Marcus Wallace and Jonathon Bates are Canadian dot.com wunderboys, on a trade mission in Brazil to sell their intriguing concept for a new website -- Hypothesys is a virtual "morality machine" that promises to take the agony out of making choices, helping people to make the "best decisions of their lives."
But the decision that the Hypothesys team makes to take an eco-tour boat ride up the Rio Negro River into the Amazon Jungle -- accompanied by a band of leech-like Canadian trade bureaucrats -- will determine their future lives -- and deaths. Their boat is captured by unknown assailants who brutally kill the crew and kidnap the Hypothesys team, now led blindfolded to a stinking jungle pit prison. Except for the odd omission of Crossman, the team’s enigmatic translator, one by one the team is tortured and tested beyond reasonable understanding. Have their captors confused them with government officials from another boat? Has one of them secretly sold out? No one knows, but when an opportunity to escape presents itself, the team flees back to the river -- each one embarking on their own desperate journey into the heart of darkness.
Like Lost Girls, Pyper's first international bestseller, The Trade Mission is a unique hybrid novel. It's a story for the Virtual Age that takes psychological suspense to an almost unbearable new level.