Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Buried Life - by Carrie Patel - A dystopian murder mystery

4 of 5 Stars     Review copy

The Buried Life is an enjoyable first novel by Carrie Patel.  Set in a future where many have chosen to live below the Earth's surface.  The fictional city of Recoletta, like all modern cities, had been constructed around the two values that society prized most, security and privacy.

It's important to note, most historical records were destroyed in the period immediately following The Catastrophe and any that did survive are severely restricted as to who can access them.

The story begins with the murder of Professor Werner Thomas Cahill, a historian working on a secret project...Prometheus.

Investigating the murder, are Inspector Liesl Malone and her new assistant, Inspector Randolph Sundar. There's a nice relationship that builds between these two characters and the author is skillful in dialog that rings true and is comfortable to read..

Soon after a second murder, that of Mr. Lanning Fitzhugh, a master Architect of the city, the Inspectors are forbidden by the city's council from investigating the case any further.  However, the Municipal Police and the Council don't exactly get along and at this point the Inspectors have come to far to let it go.

In addition to the police, there is also a laundry-woman and her reporter friend who become deeply involved in the mystery.

The Buried Life is actually well written and there is a pretty good story here, but in many ways, the writer has merely scratched the surface.  There is so much I found myself wanting to know about the back-story that just wasn't revealed.  What was The Catastrophe?  Why is this town underground?  Why is knowledge of the past denied to those living in the present?

The Buried Life will be available in print and e-book formats from the usual online retailers on July 29,2014 and is published by Angry Robot Books.

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