New Arcadia is a city-sized oil rig off the coast of the Canadian Maritimes, now owned by one very wealthy, powerful, byzantine family: Lynch Ltd.
Hwa is of the few people in her community (which constitutes the whole rig) to forgo bio-engineered enhancements. As such, she's the last truly organic person left on the rig — making her doubly an outsider, as well as a neglected daughter and bodyguard extraordinaire. Still, her expertise in the arts of self-defence and her record as a fighter mean that her services are yet in high demand. When the youngest Lynch needs training and protection, the family turns to Hwa. But can even she protect against increasingly intense death threats seemingly coming from another timeline?
Meanwhile, a series of interconnected murders threatens the city's stability and heightens the unease of a rig turning over. All signs point to a nearly invisible serial killer, but all of the murders seem to lead right back to Hwa's front door. Company Town has never been the safest place to be — but now, the danger is personal.
- Madeline Ashby on building worlds, brave characters and muscles
- Madeline Ashby on why you have to earn your endings
A brilliant, twisted mystery, as one woman must evaluate saving the people of a town that can't be saved, or saving herself. (From Tor Books)
Measha Brueggergosman championed Company Town on Canada Reads 2017, after Tamara Taylor was forced to step down due to a scheduling conflict. The book made it to the final day of the debates, eventually coming up short against Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis.
On the stairs to the third tier, she saw the man with the rifle.
He paced the refinery catwalks high above the fray. As Hwa watched, he paused and began examining the rifle. Hefting it in his hands. Peering down the scope. The gun was illegal on the platform; since the fall of the Old Rig there were laws against projectiles and explosives and all the other things that could cause a pillar of fire to vaporize a crew of roughnecks like tobacco leaves. Not that that mattered, in this long and terrible moment. What mattered was that he could shoot into the crowd. What mattered was her promise to protect two men in that crowd.
From Company Town by Madeline Ashby ©2016. Published by Tor Books.