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.
From award-winning, New York Times bestselling novelist Ben H. Winters comes a mind-bending novel set in a world governed by absolute truth, where lies are as dangerous as murder.In a strange alternate society that values law and truth above all else, Laszlo Ratesic is a nineteen-year veteran of the Speculative Service. He lives in the Golden State, a nation standing where California once did, a place where like-minded Americans retreated after the erosion of truth and the spread of lies made public life and governance impossible.In the Golden State, knowingly contradicting the truth is the greatest crime--and stopping those crimes is Laz's job. In its service, he is one of the few individuals permitted to harbor untruths, to "speculate" on what might have happened.But the Golden State is less a paradise than its name might suggest. To monitor, verify, and enforce the truth requires a veritable panopticon of surveillance and recording. And when those in control of the facts twist them for nefarious means, the Speculators are the only ones with the power to fight back.