THE INVISIBLE by Seb Doubinsky
RELEASE DATE: 8/11/20
GENRE: Speculative Fiction / Dystopian / Detective Noir
The Invisible is a masterfully written dystopian noir in Seb Doubinsky’s City-States Cycle books.
It’s election time in New Babylon, and President Maggie Delgado is running for re-election but is threatened by the charismatic populist Ted Rust. Newly appointed City Commissioner Georg Ratner is given the priority task to fight the recent invasion of Synth in the streets of the capital, a powerful hallucinogen drug with a mysterious origin. When his old colleague asks him for help on another case and gets murdered, things become more and more complicated, and his official neutrality becomes a burden in the political intrigue he his gradually sucked into. Supported by Laura, his trustful life partner and the Egyptian goddess Nut, Ratner decides to fight for what he believes in, no matter the cost.
BUY LINKS: Meerkat Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
REVIEW by LAWonder10:
Georg Ratner, former police detective and a respectable official, hated politics. The only one who hated them more was his wife. This is what was so peculiar when Georg accepted the assignment as the new City Commissioner of the New Babylon. He knew the President wanted him appointed to clear out the new illegal drug, Synth. she was the less of two evils running for President. Both were corrupt. The other nominee was pure evil. He was leery when she required him to give his personal guarantee he would discover who was to blame and get it under control. He was either the "scape goat" doomed to fail, or was respected enough that people truly had faith in him...He suspected the former. When he told his wife of his new commission, unexpectedly, she was supportive of him, instead of furious with him.
The main character often reflects on the 1950's and 60's events in comparison to some of the present events in the book. The similarities are there but they are also different.
Georg, also has a strange individual he communicates with, occasionally, in the night.
This is a dystopian novel with an unusual insight, A "one world order" could actually happen with the appearance of individual country governments, while all are in an alliance together, The characters can use better portrayal, but eventually the reader can begin to feel connected. It is quite a dreary tale, as most Dystopian stories are, and I had a struggle, in the beginning, to feel connected to this tale. In time, I did begin to feel a part of the story.
This is a story of corruption, all too prevalent in today's society, and of some of the situations which occur as freedoms are taken away, and the people no longer have a say in government decisions. It is also an interesting crime and detective novel.
**Reader Beware: There are a few words of profanity used and sexual situations without details.
I offer a Three and a Half Stars rating.
*This book was gifted me with no pressure for a positive review. This is my honest review.
EXCERPT- OPT. 2 #1:
Ratner walked into the interrogation room, followed by Captain Eris Jordan. He had asked her permission to interrogate one of the suspects in her Synth investigation. She had called him a couple days later and given him a time and a room number at the police station. Ratner had then informed Flowers, who told him he should talk to Commissioner Thomsen too, as the dealer had been arrested on his turf. Ratner had promised, but “forgotten” to comply. Fuck Thomsen, fuck that little incompetent pretentious asshole, he had thought. It seemed that wherever he went, he ran into that nasty idiot.
The suspect was a law student, twenty-four years old, described as Caucasian in the old racist terms, pale and nondescript in Ratner’s own categories, looking both scared and dejected. The prison’s dark blue suit contrasted violently with the general feeling of weakness projected by his demeanor, but matched nicely the dark circles under his eyes.
Ratner presented himself, but Jordan didn’t. They had probably met before. The interrogation was courteous, the suspect obviously frightened and eager to cooperate. Definitely not your usual hardened dealer type, Ratner thought as he took notes of times and places. The kid explained that he got the batch of pills at a party organized by a fraternity on campus last July. He had asked around for some Synth and a girl had told him she had some. Ratner asked for a description. Tall, blonde, short hair, blue eyes, white tee, jeans, sneakers, foreign accent. She said her name was Vita. Good-looking, but not cute, he added, as if it helped. “We made a composite,” Jordan whispered in Ratner’s ear. “Doesn’t help much. I’ll show it to you later.”
They had gone to the parking lot and she had given him a pill. The price was cheap and the kid thought about buying some for his friends and ended up getting a whole bag. She had given him a phone number to call in case he wanted more.
Ratner glanced at Jordan, sitting next to him.
“We checked it. Disposable phone. Disconnected.”
The city commissioner nodded.
The kid had quickly sold his batch and made a good profit. So he called and met her again, in the parking lot of a cinema downtown. And a last time, one month ago, in another parking lot, behind another cinema. Her hair had grown, he noticed. But she still had an accent.
“What kind of accent?” Ratner asked.
“I don’t know. German, maybe.”
“We checked with the New Berlin embassy and the visa service,” Jordan said. “But no real match. Or too many, if you will. I mean, blonde, blue eyes, and an accent—seriously? And of course, no girl named Vita on their lists.”
“What about the composite?”
Captain Jordan turned on the tablet she had brought along and pressed and swiped a couple of times until a face appeared. The kid extended his neck to look at it too.
“Yeah, that’s her,” he said, although nobody had asked him.
Ratner looked at the image.
Jordan was right. Could be anybody.
Ratner’s phone suddenly vibrated. A message. He took it out and looked at the screen. It was from Valentino. He wanted a place and a time to meet. Today. Ratner typed a time and Le Robespierre as a place. What the hell. At least he would get good music and a decent beer if the info was bad or useless. And he was sure he wouldn’t run into Thomsen there.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Seb Doubinsky is a bilingual writer born in Paris in 1963. His novels, all set in a dystopian universe revolving around competing cities-states, have been published in the UK and in the USA. He currently lives with his family in Aarhus, Denmark, where he teaches at the university.
AUTHOR LINKS: Website | Twitter
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