Flashmob: A Novel
By Christopher Farnsworth

Well, this is a pretty great way to start the week. FLASHMOB just got a starred and boxed review from Publishers Weekly

“The main elements of Farnsworth’s brilliant second thriller featuring the man known as John Smith would individually be enough to sustain interest; the combination of a telepathic lead and a terrifyingly plausible effort to use the Internet for social manipulation produces intelligent and knuckle-biting suspense… Farnsworth credibly ups the ante for his hero and makes accepting his paranormal abilities easy. Many will want to read this novel in one sitting.”

You can read the entire thing here.

Booklist gave FLASHMOB an excellent review as well. (Not online yet, but here's the highlights.)

"Farnsworth is a genuinely gifted storyteller, able to take a fantastic premise and build onto it a story that feels not just plausible but completely natural... A fine genre-bender."

Kirkus Reviews also had some kind words for FLASHMOB:

"A smooth, assured effort... another entertaining performance by Farnsworth, who brings an edgy sense of humor to the proceedings."

And remember, if all this fulsome praise from the world of reviewers makes you want to pre-order FLASHMOB, you can get a free Nathaniel Cade ebook. Details are here.

FLASHMOB hits stores on June 27. You can get your copy through AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillioniBooksKobo, and from your local independent bookstore through IndieBound.


About once a day, I get an email or a message over social media from someone I’ve never met before. It’s always the same question, phrased in different ways.

“Hey, when are you going to write another book about Nathaniel Cade?”
“When are you going to tell us what happened to Cade and Zach?”
“When are you going to do the next book in the President’s Vampire series?”

And I’ve always had the same answer: Eventually.

It's incredibly flattering that so many people like my vampire so much. And I've wanted to write more about him. But Cade was stranded several years ago when I switched publishers, and I’ve been busy writing other books since then. I always intended to get back to him, but I didn’t know when it would happen.

Lately, however, I’ve been getting a lot more questions about Cade. For some reason, the last election inspired a lot of people to start thinking about monsters in the White House again.

It’s inspired me, too. I’ve written a new short novella about Nathaniel Cade: DEEP STATE.

It’s been four years since a new president ascended to the White House. Zach Barrows has not seen Nathaniel Cade, the President’s Vampire, since being fired from his position as Cade’s handler and sent to a small, cramped office in a government building in Nebraska.

Once, he and Cade fought a shadow war against the monsters, spies, and demons that threatened the United States. Now Zach pushes papers and listens to conspiracy theories from people who have no idea how dark the real world can get.

Then Zach is summoned to the Situation Room by President Lester Wyman, who is both the commander-in-chief and a possible traitor. 

But he and Cade are bound to follow Wyman’s orders. They are told to find out why a top-secret missile silo has gone offline. If they fail, a nuclear warhead will launch, and the world will die in a hail of fire.

In other words, it’s just another night on the job.

After a long absence, Cade and Zach are back in action together — for what might be the last time.

So, everyone who wanted Cade back? Well, he’s back.


DEEP STATE is not available in stores or on Amazon. There’s only one way to get this ebook: it’s free to anyone who pre-orders my next John Smith novel, FLASHMOB.

FLASHMOB is the sequel to KILLFILE, and in this one, John Smith must use his psychic talent to track down a shadowy computer genius who has weaponized the Internet.

Arriving at the wedding of Kira Sadeghi, a reality television celebrity he recently saved from kidnappers, Smith witnesses a group of gunmen open fire, hitting the bride and others. Though he’s unarmed, Smith cripples one of the killers and is able to pry one word from his mind: "Downvote."

Eager to learn more, Smith hacks into the brain of an FBI agent to discover the Bureau has been investigating a nefarious new threat called "Downvote," an encrypted site on the dark net that lists the names of celebrities and offers a hefty bounty for anyone who can kill them—unleashing an anonymous and deadly flashmob with a keystroke.

Finding a mastermind on the internet is like trying to catch air—unless you’re John Smith. Motivated by money and revenge, he traces a series of electronic signatures to a reclusive billionaire living at sea, accompanied by a scary-smart female bodyguard who becomes Smith’s partner in his quest. The hunt for their prey will lead from Hong Kong to Reykjavik to a luxury gambling resort deep in the Laotian jungle. Yet always this criminal mastermind remains one step ahead.

The only way Downvote’s creator can stop Smith is to kill him . . . because while this diabolical genius can run, there’s no hiding from a man who can read minds.

All you have to do is email me a copy of your receipt at, and you will be on the list for DEEP STATE. On June 27, when FLASHMOB is released, I will email you a copy of the ebook in PDF format, which is readable on any device or computer. You can even print it out on actual paper if you want to go old-school.

But wait, there’s more. You’ll also get excerpts from the CODENAME: NIGHTMARE PET briefing book, a historical timeline of the secret history of the United States, and “Cade vs. the Bloody Benders,” a deleted scene from Red, White, and Blood where Cade battles an infamous family of serial killers in the Old West.

You can pre-order FLASHMOB from AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillioniBooksKobo, and from your local independent bookstore through IndieBound. A receipt from any one of those sent to will qualify you to get the free ebook of DEEP STATE.

To my UK readers -- the same offer applies to you, but for a different book. Over there, FLASHMOB is titled HUNT YOU DOWN. Pre-order HUNT YOU DOWN and I will send you the free ebook of DEEP STATE. Again, send your receipt to

This free ebook giveaway lasts until June 27, 2017 in the United States, and until November 2, 2017 in the United Kingdom.

Please share this with anyone you think would like to see Cade again. 

I know a lot of you have missed him, and I hope you'll be happy to see him back in action. I know I am.

Thanks so much.


It is a big damn week here at Secret Farnsworth HQ.

FIRST, I was at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books all weekend, thanks to the grace of the incomparable Maret Orliss, who runs the whole thing. I got to shake the hand of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who was very gracious despite my squealing like a little schoolgirl. I saw friends and family moderate panels on literary families and prisons and punishment. Then I signed books at Mystery Ink before sharing a panel with big damn heroes Lee Goldberg, Eric Jerome Dickey, Gregg Hurwitz, and Daniel Suarez. We had a great time. Hopefully the audience had some fun, too. 


NEXT UP: TUESDAY, APRIL 25, the paperback edition of KILLFILE hits shelves. If you've been waiting for a snazzy, portable version of the story of a man who can read minds, now's your chance. Pick up a copy at your local indie bookstore or online.


WEDNESDAY, APRIL 26, my first comic book, 24: LEGACY -- RULES OF ENGAGEMENT from IDW Publishing will be out. This is a prequel to Fox's hit series, and basically tells the origin story of Eric Carter, the man who has to fill Jack Bauer's shoes. You can get a copy at any comic book store or at If you'd like to see a free preview, check it out here.

And FINALLY, as if that wasn't enough, later this week I will make an announcement about Nathaniel Cade. Not too huge, but it should be welcome news for anyone who's missed the President's Vampire... So stay bloodthirsty, and stay tuned.

My David Carr story

David Carr died yesterday. He was a great writer, a fearless critic, and by all accounts, a great friend and mentor.

I’m not going to say I knew him. There were a lot of people who did, including some friends of mine, and as Hamilton Nolan writes at Gawker, Carr apparently had the gift of making everyone feel he was their close personal friend.

He could also be incredibly kind to complete strangers. When I was a reporter just starting out at Boise Weekly, I sent roughly a million résumés out into the ether, looking for my next job. One of them went to Carr, who was then the editor of the Washington City Paper. (This was back in the previous century, before you could read any paper in the world on the Web. Alt-weeklies used to send copies to one another as a courtesy, and I remember how much I looked forward to tearing through the City Paper when it showed up.)

He was one of the few editors who called me back. Many smaller papers ignored me completely, but Carr took the time. As I remember it, he told me right off he wasn’t going to hire me. I needed more experience.

But he still spent an hour on the phone with a dumb kid in Boise, Idaho, giving me advice and encouragement, when he could have been doing literally anything else.

So like almost every other writer in the world, I am mourning Carr. There are a lot of great writers and outsized personalities in journalism. But he believed in the craft and the calling of the job, even now, when it looks more endangered than ever. And he was generous.

That’s so goddamn rare. And it just got a little bit rarer today.

Robin Williams, RIP.

Robin Williams is dead.

By this time tomorrow, there will be thousands of remembrances, and I am certain that adding mine to the pile won’t mean much. But I used to listen to “A Night At The Met” with my friends Randy and Joe the way other people listened to Bon Jovi. Comedians were my rock stars. Robin Williams was Springsteen.

Williams struggled with depression and addiction his entire life. There was never enough fame, never enough money, to heal that anxiety and insecurity inside him. This is from Wired, Bob Woodward’s biography of John Belushi, Williams’ friend. It’s 30 years old now, but it could have been written a week ago:

Robin Williams in Wired.jpg


That’s the thing about working in what we call Hollywood, or anywhere in the arts: there is always the pressure to prove yourself, to perform again, to repeat the lightning-in-a-bottle trick you pulled off the last time. For some people, it is almost a physical weight, and it crushes them.

I’m not going to claim I have some special insight into what went through Robin Williams’ mind. This is just to say that I will miss him despite never knowing him, because I still have the greatest admiration for anyone who can be funny on demand, over and over. We need people who can make us laugh, and the world is missing another one today.