Lock in

Lock in

Book - 2014 | First edition.
Average Rating:
Rate this:

A blazingly inventive near-future thriller from the best-selling, Hugo Award-winning John Scalzi.

Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent - and nearly five million souls in the United States alone - the disease causes "Lock In": Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

A quarter of a century later, in a world shaped by what's now known as "Haden's syndrome," rookie FBI agent Chris Shane is paired with veteran agent Leslie Vann. The two of them are assigned what appears to be a Haden-related murder at the Watergate Hotel, with a suspect who is an "integrator" - someone who can let the locked in borrow their bodies for a time. If the Integrator was carrying a Haden client, then naming the suspect for the murder becomes that much more complicated.

But "complicated" doesn't begin to describe it. As Shane and Vann began to unravel the threads of the murder, it becomes clear that the real mystery - and the real crime - is bigger than anyone could have imagined. The world of the locked in is changing, and with the change comes opportunities that the ambitious will seize at any cost. The investigation that began as a murder case takes Shane and Vann from the halls of corporate power to the virtual spaces of the locked in, and to the very heart of an emerging, surprising new human culture. It's nothing you could have expected.

Publisher: New York : Tor Books, 2014.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780765375865
Branch Call Number: SCA
Characteristics: 336 pages


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jan 06, 2019

Fun police procedural--but with robots and mind control! Great for sci-fi fans but also accessible if you aren't sure that's your thing.

Dec 27, 2018

A bit of everything, very original plague to aftermath to how the society reacts. One of the most original scifi writers ever and a very easy readable style. Empathy for the characters is odd since most are avatars and the actual person is never seen. Currently my favorite writer.
The actual science is weak and often not really explored.

JessicaGma Dec 05, 2018

A wonderful mash-up between a police procedural and a good sci-fi novel, John Scalzi provides a well paced thriller about the near future where folks suffer from Haden's disease where they are locked into their bodies. With the use of androids, or threeps, they can interact with the world, but as the funding has just been cut for the suffers of Hayden's, there's funny business happening with murders, mischief, and money at stake!

Sep 02, 2018

Not sci-fi, but a detective procedural from the near future with sci-fi like confusing technology that Scalzi explains as the story progresses. Hard core sci-fi buffs may be dissapointed, but the book is a lovely different take for mystery addicts.

Jul 20, 2017

This book is so-so. Scalzi is very good at world building. The state of the world in this novel is very interesting and raises deep questions about what exactly it means to be human. However, that's as much praise as I can give it. He makes no effort to offer answers to those questions and leaves you wanting more. I don't read books to have to fill in the blanks myself. Tell me what you think. The main character is fairly bland with no real personality and whose existence only comes across as a narrative gimmick. The over-arching mystery of the story is mostly by-the-numbers and might just as well have been copied from a 'how to write a mystery' book. All in all, this isn't Scalzi's best work.

Jan 21, 2016

Really good writing. A lot of frustrating, bothersome and stupidly thought out details.

cmlibrary_myork Dec 23, 2015

A great book for the science fiction fan and the uninitiated alike! In the near future, a portion of the population is affected by Haden`s Syndrome, a disease that cuts the communication between a person`s brain and their body so that they experience `lock in` - they are conscious, but unable to move and interact with the physical world. `Threeps,` or advanced robot-like machines, allow `Hadens` a physical representation in the world. The story centers on a Haden named Chris Shane who has just started a job as an FBI agent. As government funding for Hadens is cut by new legislation, citizen protests and a rash of violent deaths may make Shane`s first week on the force an interesting one...

JCLGreggW Nov 19, 2015

A police procedual by way of speculative fiction, think of this as something Dashiel Hammet might have written if he lived in the year 2025. Using technology that is just out of reach, Scalzi gives us a classic whodunnit featuring an FBI agent who's consciousness is "locked in" an android. Sharp, thought-provoking, and accessible to a broad range of readers, this is worth picking up.

Jun 01, 2015

Lock In is a fast paced mystery, steeped in speculative (but not entirely outlandish) science fiction. The story is reminiscent of, but arguably easier to read than a Philip Dick cautionary tale. Though the final act is perhaps the weaker part of the story, far more enjoyable are Scalzi's worldbuilding efforts. The technological haven of Agora, the moral and ethical issues at play, and the largely untouched concept of the new 'digital natives' (those who were locked in at an early age, or born locked in, and who only know the world through Agora) give you plenty to think about long after the mystery comes to a close. Enjoyable, fast paced, and accessible, if you're looking for a good mystery with a side of scifi, you've come to the right place.

mvkramer May 14, 2015

This is a fast-paced science-fiction murder mystery - complicated by the fact that, in this future, people can remotely pilot other people's bodies to have them commit crimes. A neat story, that falls a bit short in terms of actually digging in to the world it's created. liked that the main character was written in such a way that you can't tell if s/he's male or female.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number



Find it at EPL

To Top