Hailed as “the first important new SF writer of the 21st century,” John Meaney delivers a darkly luminous new thriller that blends futuristic noir with gothic fantasy.
Here, in a city of the dead where desire is very much alive and murder a pleasure for connoisseurs, an honest cop must face his own darkest impulses just to have a prayer.
There have been four victims already. Famed for their beauty and one-of-a-kind artistic gifts, they were murdered in the most shocking ways imaginable and their corpses stolen. Now the famed diva Maria daLivnova is arriving in Tristopolis—a city literally powered by the massive necroflux generators that process the dead—and it is up to Lieutenant Donal Riordan to make sure she ends her limited engagement alive.
But Riordan isn’t the only one watching deLivnova. For the Diva is being followed by two other secret “protectors”: Commander Laura Steele—who’s made a more or less successful transition to para-life—and her partner, the invisible free-wraith Xalia. They are part of the necropolis’s vast underground network and they’ve mobilized against an unseen enemy for a battle of epic proportions. For a perverse death cult with powerful members in every stratum of society has learned how to distill from the bones of their sacrificed victims the ultimate thrill—a nectar that, once tasted, is impossible to resist. And the more precious the life, the greater the pleasure it is to take it away.
Soon Riordan will find himself in the unlikeliest of alliances as he journeys through a world of corruption—both aboveground and below—among gargoyles and zombies, spirit slaves and assassins, science and sorcery, in search of an enemy even the dead have every reason to fear….