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  • Writer's pictureEli Allison

Book Crush: 84k- by Claire North

Updated: Dec 19, 2019

Theo Miller knows the value of human life - to the very last penny. Working out the cost of murder nine to five will pay your rent but at what costs.

I ain’t gunna lie to you lovelies, I love books. Like Dominic Raab really really REALLY loves Brexit. But such love cannot be contained, hence 'Book Crushes' was birthed from my obsessive spine cracking grubby mind. Come along as I review my favourite and most best books. Books that I'd suspend Parliament for, that I'd spread the truth so thin it could only exist in Two-dimensional space, that I'd crown myself King of the World and make them Barons giving them large estates and pretty horses, and a low tax rate. For trickled down you understand.

Books worms brace yourself for some dystopia.



Date of Birth:

22 May 2018


Claire North

The Synopsis:

Theo Miller knows the value of human life - to the very last penny.

Working in the Criminal Audit Office, he assesses each crime that crosses his desk and makes sure the correct debt to society is paid in full. But when his ex-lover is killed, it's different. This is one death he can't let become merely an entry on a balance sheet. Because when the richest in the world are getting away with murder, sometimes the numbers just don't add up.

Why it's great:

This book is a smashing together of dark characters, a unique writing style and a world built dripping with satirical touches. Our protagonist is Theo, an every man that works a bit too hard at being middle of the road, but for good reason. I won't spoil it for you because spoilers are the devil of our times, well except for, growing equality, Katie Hopkins, climate change and wasps.

84k takes its cue from all great sci-fi by building it's a dystopian world with a 'what if' question threaded throughout.

What if a crime had a monetary price you could pay without having to go to prison?

North explores every angle of this idea to great effect. Rich people literary getting away with murder, whereas poor people are sent to patties lines (re-packed slavery really) for small misdemeanours.

She stretches this idea to society at large, where the government has basically outsourced all its responsibility. Individuals, families, even whole communities have to find sponsorship from companies to survive. Those that don't well, you can imagine what would happen to a village that becomes cut off from society. It gets Lord of the Flies pretty fucking quick.

The world build alone with an exciting plot that takes Theo up and down the country would have been a great book all on its own, but add in the unique writing style choice and this book really stands out. The characters never quite finish their thoughts, speaking in half-unfinished sentences. The injustices we see but never mention, the truths unsaid that become lost. This story I think at its heart is about apathy and the damage it does at an individual level, but also as a whole country.

I could, of course, be completely off base, but that's the magic of reading right? We travel alone when we read.

84k is an astute and terrifying vision of the future that never hammers its points but lets you absorb the idea of what a world would look like if it was built on the idea, 'The price of everything and the value of nothing.'

Best Place To Read:

London baby. A chunk of this book is set in London, and it's descriptions really sing. Head on down to The South Bank, park yourself down in a steamy cafe with a pot of Real tea and get stuck in.

Dinner Party Prat Fact:

A lady of mystery Claire North writes many styles and genre of novel and so like Bourne has pseudonyms coming out the wazoo!

BONUS FACT: At (and she's making us all look bad with this one) Fourteen she wrote her first novel and got it published.

Best quote:

These decisions had never been Government policy it had just worked out that way.

The reason I picked this quote, is because it sums up what I took from this novel perfectly, which is. Shit British Governments, MPs, Minsters, the House of Lords and all that shaggy mess, aren't evil. Governments aren't bond villains, it's more depressing than that. Bad governance comes from laziness, from a lack of good ideas, from greed, incompetence, from a slow ebbing away of moral obligation and truth. Basically putting people in power that have no business operating potatoes guns let alone Government policy.

In a word:


Here's the magical link* for buying.

If you fancy asking her any questions or just saying hi, she's also on The Twitter and has one spanking website.

*Cannot be exchanged for cash value, hopes and dreams or smarties.

Claire North has published eight young adult novels, all with Atom Books, and studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, from which she graduated in 2010

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