3.69 (2,590 ratings by Goodreads)
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3.69 (2,590 ratings by Goodreads)

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A mysterious murder in a dystopian future leads a novice investigator to question what she's learned about the foundation of her population-controlled society

Decades after economic and environmental collapse destroys much of civilization in the United States, the Coast Road region isn't just surviving but thriving by some accounts, building something new on the ruins of what came before. A culture of population control has developed in which people, organized into households, must earn the children they bear by proving they can take care of them and are awarded symbolic banners to demonstrate this privilege. In the meantime, birth control is mandatory.

Enid of Haven is an Investigator, called on to mediate disputes and examine transgressions against the community. She's young for the job and hasn't yet handled a serious case. Now, though, a suspicious death requires her attention. The victim was an outcast, but might someone have taken dislike a step further and murdered him?

In a world defined by the disasters that happened a century before, the past is always present. But this investigation may reveal the cracks in Enid's world and make her question what she really stands for.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 135 x 203 x 23mm | 236g
  • Boston, MA, United States
  • English
  • 0544947304
  • 9780544947306
  • 596,244

Review quote

"[A]n intimate post-apocalyptic mystery . . . a deft portrait of a society departed so completely from the complexities of the now-destroyed civilization . . . that survivors don't even understand what it is they've lost . . . [A] well-crafted and heartfelt effort." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Amazing and compelling, Vaughn brings her deft characterization and humanity to bear on a post-apocalyptic world that is all too real." -- Tobias S. Buckell, bestselling author of Arctic Rising
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About Carrie Vaughn

CARRIE VAUGHN is the best-selling author of the Kitty Norville series, as well as the superhero novels Dreams of the Golden Age and After the Golden Age, the young adult novels Voices of Dragons and Steel, and the fantasy novel Discord's Apple. She lives in Boulder, Colorado.
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Rating details

2,590 ratings
3.69 out of 5 stars
5 17% (439)
4 45% (1,159)
3 30% (788)
2 6% (165)
1 2% (39)
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