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84K by Claire North is a dark sci-fi novel that fans of 1984, Taken, and Brave New World will enjoy. In this British dystopian future, all civil services have been commercialized by The Company. Crimes are audited and valued and a price is established. The cost of murder is £84K. If you can’t pay the crime, you are sent to the patty line—a euphemism for forced labor camps. Theo Miller works in the Crime Audit Office, assigning and assessing the value and cost of the crimes that come across his desk, but is generally unfeeling and numb to the world around him. When a woman from his past approaches him with information that may bring down The Company but is later murdered, Theo finds himself investigating her murder and the information she uncovered about The Company. But at every turn, The Company is looking to shut him up before the truth gets out.
This novel reads like literary fiction and the 1984 influences are strong. At other times, the lack of punctuation and stream-of-consciousness style writing combined with specific formatting of paragraphs and page breaks means that the novel also sometimes comes across like poetry. 84K is at times suffocatingly bleak and you want to rage right alongside the characters. The violence in the novel is startling and explicit but it never feels gratuitous. With each turn of the page, you sink lower and lower into despair before Claire North finally—finally—shines a ray of hope. While a dense read (and definitely not a casual, beach read), 84K delivers a startling, bleak sci-fi thriller that leaves you completely stunned. - Jessica
— From Jessica's Staff Picks
A powerful dystopian vision of a world where money reigns supreme, from a World Fantasy Award-winning author.
"An extraordinary novel that stands with the best of dystopian fiction, with dashes of The Handmaid's Tale." ---Cory Doctorow
NOMINATED FOR THE PHILIP K. DICK AWARD 2019.
The penalty for Dani Cumali's murder: £84,000.
Theo works in the Criminal Audit Office. He assesses each crime that crosses his desk and makes sure the correct debt to society is paid in full.
These days, there's no need to go to prison - provided that you can afford to pay the penalty for the crime you've committed. If you're rich enough, you can get away with murder.
But Dani's murder is different. When Theo finds her lifeless body, and a hired killer standing over her and calmly calling the police to confess, he can't let her death become just an entry on a balance sheet.
Someone is responsible. And Theo is going to find them and make them pay.
Perfect for fans of 1984 and Never Let Me Go, Claire North's moving and unnerving new novel will resonate with readers around the world.
Previous books by Claire North:
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
The Sudden Appearance of Hope
The End of the Day
By the same author, writing as Kate Griffin:
A Madness of Angels
The Midnight Mayor
The Neon Court
The Minority Council
The Glass God
"An eerily plausible dystopian masterpiece, as harrowing as it is brilliant"—Emily St. John Mandel, bestselling author of Station Eleven
"An extraordinary novel that stands with the best of dystopian fiction, with dashes of The Handmaid's Tale
"Everybody needs to read 84K. Consistently thoughtful fiction like this needs to be championed. I'll admit it, I'm a little in awe of the author. Her work is sublime.... Claire North deserves your undivided attention. Buy the book, read it. Your brain will thank you.... If there was a rating higher than highly recommended this book would receive it."
—The Eloquent Page
"A terrifying setting that feels rooted to the present day.... Imbued with a menace that feels both recognizable and urgent, and the decisions the characters make as a result feel uncomfortably real."—RT Book Reviews
"Another captivating novel from one of the most intriguing and genre-bending novelists currently working in the intersection between thriller and science fiction."—Booklist (starred review)
"A furious, confrontational book that's extremely smart... its energy is infectious and its ideas are fiercely provocative."—SciFiNow
"Put simply, this book just blew my mind. A remarkable writer, doing extraordinary things, and I think this is her best book yet."—Blue Book Balloon
"Claire North goes from strength to strength.... A tense, moving story."—Guardian
"The grimy, meticulously constructed and worrisomely believable dystopia
Claire North has created for 84k is our world, just a few years down the path."—NPR
"One of the most distinct and compelling SF novels of the year thus far."—Toronto Star
"A dystopian anthem for the modern activist... a cracking thriller.... Quite simply, North's best book so far."—Starburst
"Evocative, thought-provoking... I'll read anything she writes."—Omnivoracious
"The truly scary thing about 84K is how convincing this dark, brutal class-divided Britain is."—SFX
"Vivid and disturbing."—Publishers Weekly
"A fascinating look at the decisions society is taking now."—The Bookbag
"Claire North's writing is terrific, smart, and entertaining."—Patrick Ness on The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
"Claire North is a true original, a master of ingenious plotting and feats of imagination."
—Alex Marwood, author of The Wicked Girls, on The Sudden Appearance of Hope
"Wonderful novel...held together by a compelling mystery involving nothing less than the end of the world itself. Beautifully written and structured...a remarkable book."—Booklist (starred review) on The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
"A subtle study of friendship, love and the complexity of existence."—Eric Brown, Guardian on The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
"Wholly original and hauntingly beautiful. North is a writer to watch."
—Kirkus on The End of the Day
"North is [a] consistently intriguing writer."
—Locus on The End of the Day