This dystopian novel is set in the not too distant future, in what used to be California. It is a time and a place where lies are illegal, and there are those who can sense when a lie has been told. They are called Speculators, and our main character Laszlo is one. He is sitting at a diner eating breakfast when he gets what is almost like a headache because some teenager lied to his mom, an arrestable offense. Ben Winters combines an Orwellian feeling of Big Brother to an otherwise pretty believable near future where we have had a backlash against the ragings of "fake news" and politicians blatantly lying to their constituents. Pretty unsettling and dark stuff, but absolutely engrossing.
A veteran of the Speculative Service in an alternate-world California where the law and truth are valued above all else uses his rare authority to question the facts when truth enforcement is manipulated for corrupt purposes.