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The crime book that really will self destruct in 24 hours

Crime author James Patterson has found a unique hook for his latest thriller – a self-destruct timer that wipes out the book when it hits zero. Time to bust out the waivers…

Patterson’s latest thriller, Private Vegas, was released early to 1000 lucky punters – but the chosen few didn’t have the chance to kick back with a nice cup of tea and read at their leisure. In a cunning twist, every copy of the ebook was primed to wipe itself out after a single day, thus screwing over those who value sleep and family time over squinting at their Kindle for ten hours straight.

But even better, one incredibly rich and slightly mental fan can fly to a luxurious lounge in an undisclosed location to check out a physical copy of Private Vegas, primed with actual real-life explosives. A bomb squad will actually be handling the book, if the hilariously bonkers ad is to be believed, with you reading the book from across the room through binoculars. Not the most comfortable reading experience ever, and saying ‘turn’ every minute or so might get a little dull, but it’s preferable to having your face splattered against the ceiling.

The cost of this high-octane trip? A mere $294,038 US. Quite a large (and strangely precise) figure, although you do get to enjoy a five-course meal with James Patterson himself. Bear in mind that you’ll have to sign a waiver, just in case you end up wearing your guts as a necktie.

Ploughing through a book in such a short time isn’t a unique concept; for years now, dedicated fans have happily blazed through the latest Harry Potter or A Song of Ice and Fire tomes overnight, after queueing up for midnight launches. It’s undeniably thrilling knowing that you’re one of the first people in the world to read something new from your favourite author.

But add to that a timer and the tension goes through the roof, which suits the thriller genre perfectly. This little stunt was added to by a smart social media campaign, which allowed readers and other fans to interact with each other while the timers were ticking down. You could even see how far through the book each reader was, complete with a words-per-minute count.

Heard of any other wacky publicity stunts from authors? Let us know in the comments below. And here’s that bonkers promotional video, which is well worth a watch.



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