| 11 February 1999 | Dave Langford
This is the author’s first novel and it’s a very strange one. Brash young Capac Raimi, a man with no past, comes to join his uncle’s gangster organisation in a big, unnamed city. (Though telling a complete story, the book’s billed as “The City: Book 1″.) Very soon he’s sucked into the empire of The Cardinal, the top crime lord who dominates the city and, it seems, may be looking for a young heir … Jolts, surprises and dizzying gear changes follow: Ayuamarca offers not just unexpected twists but unexpected kinds of twist. Capac encounters love (or at any rate sex) at first sight, an unstoppable assassin, puzzling advisers, blind men with a strange vision and an aging woman who has the perfect face of a teenager. People on the mysterious Ayuamarca List–which includes Capac’s name–tend to vanish from life, from official records and hidden files, even from others’ memories. The Cardinal, by turns capricious, violent, charming, gross and deadly, has a fantastic secret rooted in the long-ago magic of the Incas. Before Capac is allowed to learn this, he must make various terrible discoveries about himself and those close to him, including his own lady-love. Violent, black and startlingly original.
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