CompWare is in serious trouble after a promised merger falls through, so they do what other businesses have done to bolster their public image: they hire a consulting firm to review and streamline their business practices.
But there's something strange about the firm they hire--more specifically, the quirky gentleman who arrives to supervise the project: Mr. Patoff, tall and thin and wearing a bow tie, and with an odd smile that never quite reaches his eyes.
In his first interactions, the consultant asks a few inappropriate questions, and generally seems a nuisance. Over time, Patoff gains more power, to the point where he seems to be running the whole company. He enacts arbitrary and invasive changes to office protocol. He places cameras all over the building, making workers paranoid; he calls employees at all hours of the night, visits some of their homes and menaces their families.
People who defy the consultant get fired... or worse.
They soon realize they're not just fighting for their jobs: They're fighting for their lives.
The Consultant is a biting workplace satire, with the horrific touches only Bentley Little could provide.
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Bentley Little is the author of numerous novels, short stories, articles, essays, and reviews. After earning a BA in communications and an MA in English, Little sold his soul and abandoned all artistic integrity, working for eight years as a bureaucrat for a midsized city in Orange County, California. His first novel, The Revelation, won the 1990 Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Award for best first novel. A Luddite with no access to the Internet, Little still listens to vinyl records and does not own a cell phone, an iPod, an MP3 player, or a Blackberry. He has one wife and one son.
''The horror poet laureate.'' --Stephen King, praise for the author
''If there's a better horror novelist working today, I don't know who it is.'' --Los Angeles Times, praise for the author
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