London Black

Written by Jack Lutz

Review written by Adam Colclough

Adam Colclough lives and works in the West Midlands, he writes regularly for a number of websites, one day he will get round to writing a book for someone else to review.


London Black
Pushkin Press
RRP: £14.99
Released: June 2 2022
HBK

London 2029, a city still reeling from a chemical warfare attack two years earlier where ‘survivors’ are stigmatized outcasts and ‘vulnerables’ need daily boosts to avoid infection. When the scientist who developed the boosts is murdered DI Lucy Stone, a ‘vulnerable’ haunted by guilt takes the call. Catching whoever killed him may be her last hope of redemption, powerful people with secrets they are willing to kill to keep stand in her way.

This dark dystopian thriller has the makings of being one of the best first novels out this year. Lutz has dug into contemporary fears like a rusty hypodermic needle to produce a powerful and unsettling novel.

One that engages with complex issues around survivor guilt, corporate greed and big pharma, and the way we make myths about national tragedies whilst recoiling from those they have damaged. All this is set in a vividly cinematic London where past and present collide.

Jack Lutz shows a masterful touch for creating tension, using the atmosphere of a city that looks both recognizably contemporary and like something out of Blade Runner to keep his readers in a permanently uneasy. In Stone he has created a central character driven by demons that are as believable as they are terrifying.

The best dystopian fiction is never really about some hypothetical future, it is about the things we fear in the here and now. Jack Lutz understands this implicitly and uses it here to create a disturbing novel that has the potential to become a cult classic.

 



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