Against this oppressive background, reluctant hero Inspector O'Neil takes a severe battering as he tries to reveal the dark motives which surround what appears to be a brutal ritual murder of a Dry who has had his heart cut out. O'Neil, too smart and cynical for the taste of the authorities who are apparently engaged in a massive cover-up, is rapidly removed from the case and quickly fired before justice is done. Frightened but determined, he gets help from an unexpected quarter and is privately commissioned to solve the case. He is faced by opponents of extreme power with an unremittingly evil agenda. This is an imaginative portrayal of a future society and a very exciting thriller. The sci-fi ingredients are well thought through but subordinate to the thriller plot line, which is consistently exciting and packed with gun fights, chases, hunts and narrow escapes. Although the book paints a picture of a potentially bleak future, there is hope and reassurance that the maintenance of moral and social values in the midst of chaos could reverse the decline.
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