The Janus Project: Brad Anderson
Your entire family is wiped out in a flash. Your wife and daughter paid with their lives because you were at the wrong place at the wrong time. But, the person who caused this crime is one of the most dangerous criminals in the world and because of what you know and the fact you have to testify against this killer your life is about to change forever. The FEDS have created a special place for what they call marquee witnesses. Some would think it would be a witness protection program relocating you to another state and being carefully monitored. Not so. This program is unique unto itself, as each person that is a part of it is placed not where but in a different when. John Callan is the man who is paying with more than his life to attempt revenge against Morgan Ropp a deadly killer. Hearing her words in prison, seeing what she was able to do when attacked by inmates and threatening her lawyer with everything she’s got lets readers know that she is far from done with Callan and if released the people protecting him will have to do more than just wipe out his memories and thoughts. Trying to get her is what places him danger and in the Janus Project. But, sometimes after going through the portal, leaving yourself and your past behind, winding up years before he even met his wife, John’s thoughts cannot be completely erased and although he now works in a bank as a teller and met a lady in the past named Becky, time travel might have changed his location but not totally altered him memory and who he really is. Ropp is dangerous and prison bars cannot hold her and she escapes and will come gunning for John. But, first a young agent working the surveillance on the night shift realizes that John/AKA/Scott Blackburne, is now remembering his past as his writes notes to himself which brings it all back and causes the alarms to go off in Deputy Wallace’s head making it necessary to take him back. What is real to him and what is imagination? Within minutes of entering his new world he encounters an older man named Larry Douglas and manages to carry him to safety. The scene with him jumping into a river and carrying this man out to safety is quite compelling and will make you wonder just who John really is and what was his training in the past. The innermost turmoil within John/Scott is evident as he fights within himself to decide which life is real the one created for him by the Feds or the one he lost when his wife and daughter died. But, he’s not the only one who has suffered and meeting Becky he learns about the death of her parents and the truth behind why she keeps her brother’s door closed as they begin to bond in the past but what about when and if he returns to the present?
The premise of this book is that the Witness Protection Program hides people in the past, “The Janus Project”. Veteran John Callan witnessed something he wished he hadn’t. It cost him the lives of his wife and daughter. He wanted revenge on Morgan Ropp, instead he was sent back in time. Ropp discovered where they were keeping Callan. She escaped prison and goes after Callan.
Robb is on a mission to get out of jail and with the help of her lawyer, Sam and another man hired to take him out she hopes that he will be eliminated very soon. But, first she has to find a way out of jail and wherever they are holding Scott/John. Learning about the Witness Protection Program and his ability to stop bank robbers, handle difficult situations and even now according to time travel and advancement living in a small town for 30 years. Yet, when we meet Sam and Jim it is the past and not that much time has passed. Although they trust him you even hear the voices of Ben, his boss and President of the bank where he worked at first, the Doc and Larry the man whose life he saved wonder and start putting together the pieces of a very unusual puzzle. Even Becky, now listed as his wife thinks that certain things about him just don’t fit and when she questions Ben, things start to come a little clearer but they have yet to figure out why and how he arrived there. His mind flashes back and forth and he seems to be fighting his own demons at times yet not trying to understand everything but wanting to know more. Remembering his past life in some respects yet moving on in the present. How do you erase who you really are? Can you ever really disappear within your own body and have a different mind set and forget your past and your entire life? There are people monitoring him every minute of every day yet does he realize that? When will it all come to blows and when will John/Scott have to come back to the present and face it all? But, in the end where will his loyalties lie? With time periods switching back and forth and now Morgan on the loose things are about to heat up in both dimensions. As Morgan plans her revenge and those in the past realize what exactly happened and we meet the man who decided to help her, the author leaves Becky and us wondering just what the fate of John/Scott will be too. There are two worlds that are affected and too many with the power to alter time and create these wormholes. The ending is terrifying and will keep you on edge until the final scene is revealed.
Which world will John choose and which lives are real? When the ending comes to light he has to make a decision that will either cause his memories to come back from both worlds or lose them completely. When dealing with the doctors and people in charge of the Janus project their reasons for wanting him out of the way might make sense to them but what about John? Deputy Wallace is standing in front of him and John has decided where he belongs. You the reader will have to learn that for yourself and decide just how far would you go to save those you care about the most? What about the technology that was created and allowed as the doctor states: The God Factor and whatever is meant to be will be. You decide if you agree when you read this thought provoking book by author Brad Anderson and wonder what he has in store for us next.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ Magazine