The City & The City

electronic resource

English language

Published Nov. 6, 2009 by Random House Publishing Group.

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3 stars (1 review)

When a murdered woman is found in the city of Beszel, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks to be a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad. But as he investigates, the evidence points to conspiracies far stranger and more deadly than anything he could have imagined.

Borlú must travel from the decaying Beszel to the only metropolis on Earth as strange as his own. This is a border crossing like no other, a journey as psychic as it is physical, a shift in perception, a seeing of the unseen. His destination is Beszel’s equal, rival, and intimate neighbor, the rich and vibrant city of Ul Qoma. With Ul Qoman detective Qussim Dhatt, and struggling with his own transition, Borlú is enmeshed in a sordid underworld of rabid nationalists intent on destroying their neighboring city, and unificationists who dream of dissolving the two into …

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3 stars

This can be considered China Meiville's more 'straight' novel upon first read-through. The fantasy is not as in your face as previous outings and deliberately so. Instead it is relegated to a point of perception in the reader, a sort of anti-fantasy. It played with my expectations, with reveals that do not go where you expect or want them to go but at the same time leaving you wanting more. This is a tight telling of a crime procedural that had me page flipping til the end. Always a good sign.