China Miéville’s Hugo Award winning The City & The City brings a decidedly different take on the standard crime novel. The opening of the book is “normal” enough – a murder – and our narrator is the traditional senior police inspector assigned to the case. But with this mundane setting, we are immediately thrown off balance by the language and nuance of the scene, letting us know that we are indeed not in Kansas, nor any other recognizable landscape. Our sense of place, while grounded in a gritty feeling of familiarity, is kept off kilter and keeps tilting until we are halfway through the story – with conspiracies spanning not just politics and policies, but the very fabric of the environment itself. By the time our understanding clicks in, our leaps of faith have found a solid foundation and it’s time to hold on by our fingertips for the unpredictable and mesmerizing conclusion.