Book Review: All the Why’s of Delilah’s Demise by Neve Maslakovic

A future Seattle where popularity is everything. The mysterious death of the #1. And an elusive killer.

A rocky year into adulthood and lacking a personal brand, Scottie is skidding toward the bottom spot on the People List—which brings a short ride out of the Dome of New Seattle and into the deadly cold. When a brand finally falls into her lap, it’s a disastrous one: Scottie is accused of causing the death of the longtime #1, a charismatic stage actress named Delilah.

Aided by her “Watson,” the companion her brain chip provides, Scottie scrambles to uncover the person who framed her—and who killed Delilah. Motives in the circle Delilah frequented—a tight group of the town’s social stars—abound. What Scottie unearths will shake the very foundation of her world…and place her squarely in the crosshairs of a shadowy killer intent on clearing a path to #1.

This was a fun futuristic ‘whodunnit’ novel.

The setting – a Dome built over the city of ‘New Seattle’ after the planet began freezing. Those living within the dome have to earn their place, earning virtual gems from other residents to demonstrate their worth. The higher up the chain you rank the more privilege’s you are entitled to as well – but be careful not to fall to last place or you will be expelled from the dome – either to live and work in one of the vast Greenhouses that supplies the city with food – or if there is no space there then to be sent ‘sledding’ cast out into the freezing wilderness outside the dome, where families do survive but dome residents having never been ‘outside’ will struggle and often die.

There is the additional SF element of everyone living in the dome having an electronic chip implanted that interfaces with them, acting as search engine, social connection to others (sort of like the internet) and allows everyone to have an electronic ‘halo’ that shows off a person’s ranking and the amount of gems they have.

Our cast – Scottie our heroine is a year into being an adult and trying to ‘find her brand’ the thing that will earn her gems and stop her slipping to last place. She’s not doing so well at it. Her two best friends or PALS who rank much higher than her are trying to help but there is only so much they can do. Things really start to wrong for Scottie though when the rumour starts to swirl that an action she took contributed to the death of the much loved ‘Number 1’ Delilah. Determind to prove her innocence and stop her slide towards towards last place, Scottie decides her brand should be that of detective and sets about doing just that.

This novel while perhaps not as polished as some was nonetheless engaging and fun. I loved Scottie and was rooting for her right from the start, the world building while perhaps not new in concept was well done, bringing in SFF, Crime and political elements. I actually think it would translate really well to a computer game – earn gems, complete side quests, find the killer!

All the Why’s of Delilah’s Demise is available now.