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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining futuristic mystery
After decades of death and destruction, the citizens of the city-state of Edinburgh finally feel safe at the cost of their identities and individualism. Still, most residents feel the price is worth it as crime has finally come to a virtual end. Everyone works towards the common good by making sure the tourists stay long attending the perpetual Festival. It is top...
Published on 31 July 1999

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2.0 out of 5 stars The setting is a pretty much off-the-peg dystopia
The setting is a pretty much off-the-peg dystopia, the background and logistics of which is extremely unconvincing, the mystery is adequate, the whole is underwhelming. Where it might have provoked reflections on society and politics, it merely left me with a feeling that the author has a really low opinion of people.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining futuristic mystery, 31 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Body Politic (Mass Market Paperback)
After decades of death and destruction, the citizens of the city-state of Edinburgh finally feel safe at the cost of their identities and individualism. Still, most residents feel the price is worth it as crime has finally come to a virtual end. Everyone works towards the common good by making sure the tourists stay long attending the perpetual Festival. It is top rate, an incentive they will return.
By 2020, murder remains at zero for the past few years. However, that changes when ENT (the Ear, Nose, and Throat man) returns to kill a guardswoman. The desperate ruling body, the Council of the City Guardians, turns to private investigator Quintilan Dalyrmple, an outcast who has experience with the long thought dead ENT. Quint quickly learns he has more to deal with than just capturing a serial killer. He must contend with the bloated bureaucracy and the corrupt Council.
BODY POLITIC is a fabulous science fiction who-done-it that brings freshness to several sub-genres. The superb story line fascinatingly repaints Edinburgh, turning the background into a critical character. Quint is the quintessential hard boiled detective trapped by a society that has no room for him when things are "normal". When trouble occurs, they send him to the firing line. If successful (meaning survives), he receives his gold-plated watch and sent back to live among the dregs. Futuristic mysteries have rarely been as good as Paul Johnston's superbly unique novel.

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Search Is Finally Over, 21 July 2013
I read this series of Quint Dalrymple books many years ago, and absolutely loved them. I recently recalled them, and wondered if any more had been written, but couldn't for the life of me remember who wrote them.
Today, in desperation, I Googled 'novels set in the future' and there they were! As soon as I saw the name Paul Johnston it came back to me. Sadly, no further books in the series, but I will read these again, they were so good; and I'll also check out PJ's other books.
For anyone considering reading these, my recommendation is; do - you won't regret it. Set in the 2020s, but still contemporary, they're detective novels with a futuristic twist. I'm in no way a sci-fi fan, and there is no way these books are sci-fi just mighty good tales, slightly bleak at times, but always entertaining.
I'm so excited to find them again after all this time!
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2.0 out of 5 stars The setting is a pretty much off-the-peg dystopia, 30 Sep 2014
This review is from: Body Politic (Mass Market Paperback)
The setting is a pretty much off-the-peg dystopia, the background and logistics of which is extremely unconvincing, the mystery is adequate, the whole is underwhelming. Where it might have provoked reflections on society and politics, it merely left me with a feeling that the author has a really low opinion of people.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Great context and set up, poor story, 24 Mar 2014
By 
Susan Glazier (London) - See all my reviews
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This book was recommended to me by a friend. I absolutely love dystopia and this book has an intriguing and well constructed dystopian setting (in an alternative universe) in the totalitarian city-state of Edinburgh. Nevertheless, the plot is crime genre rather than dystopian and, to me, it seems fairly formulaic serial killer stuff (not that I choose to read crime genre books very often). I didn't find the writing convincing and I had problems staying with the novel. I speed read the end couple of chapters as I had lost interest by that time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent, 10 Feb 2013
I've read this book 4/5 Times now and still love it, all I can say is bring back Quintillian Dalrymple!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Thoroughly Enjoyed This Book...., 5 Feb 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Body Politic (Mass Market Paperback)
I found the character development to be excellent...I felt I got to know these characters and their thoughts, feelings and motivations. The story I found to be absolutely engrossing and forward-moving. In short, I really enjoyed this and have ordered the other three novels in this series.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not just entertainment, a warning..., 11 May 2008
By 
J. Branney (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Body Politic (Mass Market Paperback)
I read this book shortly after it was published. Now, in 2008, it does not require a great leap of the imagination to suggest aspects of Paul Johnson's dystopian future seem a few steps closer to becoming a not so distant reality. This book should serve as a warning as to what could happen if we conceed too much of our hard-earned liberty in return for greater 'safety' which is currently being slowly eroded through the proliferation of CCTV, the rights of the individual rapidly superceding the rights of the collective, possible introduction of ID cards etc. If you think some of the ideas in this book seem far fetched, 5 minutes of a 24 hour news channel should prove to be sobering viewing indeed. Those who watched the compelling 'The Last Enemy' series on BBC a few weeks back will know exactly what is at stake.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is this the future of a "Yes" vote?, 29 May 2014
By 
A. Paton (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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If you want to find out what the future hold in the event of a "yes" vote in the Scottish referendum, read this book and the others in the "Quint" series. The future Nationalist Socialist State of Scotland as envisioned by our First Idiot.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing Setting Doesn't Rescue Flat Story, 3 Mar 2003
By 
A. Ross (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Body Politic (Mass Market Paperback)
The debut in Johnston's series set in Edinburgh circa 2020 suffers from having a more interesting setting than plot-which is a rather banal serial-killer number. In this world, the UK has dissolved and Edinburgh exists as a kind of repressive city-state run according to Plato's Republic. The "Enlightenment" led to the elimination of crime, along with individuality, resulting in a combination Stalinist/Puritan society rife with rules, regulations, fines and work camps. The city's primary economic driver is tourism, which the city achieves by combining the gambling of Las Vegas with the sex trade of Amsterdam. Unfortunately, while Johnston does a good job showing how corruption undermines this dystopian society, he never develops the city and its people enough to fully convince. The lives and status of "guardians" (police) are well-depicted, but we never see much of the average citizen and how the rest of the city functions (perhaps this developed later in the series).
The book's nominal hero, Quint, is a standard issue haunted former policeman hero who is recalled from disgrace by the city officials who decide he is the only one with the knowledge/skills to solve the murder of a public guardian-the city's first murder in years. He's typically reluctant, nosy, lustful, burdened with old guilt, and all those other noir detective traits, but his character never quite fully develops. It doesn't help that Quint's parents were both founding members of the Enlightenment, and that his mother is the head of the council. In any event, he is assigned to track down a grisly killer before any damage is done to the tourist industry. This part of the book (ie. the story) is pretty standard stuff, and the few red herrings are easily recognized for what they are. If you're looking for a mystery with an unusual setting, thus might fit the bill, just don't expect the story to live up to the milieu. Future entries in the series such as The Bone Yard and Water of Death may be more fulfilling.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars it's worth more than two stars!, 12 Dec 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Body Politic (Mass Market Paperback)
Unfair! it's worth more than two stars! It had plenty of entertainment value and I enjoyed reading it.
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Body Politic
Body Politic by Paul Johnston (Mass Market Paperback - 19 Mar 1998)
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