23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Intrusion (Hardcover)
I was delighted to see the stark white cover of Macleod's latest on the bookshop shelves - and it didn't disappoint. Many writers describe dystopias and utopias, few plot a plausible path from here to there. Macleod succeeds in depicting the sinister and insidious descent into a particularly British kind of authoritarianism. The prevailing ideology is the 'free and social market' where the state makes for you the choices you would have made if you were a rational actor with perfect information in a free market. Interrogation and torture are ritualised in a relatively painless but psychologically disturbing manner. You can 'dissent' from prevailing norms, but only if you subscribe to an approved list of beliefs permitting conscientious objection.
Within this society (and a relatively 'low tech' near future compared to some of his novels) Macleod weaves a story of a not-so ordinary family spread across suburbia and the highlands, with a semi-mystical sub-plot and subtle sting in the tail, which is well planned and foreshadowed to unite the two plots. 'Subtle' is a good word to sum up the book, which quietly implants all sorts of doubts about our direction of travel more effectively than a dozen libertarian rants. Macleod also picks up on recurring themes of barbarism, environmentalism and terrorism, which will be familiar to those who have followed him since the Fall Revolution novels.