[Book Review] The Buried Life

The Buried Life / Carrie Patel (Powell's Books)

Despite our best efforts, humanity has not completely destroyed itself.  Society was forced underground to survive, and even now that the surface is safe, humanity is now well entrenched in caverns and subterranean cities.  Crisis has changed the shape of society, and while crime still exists, detection technology is advanced, the penalties are harsher, and violent crimes almost never appear among the upper strata of society.

When Inspector Liesl Malone is assigned to the murder investigation of a respected and well known historian she is surprised at the stonewalling and obstruction thrown in the way of solving a crime that has thrown society into a panic.  Then another of society's elites is found murdered, and another, and someone doesn't want Inspector Malone (or anyone else) looking too closely.  Intrigue and deceptions mount as events cascade into conflict and revolution.

The Buried Life was an interesting read.  We have a post-cataclysmic setting with flavors of gaslight/steampunk well integrated into the story.  The plot and characters have layers that are revealed over time without relying on extensive information dumps.  The ending is not expected and there is an interesting theme connected to knowledge, reading, and censorship as a form of control throughout the story.

Advanced Reader Copy copy courtesy of Netgalley; differences may exist between uncorrected galley text and the final edition.


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