Private Vegas

A thriller novel that will self-destruct in 24 hours.

James Patterson, otherwise known as your dad’s favourite novelist, has become one of the most-read authors in the world by creating over 100 thrillers that follow his protagonists as they race to solve crimes being committed by everyone from con-artists to mobsters to terrorists.

In the week leading up to the release of his most recent novel Private Vegas yesterday, agency Mother set up a system where 1,000 readers in the U.S. were given early access to a free, digital edition of the book, with one catch: they had 24 hours to read it before it self-destructed (best said in dramatic movie-announcer fashion).

To make the task more nail-biting, people could go to a website that tracked readers’ progress, including  how far into the book they were, how much time they had left and their words-per-minute. Particularly vindictive visitors to the site could also “steal time” and sabotage readers, bringing the countdown clock closer to zero, if they felt like doing the kind of jerk move one of Patterson’s bad guys might pull as things got tense.