A powerful dystopian vision of a world where money reigns supreme, from a World Fantasy Award-winning author.
"An extraordinary novel that stands with the best of dystopian fiction, with dashes of The Handmaid's Tale." -- -Cory Doctorow
The penalty for Dani Cumali's murder: $84,000.
Theo works in the Criminal Audit Office. He assesses each crime that crosses his desk and makes sure the correct debt to society is paid in full.
These days, there's no need to go to prison -- provided that you can afford to pay the penalty for the crime you've committed. If you're rich enough, you can get away with murder.
But Dani's murder is different. When Theo finds her lifeless body, and a hired killer standing over her and calmly calling the police to confess, he can't let her death become just an entry on a balance sheet.
Someone is responsible. And Theo is going to find them and make them pay.
Perfect for fans of 1984 and Never Let Me Go, Claire North's moving and unnerving new novel will resonate with readers around the world.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Not since George Orwell’s 1984 has the idea of a totalitarian government been portrayed with such chilling depth. In near-future England, human rights have been abolished and an all-seeing entity called The Company has total control. One man has managed to escape his past—and The Company's scrutiny—by hiding in plain sight under an assumed name and a government job. But things take a nerve-wracking turn after a chance meeting with a figure from the past. Using grimly poetic language, Claire North creates an unsettling and plausible dystopia that heightens the urgency of her antihero’s twisting quest.
Lyrical language, stream-of-consciousness dialogue, and a nonlinear structure complicate this otherwise straightforward tale of entrapment within, and resistance against, a future England where every crime can be resolved through financial restitution or indentured servitude. As part of the Criminal Audit Office, Theo Miller determines what each offense is worth: 780 for sexual harassment, 84,000 for murder, and so forth. But when Dani, his ex-girlfriend, is murdered while attempting to expose the all-powerful, all-controlling Company for its corruption and abuses and she names Theo as her missing daughter's father before she dies Theo is determined to finish what she started, even if it means destroying both Company and country in the process. His investigation takes him to all corners of England, from rich enclaves to hopeless slums, as the dark secrets of his own past unfold. North (The End of the Day) paints a vivid and disturbing picture of a corporate-run future devoid of human rights. The complex intricacy of her narrative voice makes this more of a poetic vision quest than a straightforward adventure, and the experimental style and tangled plotline show an admirable grasp of technique but may frustrate readers expecting a more conventional dystopian thriller.