As nations rebuild, democracy is under threat.
In 2019, the AIs went to war. Millions died before a nuclear holocaust brought an end to their brief reign of terror. Billions more succumbed to radiation poisoning, disease, and the chaotic violence of that apocalypse. Some survived. They rebuilt. Twenty years later, civilisation is a dim shadow of its former self. Crime is on the rise.
During the investigation of a routine homicide, Police Officer Ruth Deering prevents a group, claiming to be Luddites, from destroying the telegraph. This act of sabotage is only the beginning. As arrests are made and criminals are caught, evidence emerges that the saboteurs are connected to the AIs, the counterfeiting, and to the assassination. The shadowy figure behind the conspiracy must be unmasked before their fragile democracy is destroyed. (86,000 words)