Thursday, 20 January 2022

Airedale by Dylan Byford


Haz Edmundson, an IT analyst contracted to work for the police, arrives at a crime scene in an abandoned warehouse in a megacity that sprawls across West Yorkshire. The body he finds is that of an activist in a wingsuit, who has fallen through the warehouse roof. Her death is treated as an accident, but Haz isn't so sure and aims to find out exactly what happened. His struggles to find the truth are beset with obstacles, not least his own difficult family life. Haz is a very well drawn character and so prone to mis-steps that you can't help but worry about him!

The action is set in a future England that is covered in megacities that are prone to flooding and riots, and vast arrays of meat vats, and where everyone is under heavy surveillance by the authorities. Much of this surveillance is enabled by most people being constantly plugged into their own portable computers, which is just one of the details of this dystopian world that is a believable extrapolation of aspects of today's world.

The world building in this novel is excellent, I was grimly fascinated by this detailed and all too believable vision of a dystopian future for the north of England. I was particularly drawn in by the SF elements of the novel, but even if you're not an SF fan, it's an engrossing thriller.

Airedale by Dylan Byford published (2021) by Northodox Press

Northodox Press is a small press based in the north of England and dedicated to publishing crime and thrillers written by northern writers, seeking "diverse narratives with strong regional accents, a firm identity of place, and bold northern characters".

Disclaimer: I won this book in a Twitter competition.


Jeff said...

Congratulations on winning this book! It sounds interesting and maybe I should throw away my smart phone... Wasn't Clockwork Orange (an older dystopia book) set in England? It's been 40 years since I read it.

Jenn Jilks said...

I really enjoy murder mysteries!

Crafty Green Poet said...

Hi Jeff, yes Clockwork Orange was set in Britain too!

jenn, you'd probably enjoy this then!