The House of Dust by Paul Johnston

The House of Dust

Paul Johnston

A detective story set thirty years from now in Edinburgh and Oxford. The hero is more cheerful than Rebus but with just as many idiosyncracies. The author's alternative history is thought-provoking - the UK now comprises city states divided by lawless areas. If you know the cities you can have fun identifying existing buildings put to uses unimagined by the original developers.

A line of guard vehicles swept past me, slowing as they reached the New Bridewell's main accommodation block.

... It used to be St Andrew's House, a grandiose edifice with a pillared facade that housed the Secretary of State's office and then the Scottish Executive when Scotland still existed as a component of the United Kingdom - until the drugs wars did away with concept of stable nations ....


I looked to the left and saw Davie waving at me from a parked Land-Rover. 'Don't tell me they've got you on sentry duty, guardsman?' I said, heading towards him.

'Screw you pal,' he replied. 'Believe it or not, I'm in charge of security in this sector tonight.'

I glanced around at the swarms of auxiliaries in unusually pristine uniforms. 'You've got enough personnel to help you out.'
'Aye. Nothing but the best for our friends from the south.'

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