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The House of Dust

On the cover

It's April 2028 and independent Edinburgh is facing a mounting crime wave. Youth gangs roam the streets, creating so much havoc that the ruling Council of City Guardians is forced to seek advice. Experts from the utopian university-state of New Oxford recommend an extreme deterrent - a maximum security prison alongside the central tourist zone.

After a reception for representatives from Oxford, the gruesome discovery of a severed arm is made in their luxury accommodation. Maverick investigator Quintilian Dalrymple is called to the scene. Quint already has plenty of problems, his search for the missing chief toxicologist being the most vexing. Then, at the prison opening ceremony, the unthinkable happens - an Edinburgh guardian is shot.

Quint soon gathers evidence linking New Oxford to the assassination. Sent there to close the case, he scratches beneath the glossy hi-tech veneer to find a ruthless administration geared to profit and coercion, and a conspiracy extending to his home city.

The only way to halt that conspiracy is to penetrate New Oxford's mysterious heart - the place known only as the House of Dust.

Quint Dalrymple's first investigation outside the former Scotland combines a taut and highly original thriller with pungent political comment.

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