Summary

Claire North shortlisted for the Sunday Times PFD Young Writer of the Year Award.
From one of the most original new voices in modern fiction comes a startling vision of a world where you can get away with anything.... 
Theo Miller knows the value of human life - to the very last penny.  
Working 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. 
But when his ex-lover is killed, it's different. This is one death he can't let become merely an entry on a balance sheet.  
Because when the richest in the world are getting away with murder, sometimes the numbers just don't add up.
From the award-winning Claire North comes an electrifying and provocative new novel which will resonate with readers around the world. 
©2018 Claire North (P)2018 Hachette Audio UK
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Critic reviews

"An extraordinary novel that stands with the best of dystopian fiction, from Nineteen Eighty Four to The Chrysalids, with dashes of The Handmaid's Tale." (Cory Doctorow)
"An eerily plausible dystopian masterpiece." (Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven)
"Ambitious, immensely humane and full of philosophical panache." (Sunday Times)
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Regular price: £19.99

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Robert on 05-06-18

Well read, but difficult dialogue and opaque story

I really liked some of Claire North's audiobooks and I love Peter Kenny's reading style, but not even he could save this book for me.

First of all - the dialogue. I appreciate that in reality people speak across each other, mumble or don't finish sentences. However, to have a lot of this accurate and verbatim cross talk read out like a transcript of a conversation is annoying at first and insufferable after a while. Especially when the exchange is quite long, or the snippets are unconnected and trying to illustrate the passing of a day in the office.

Secondly the tale leapt back and forth between Theo as a young man, as a boy, as a working civil servant and as a man on the run in a canal boat. This is a fine way of jigsawing together a narrative, but the reader has to know which version of Theo is being used. That did not happen.

The point of view sometimes changed without warning between characters. It is fine if an extra might look tired or have a long shift and show it in their interaction with the protagonists. But there is no reason to put the reader inside the extras head.

Finally the world building did not really work. It might have done as a short story making a point about a corporate run Britain of the near future. But for a novel it felt like there were wide gaps in the description of society which did not fit.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Boggy of Bucks on 05-06-18

What the F... Claire North's writing is... How?...

This is more of a complaint than a critique I'm afraid but...

Claire? What have you done? Why curtail almost every sentence spoken by every character? Once or twice, perhaps, for realism. But all the effing time? Why? Why? Why? It is so annoying, so grating, so unnecessary, Frankly, I almost gave up on this book in the first 10 minutes and if it had been a different author I probably would have.

Claire North has written some very interesting books. Properly good. This is a departure. This is a case of style overriding what might have been a well imagined and gripping story.

And another thing... A fractured timeline is employed by many authors to good effect. One chapter here, another in the past, etc. This story's timeline is fractured in odd places and it is hard to quite work out where we are in it. Its not a biggie (unlike the unfinished sentences) and if it was the only stylistic error (it is an error - the customer is always right) it would be excusable. The combined effect is simply annoying.

Customer, do not buy this book. Claire, rewrite it. Publisher, don't let her do it again. Ever.

Rant over.

PS Peter Kenny is very good, as usual.

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9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By S. Reeve on 12-06-18

Cold, sad and beautiful

Anything CN writes is worth a listen. PK as a narrator is always brilliant . Buy it.

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