Patriarch Run: A Novel

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" A breathless thriller...a literary meditation clutching a straight razor behind its back. Bold, beautifully written, and surprising. " —Marcus Sakey, bestselling author of The Brilliance Trilogy

Nine years ago, Jack Erikson was deployed to China to protect the United States from a cyberattack. Now, suffering from a drug-induced amnesia, he is unable to recognize his own son. What Jack knows for sure is that an elite group of operators is determined to kill him. What he does not yet remember is that he controls a cyber-weapon powerful enough to return human civilization to the Stone Age. If Jack lives long enough to piece together his mission and his identity, he will be forced to choose between the fate of humankind and that of his own family. 

Readers of Cormac McCarthy and Peter Heller will appreciate both the suspense and the Western setting. In his thrilling literary debut, Benjamin Dancer also explores the timeless themes of fatherhood and the fraying fabric of global stability.


"Patriarch Run accomplishes something few thrillers have achieved: it gets the guns right, and it gets the psychology of the gunfight right. Benjamin Dancer writes the gunfight scenes with a realism seldom seen in fiction." 
Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, author, On Killing

"Unsparing, violent and cinematic,  Patriarch Run starts with a bang and doesn't let up. Benjamin Dancer is an immensely talented writer; his assured, lean prose and stark realism will appeal to fans of Cormac McCarthy and Don Winslow."
A. J. Banner, author, The Good Neighbor

"Benjamin Dancer tells a story that moves at breakneck speed and draws you into the mind of a madman. The story is packed with realistic gunfights, and the bad guy presents an apocalyptic vision that haunts us because of how easily his nightmare can become our reality." 
Scott Pratt, author, An Innocent Client

"A seemingly futuristic story about a new way of warfare, played out against a seemingly futuristic background of disillusioned patriotism, divided personal loyalties, and identity crisis—except Dancer understands that the future is now!” 
Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, Executive Director of the EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security, author, Blackout Wars

“From the first page, Patriarch Run will hook you, reel you in, pull you out of the pond, and leave you gasping for breath at the bottom of the rowboat!” 
Gregory Hill, author, East of Denver

“Benjamin Dancer has illustrated that our greatest villain is overpopulation. Can the global community confront this most daunting adversary--too many people on a limited planet?" 
Paul R. Ehrlich, Bing Professor of Population Studies Emeritus, President, Center for Conservation Biology

“Overpopulation isn't just one more environmental problem: if there weren't so many of us, there wouldn't even be environmental problems. Fortunately, this one is solvable, humanely and surprisingly cheaply. I hope that once the blood from this dark spy saga dries, Dancer's readers are inspired to inquire how. They just might find their hopes rekindled." 
Alan Weisman, author,The World Without Us



Benjamin Dancer is the author of the literary thriller PATRIARCH RUN, the first book in a series that will include FIDELITY and THE STORY OF THE BOY. He also writes about parenting and education. You can learn more at