Saturday, 19 November 2016
ZERO by Matt Brolly
ZERO is set in the near future where authorities have adopted a zero tolerance policy towards crime. If found guilty, regardless of the crime, there is only one sentence: execution. And without giving any spoilers, it's the manner and delivery of execution that has more than shock value - it really resonates throughout the book. There are no flying cars, no robots or spaceships, but ZERO holds an unsettling atmosphere reminiscent of Bladerunner.
The story kicks off with the kidnap of a judge, which at first doesn't seem particularly surprising. The events and investigations that follow build up slowly, leading to a fairly complex, but convincing plot. Underpinning this is the conflicting turmoil within the main character as she digs deeper.
Again, no spoilers, but the result is a novel that avoids the quick fire twists and turns and cliches of pulp crime and instead, delivers a dark picture of social control and authoritarian hypocrisy.