A bizarre and horrible coincidence draws FBI special agent Teresa Simons to England: on the same day that a mass murderer killed her husband and fourteen others in Kingwood City, Texas, another spree killer massacred seventeen in the small Sussex town of Bulverton. Teresa seeks to understand her husband's death by exploring the similar but unrelated event in Bulverton, as she once explored reconstructions of historical mass murders in ExEx (Extreme Experience, a brutally realistic form of virtual reality) to train for her FBI job. In Bulverton she finds a commercial ExEx parlor, which, she is horrified and fascinated to discover, offers a Bulverton mass-murder scenario. As Teresa explores both the town and the scenario of Bulverton, the separations between reality and ExEx, between ExEx murder reconstructions, between past and present, begin to blur--and so does the separation between Kingwood City and Bulverton, as Teresa realizes the simultaneity of the events may be more than a coincidence.
A New York Times Recommended Book, The Extremes received the British Science Fiction Association award for 1999. Christopher Priest's previous novel, The Prestige, won the World Fantasy Award and the James Tait Black Award. --Cynthia Ward