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The City & The City    by China Mieville order for
City & The City
by China Mieville
Order:  USA  Can
Del Rey, 2010 (2009)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book

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*   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Unlike Charles Dickens' classic A Tale of Two Cities, the two cities in this novel are set in a world more akin to George Orwell's 1984. Beszel, set somewhere on the edge of Europe, is perhaps the antithesis of another strange metropolis called U1 Quoman.

Inspector Tyador Borlu, a member of Beszel's Extreme Crime Squad, stumbles on a true political hornets' nest when he is asked to look into the death of a woman. Borlu's investigation will take him to U1 Quoman, his country's equal and rival, to seek the answers he needs to solve the case. Linking forces with Detective Qussim Dhatt, Borlu soon becomes submerged in the sordid underworld of rabid nationalists who would like nothing better than to see Beszel destroyed.

As the two detectives uncover the murder victim's secrets they realize they are teetering on an abyss of deception and conspiracy that could swallow them and their respective cities.

A mystery with a surreal feel, this novel will appeal to those who are looking for something that not only bends the genre but challenges views of culture, politics and life in general. The words metaphysical and suspense are not usually used in the same sentence, but they apply here!

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