In just three years, CEO Robbie Case has grown Core Communications, a data technology company, from 30 people to over 5,000. Now a $20 billion company made legendary by its sudden success, Core is based on a technology no other company can come close to copying, a revolutionary breakthrough known as drawing blood from a mainframe. And Robbie, its 35-year-old CEO, is acclaimed worldwide for his vision, leadership and wealth. Except that all of it is based on a lie. The technology doesn t work, the finances are built on a Ponzi scheme of stock sales and shell corporations, and Robbie is struggling to keep the company alive, to protect the friends who work for him and all that they ve built. Each day, Robbie tries to push the catastrophe back a little further, while his employees believe that they are all moving closer to grace, the day their stock options vest, when they will be made rich for their faith and loyalty and hard work. The details of the lie are all keyed into a shadowy interface that Robbie calls Shimmer, an omniscient mainframe that hides itself, calculates its own collapse, threatens to outsmart its creator and to reveal the corporation s illegal, fragile underpinnings. Shimmer is the story of a high-tech crusade nearing its end. The shell game Robbie has created is finally running out of room. And Robbie is the only one who knows or who has a chance to make things right. A breathless debut novel that charges the atmosphere with suspense and surprise and delivers complex characters you can root for in spite of their flaws, Shimmer is Robbie's race against the truth.
Eric gives an overview of the book:
I’d started having dreams where I could fly. Not dreams where I took firm, superhero steps that catapulted me up and into the sky. Not dreams where I soared at high speed over rivers, mountains and streams. Instead they were only dreams where I brought my right knee to my chest, in another moment lifted my left knee from the ground, my tightly curled body now hovering a few feet in the air.
“If you were a food, what food would you be?”
It was Julie who responded to Whitley’s question, not hesitating for a second, speaking as if this alone were her reason for working at this company. Julie said flatly, “Cream.”
One hour into my Monday morning staff meeting, and the sensation of flight from my previous night’s dream still hung lightly around my thoughts, a distant and comforting feeling made more real with every digression we took.
“A chef’s salad,” said our CFO, Cliff Rees.
Whitley nodded in appreciation. Julie’s soft jaw shifted left as she mouthed Cliff’s words. Leonard paused for a moment, heavy eyes leaving the pages of the network overview in his hands. Cliff himself tapped buttons on his calculator, then squinted carefully at the results.
“No, wait,” Cliff said, lifting a hand from his calculator, interrupting Leonard before he could answer. “Sorry. I meant a cobb salad.”
It was six in the morning. We had been here since five. We had already approved $200 million in monthly expenses, agreed to acquire eight suppliers in Taiwan and Korea, authorized the opening of three new field offices in England and Ireland. Monday, and the day had just begun. Monday, and all of us had spent the whole weekend in this building. Monday, and we would not go home till sometime late that night.
Eric Barnes has a smash debut novel hitting upon a subject that is clearly newsworthy. Shimmer is based upon one of the oldest money-making plots known as "The Ponzi Scheme." Barnes was formerly a COO of...