It's April 2028. Youth gangs roam the streets of independent Edinburgh, forcing the ruling Council of City Guardians to seek advice. Experts from the utopian university-state of New Oxford recommend an extreme deterrent - a maximum security prison alongside the central tourist zone. But at the prison opening ceremony an Edinburgh guardian is shot. Quint gathers evidence linking New Oxford to the assassination. Sent there to close the case, he finds a ruthless administration beneath the glossy hi-tech veneer. And a conspiracy which leads from New Oxford's mysterious heart - the place known only as the House of Dust - to his home city.
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(177mm x 113mm x 28mm)
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
This is an engaging book which traverses both the territory of the crime novel and that of utopian crime fiction. Set in the year 2028, it assumes the continued 'progress' of anti-environmental science, and the subsequent breakdown of countries into city states governed by oligarchies. Quintilian Dalrymple, the son of a former academic, finds himself directed to track down the assassin who has just murdered one of the Guardians of Edinburgh. But was the Guardian really the target? And who is responsible for the murder of victims found with their arms removed? The trail takes Quint and his team to New Oxford, a region which specializes in the development of high-security prisons, and other, more sinister experiments aimed at exerting maximum control over the members of the anarchic underclass. The ancient libraries are no longer the repositaries of textual wisdom, and the colleges have been designated as administrative offices, their venerable names and history lost in ugly abbreviations such as Trin, Keeb, and Brase. Surveillance equipment surmounts the Radcliffe Camera, and the university courses no longer educate, but merely offer applied science and training in the service of corporate interests. This novel, the fifth in a series which began with Body Politic, is a well constructed piece of crime fiction, but, more challengingly, it also invites us to think about what elements we value in our civilization, and to whose guardianship we should surrender their protection (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Paul Johnston
Paul Johnston has written four previous highly-acclaimed crime novels, the first of which, BODY POLITIC, won the CWA John Creasey Memorial Dagger. He divides his time between a small Greek island and Scotland where he was born and grew up.