. Not as scary as it sounds. Or is it? Your call.
And I’m the founder of the Concord Free Press, which has inspired more than $5 million in generosity around the world. Our books are free in exchange for a donation to a cause you believe in or a person in need in your community.