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by Mark Cantrell on Nov.22, 2009, under

The future is what you make it...

Citizen Zero

The hard-hitting political thriller by Mark Cantrell presents the terrifying consequences of a Britain broken by austerity

Available exclusively online

JobNet was supposed to usher in a better life for unemployed David Mills; instead it plunges him into a bitter struggle for survival when he is caught in the midst of a political conspiracy that pushes Britain to the brink of civil war…

David lived on society’s margins, forever on the verge of sinking into an excluded underclass known as ‘zeros’, until the JobNet scheme offered him the tantalising prospect of a better life.

The Government programme uses the latest artificial reality technology to create a paradise world where the unemployed gain all the help they need. He’s heard the hype before, but this time it actually begins to fulfil the promise: he finds love with Christine, the prospect of a job beckons, and he dares to dream of a worthwhile future beyond the dole.

Then a deadly virus strikes the system and his sweetest dream instantly becomes a living nightmare. He is forced to embark on a perilous journey to be re-united with the woman he loves, in the hope they can escape together into reality – but things are little better there...

The conspiracy has ignited a power struggle between two ruthless and powerful men. Once, they were comrades plotting to shape Britain into the dictatorship it has become: now they are foes whose animosity has plunged the country into violent mayhem.

The first, a renegade security operative turned terrorist, plucked David from the dole to deliver the virus; the second, a tyrannical Prime Minister ruthless in the preservation of his rule, he wants David dead – and fast – before the virus he carries can escape JobNet and overwhelm the wider network.

If David is to stand any chance of surviving, then he must take down both men, but the odds are impossible – he’s just a ‘zero’, after all, and he's trapped inside a broken reality. It seems hopeless – until he stumbles across a dark secret hidden in the heart of JobNet. It’s a cruel revelation that will change everything…

A political satire, Citizen Zero is a dark thriller set in a dystopian future, with witty, acerbic prose that cuts to the heart of many of our society’s deepest fears, it promises to blow your mind…
Think of the social drama of The Boys From The Black Stuff, meets the subversive anarcho-chic of The Matrix, mixed with the explosive V For Vendetta – and get ready for a riot...

Scroll down to download a substantial sample of the novel, or buy the complete e-book from Lulu, Amazon or Smashwords. See sidebar for the links.

Originally Published: 11-10-2010 | Archived: 28-20-2011
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