| 27 February 2008 | ???

The more books I read the less surprised I become at the poor quality of writing that passes for professional acceptance nowadays. However, reading Ayuamarca shows that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that some quality material is getting through the bland filter. How to describe Ayuamarca? A Kafkaesque film noir science fiction thriller that challenges your ideas of time, perception and reality - and a slam bam battle between morality and corruption. Set in the near future Capac Raimi arrives in The City, ready to join his uncle as a gangster. The City is ruled by The Cardinal, a crime overlord whose army controls everything in the city and has plans to extend his tentacles of corruption beyond the city boundaries. Capac joins the Cardinal and is put on the fast-track learning curve as a possible successor, but Capac begins to question his background, finding that his mind has been manipulated to forget everything in his life from before he came to the city. Friends disappear as if they never existed, and as he searches for his true identity Capac discovers just how far the roots of corruption and power control the city and its people. Darren O’Shaughnessy has written one of the finest debut novels I’ve ever read, a chilling indictment of moral bankrupcy and corruption. Written in a no nonsense style that precludes the worst excesses of dictionary word hunting, this is a genuine pageturner, and makes this reader eager for the next volume in The City sequence.

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