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The Detainee [Paperback]

Peter Liney
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 4 July 2013 --  
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Book Description

4 July 2013
When the fog comes down and the drums start to beat, the inhabitants of the island tremble: for the punishment satellites - which keep the tyrannical Wastelords at bay - are blind in the darkness, and the islanders become prey. The inhabitants are the old, the sick, the poor: the detritus of Society, dumped on the island with the rest of Society's waste. There is no point trying to escape, for the satellites - the invisible eyes of the law - mete out instant judgement from the sky. The island is the end of all hope - until 'Big Guy' Clancy finds a blind woman living in a secret underground warren, and discovers a reason to fight.

Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books; UK airports ed edition (4 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1782060332
  • ISBN-13: 978-1782060338
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.2 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,570,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'An impressively dark, dystopian piece with much to say about capitalism's tendency to treat human beings as commodities, disposable when no longer useful' Financial Times. 'Fascinating ... interested to see what happens next' Thinking About Books.

From the Inside Flap

I never thought it would come to this, never in my worst nightmares. No matter how bad things got, how much the government warned us, I still thought we'd be okay. But they don't take care of you any more. And if you can't contribute, like me, then you end up out here, on the Island, along with the rest of society's detritus: the old, the poor, the sick, those kids whose parents couldn't afford them. We're all stuck out here on this huge, rotting mound of garbage, scratching out the poorest of existences, at the mercy of the elements, eliminated by punishment satellites if we try to escape. And worst of all, on those nights when the fogs locks down and the satellites can't see, those who rule this place send their screaming hordes over to hunt and terrorise us. Imagine how that makes me feel: me, the 'Big Guy', someone who once commanded respect, who feared no one. But I got old. And for old read helpless, read unable to stop all these terrible things that've been going on. This place is Hell, or the closest thing to it I've ever known. Leastways, it was, until I discovered the tunnels, and who was living there...

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Copied from my blog at: [...]

Well, having just finished this for a third time, I can only say what a genius Peter Liney is. If I was to mention a certain author called George Orwell who wrote 1984 in 1948 but had the vision to suggest that we would live under a Big Brother state, have a National Lottery and have camera's everywhere back in 1948; it was and still is a work of genius, I am now thinking that in 30 or 40 years time, The Detainee could well become a work of genius as anyone that has a vision to 'invent' such things like Punishment Satellites (these really are something key to the storyline and totally plausible in being invented one day!) or that the Government in this story pay's unruly children a Good Behaviour Allowance to keep them in check; until said Government runs out of money due to the Stock Market crashing. The main characters Clancy, Lena, Jimmy and Delilah are so different but so much the same in them wanting to first give up yet then want to live and survive, to tell their stories, to love, to make a difference; this book has everything and more...

Totally recommended.

9.5 out of 10
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A terrifying treat from Toppings 21 Aug 2013
By John B
It's always an unbridled joy to saunter into Toppings bookshop in Bath and browse through their splendid selection of new books on display. By chance, I happened to pop in as they were laying Peter Liney's The Detainee out on their central tables on its day of publication, and I have not stopped recommending the book ever since. A strangely unsettling, dystopian novel that depicts a grim, dehumanising landscape whilst weaving in a human dimension that emotionally engages throughout. This is testament to Liney's imaginative powers of description and his three dimensional characterisations. The Detainee manages to construct both an absorbing cinematic sweep and a real sense of human intimacy. And with some aplomb!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Detainee 26 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
The DetaineeThe DetaineeMr. Lineys dystopian novel is all too chillingly plausible. Not so much science fiction as a glimpse into a very believable future. One can see it coming all too clearly. This book makes the reader feel that they are there, right in the thick of this hellish world - one can feel it, see it, smell it, and it's not pleasant. The trials of the main characters, struggling to survive in this man made nightmare, manage to maintain their humanity in the midst of desperation, which gives the reader hope that maybe, just maybe, our species will survive. This novel was one of those you just have to keep reading, and annoyingly, leaves the reader wanting more. Have to wait a while for the next episode, I guess!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A futuristic nightmare yet full of humanity 4 Aug 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This novel by Peter Liney was highly recommended to me and I'm so glad I read it! I usually prefer non-fiction because of its innate truth, but The Detainee is like a terrifyingly real future world and its hero, Clancy, seems like a real person. I loved the juxtaposition of the harsh 'outside' world with the expression of tender feelings 'inside'. I honestly couldn't put it down ( a very rare occurrence for me) and I read it in two sittings. I can't wait to find out where the story goes and what happens in the second book of the trilogy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't go out in the fog.... 6 July 2013
By L. Voss
If you like dystopian fiction, this one's for you! A frightening novel about the sort of society that you hope to God will only ever be a fiction - but what lifts this book out of being merely grim and depressing is the quality of the writing, and the vividness of the world Peter Liney portrays. It's so cinematic. The characters are very well drawn, and I particularly like the human warmth of the first relationship the narrator 'Big Guy' has had for many years, with a blind woman who hides like a mole underground. Once we get to know the four main characters, the stakes are raised and I found myself really caring about their fate.

It's not my usual sort of fare - I read the author's other book The Pretence and really enjoyed it, but although this one is completely different, I would highly recommend it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars George Orwell would approve 6 July 2013
Of all the dystopian novels I have read in recent years, Peter Liney's THE DETAINEE is one the best written, most engaging, heart-tugging and cinematic of all.

His main character, Clancy, is an ageing "Big Guy", someone whose muscles, whose physical stature once guaranteed him respect in the community but no more. Now, along with the rest of society's waste, he's been shipped out to live on Garbage Island. A victim of changing demographics, of the state no longer being able to support its weaker members, and a calamitous collapse of the financial institutions.

Sounds familiar?
Read on.

Punishment satellites watch over this outpost of hell 24 hours a day, handing out instant judgement to those who commit a crime or try to escape back to the Mainland.
Yet, worst of all, on nights when the fogs that frequently roll in off the sea are so thick that the satellites can't function, the elderly villagers are subjected to terrifying raids.

No situation could seem more bleak, less desolate, but with the discovery of Lena, a young blind woman, comes hope. Soon, Clancy's world turns around.

As Leonard Cohen so aptly wrote: "Love is the Engine of survival"
And as Peter Liney's beautifully poignant novel reveals, no matter how grim the situation, given the tiniest drop of hope, we will find a way to survive.

A MUST READ NOVEL I highly recommend to readers of all ages.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ
As soon as I started reading the first line, I was hooked! I became completely absorbed in the story line and it's characters. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ms Belen Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars Dystopian thriller is well worth a read.
This is a fast paced, imaginative and intense dystopian thriller. Liney's protagonist 'Clancey' is a truly original voice and I hope this leads to further works exploring this... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Marchie
5.0 out of 5 stars A disturbing dystopian novel
Having known the author for more than 18 years (and having had the privilege to read a couple of his unpublished works) I can say I was a bit thrilled when I finally got my copy of... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Lara
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining..thoughtprovoking...
I read this book as fast as I could...without spoiling the shows an all too possible future unless people realise that their future is in their own hands.. Read more
Published 11 months ago by The Book Shop
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant and Thought Provoking Read!
With the problems facing our society at the moment, such as poverty and overpolulation, I can't help thinking that Peter Liney has somehow tapped into a future that is a real... Read more
Published 11 months ago by P. Downing
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read book.
I know a lot of people say this, but this is actually true. Started reading THE DETAINEE at 10 last night, finished 8.30 this morning. Might have lost my job - I don't care. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Bella
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story providing both atmosphere and suspense.
Sadistic 'wastelords' rule an island where mainland society's outcasts have been dumped along with it's rubbish. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Moonraker
5.0 out of 5 stars The Detainee
Its been a long time since I read a book like this that you can't put down and keep thinking about when you're not reading it! Read more
Published 12 months ago by Sasha
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern classic
Although this book is in the SF/Fantasy section, it should be read by everyone. Very thoughtful but also very entertaining, and Clancy's got to be one of the best heroes ever. Read more
Published 12 months ago by derbyshire
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