84k, by Claire North

Second paragraph of third chapter:

The man lies on the couch, and dreams and memories blur in a fitful crimson smear of paint.

I’m a big fan of Claire North’s work anyway, but this is a bit different – a well-realised near-future dystopian England, where crime and social transgression have been transformed into accounting units (along with the privatisation of most public services) and the underclass is oppressed by cosy collusion between big business and government. Our protagonist, a minor cog in the bureaucracy of punitive taxation, is moved by a shadow from his own past to begin fighting back against the system. A couple of interlocking plot lines, so that you can look at the story from slightly different angles. Grim but convincing. You can get it here.

This was my top unread book acquired in 2018, and my top unread book by a woman. Next on both of those piles is Lost in Translation, by Ella Frances Sanders (which I’ve already read and will review next).