The gaslight and shadows of the underground city of Recoletta hide secrets and lies. When Inspector Liesl Malone investigates the murder of a renowned historian, she finds herself stonewalled by the all-powerful Directorate of Preservation – Recoletta’s top-secret historical research facility.
When a second high-profile murder threatens the very fabric of city society, Malone and her rookie partner Rafe Sundar must tread carefully, lest they fall victim to not only the criminals they seek, but the government which purports to protect them. Knowledge is power, and power must be preserved at all costs…
The Buried Life is one of those books that I had to read at the right time to get into - I had tried to read it a few months ago and it didn't quite gel for me - that may be due to the fact that I had read a few similar books around that time. Whatever the reason, I put it aside but it had interested me enough for me to want to pick it back up again, which I did back in October (yes, I know, bad blogger, bad! :))
A fantasy murder mystery to start with, The Buried Life could be termed science fantasy - while not made obvious, there are clear indications that the underground world of the book is our future, with books and cultural references serving as clear nods to our own world. This makes for a nice twist on the Victorian-esque, gaslight ambiance the book is set in. While the worldbuilding was good, where The Buried Life excelled was in the characters. I really enjoyed getting to know Liesl, Rafe and Jane: a washer-woman who is not mentioned in the blurb but who I would say is probably more important to the plot and more interesting as a character than the other two. Her Relationship with Roman proves to be a hinge for the story and her actions have major effects on the future of Recoletta.
While the murder mystery is tied up nicely, providing a pleasant sense of closure to that part of the book, there are larger events that take over towards the end and set up the stage nicely for the follow-up (due out in February). I for one will be eagerly waiting to download it to my Kindle on the day of release!
I gave The Buried Life 4 stars.