The Ballad of
A forthcoming novel
Murders only ever happen on Saturdays. Or, at least so is the experience of Detective Lars Vallens, called in on his day off when the body of a young woman is found. But showing up at the scene, he wades into a political nightmare – the young woman’s body rests atop the border between his prefecture and the Ballantine Enclave, a semi-autonomous city-state under the control of a former warlord and gang leader.
Now he’s teamed up with a so-called special inspector from the Enclave, a petite, analytical Chinese woman who’s probably never mounted a horse before, much less fired a bow. The victim had munitions residue under her fingernails, her husband is protected from saying a word behind a diplomatic curtain, her ex-boyfriend has been exiled, and she was a member of an anarchist commune out in the woods. Everything Lars and his new partner do is being scrutinized by two governments.
Enter into the mix a racist essayist whose writings have routinely landed him in front of a judge on sedition charges, an illicit smuggling network, an underground gambling den, and a conspiracy to overthrow the princess out in the desert, and this has the potential to be the biggest powder keg since the end of the war.
As pressure begins mounting, it quickly becomes clear that this is much more than the murder of Mackenzie Foster, and a much bigger scheme is afoot...