The Bone Yard

by Paul Johnston
Release date: April 1999
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: science fictiondystopia, thrillercrime fiction, mystery

The Bone Yard is a dystopian thriller set in Edinburgh during the harsh winter of 2021. Rogue detective Quintilian Dalrymple, a former bureaucrat who left his high-ranking job to work for the parks service and solve mysteries on the side, sets about catching a serial killer with a peculiar signature. The killer bites out the victim's throat, cuts out the tongue, removes the genitals, and leaves in the cavity a cassette of the electric blues of Clapton, Hendrix, and others. In the allegedly crime-free Edinburgh city-state (which is expressly modeled on Plato's Republic, but in practice resembles every cliché of pre-1990 Eastern Bloc regimes), blues music is contraband. So are casual sex, monogamy, fattening foods, all drugs, and more-than-weekly showers. So why does the killer leave cryptic messages via electric blues?

(updated 2019-03-17)

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