Black Helicopters, by Caitlin R. Kiernan

Second paragraph of third chapter:

Ahmed is sitting in front of one of the antique QD-LED monitors, data streaming down the screen like amber rain, bathing his face in amber light. Ahmed Andrushchenko is not a man who is well in the head, and lately his periods of lucidity have grown fewer and farther between. But Johnson doesn’t mind his company. Plus, the man’s obsessions with all the ways history might have gone, but didn’t, help to pass empty hours when the comfort of the sea and the village sounds drifting down from above and up from below, the motion of the barge on the waves, are not sufficient. Almost always, he’s harmless enough, is Ahmed Andrushchenko, and when he begins drifting towards the bad days, Johnson always manages to keep him from tearing up the cabin they share below the markets. Different rhythms soothe different people, and Ahmed says that Johnson’s voice soothes his tattered mind.

I felt a bit guilty about not really understanding this book. It’s an ambitious cross-time dark agencies story set in various places around the world, notably Dublin and New England; but I really didn’t get what was going on. But then I checked the other online reviews and most readers had the same reaction. Second in a series apparently, but that’s no excuse. You can get it here.

This was my top unread book acquired in 2018. Next on that pile is How to be Invisible, by Kate bush.