From award-winning, New York Times bestselling novelist Ben H. Winters comes a mind-bending novel set in a world governed by absolute truth, where lies are as dangerous as murder. In a strange alternate society that values law and truth above all else, Laszlo Ratesic is a nineteen-year veteran of the Speculative Service. He lives in the Golden State, a nation standing where California once did, a place where like-minded Americans retreated after the erosion of truth and the spread of lies made public life and governance impossible. In the Golden State, knowingly contradicting the truth is the greatest crime--and stopping those crimes is Laz's job. In its service, he is one of the few individuals permitted to harbor untruths, to "speculate" on what might have happened. But the Golden State is less a paradise than its name might suggest. To monitor, verify, and enforce the truth requires a veritable panopticon of surveillance and recording. And when those in control of the facts twist them for nefarious means, the Speculators are the only ones with the power to fight back.
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by Ben Thompson
by Ben H. Winters
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"Kiff VandenHeuvel's nuanced narration elevates this dystopian thriller, drawing listeners into Winters's futuristic vision of California. What is now a state has become a separate nation in which truth is revered and lying is a crime. Lazlo Ratesic is a long-serving member of the Speculative Service, which is made up of individuals who can sense--and thus police--liars. Initially, VandenHeuvel portrays Lazlo as a hard-boiled archetype: gruff, gravelly, and blunt. Yet as Lazlo, his world, and his most recent case are revealed to be increasingly complex, VandenHeuvel layers poignancy across Lazlo's rough edges and brings a childlike tenderness to his faith in the "Objectively So," making it all the more devastating when that faith is shattered. This inventive tale of disillusionment is sure to intrigue listeners. R.A.H. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine"
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