An Orwellian dystopia in the guise of a fast-paced thriller, this is a coolly satirical novel laced with humour, suspense and intrigue.
Read first chapter
Welcome to Brighton, a city ruled by a combination of patronage and armed force. After years of civil conflict, gated communities separate government workers from the Scoomers cruising the streets in their battered Fiats. But in a secure area four couples from the town’s elite keep up a tenuous version of middle class life.
They attend each others’ dinner parties and drink and gossip. And then, driving home from a party, Jack and Denise witness a fatal car crash involving one of the Councillors. As the inevitable by-election approaches, they and the people they know are increasingly enmeshed in the town’s political manoeuvring and the violence of the streets outside begins to touch even their lives.
Robert Dickinson is also the author of The Schism (Myriad, 2013).
I recommend it to those who like complex fiction, who enjoy the demands of reading material that makes them think, and those who have a dry sense of humour - at the heart of this bleak, dark and all-too-believable novel of a near future we should fear to live in, is a joke so mordant and black, and so beautifully constructed and clever, that it will make you laugh out loud.
Liverpool Daily Post
Imagine Brighton in chaos. Communities are divided - socially, economically and physically. The council is all-powerful, inconvenient people are 'dealt with', children are controlled and tolls strangle the transport system. Robert Dickinson creates a world that only vaguely resembles our own. This intriguing story brings the issues of political influence, red tape and corruption to the fore - if only by making us relieved that it seems improbable it could come to this.
An interesting read which will capture the interest of Brightonians, as the street names and local areas described provide a great visual backdrop to the physical movements in the novel.
I loved the structure of The Noise of Strangers - it flits between 'standard' narrative, transcripts of phonecalls and meetings, inter-departmental memos, sinister notes, and articles from an underground newspaper. As a satire, it works well, and is completely believable as a 'nightmare present' scenario.
A Common Reader
I was impressed with this book... pleased to find myself rapidly becoming engrossed in the strange world which Robert Dickinson has created. A fine start, and I look forward to reading more from him when his local government duties allow him the time to complete his next book.View source