From the back of the book:
The gaslight and shadows of the underground city of Recoletta hide secrets and lies. When Inspector Liesl Malone investigates the murder of a renowned historian, she finds herself stonewalled by the all-powerful Directorate of Preservation – Ricoletta’s top-secret historical research facility.
When a second high-profile murder threatens the very fabric of city society, Malone and her rookie partner Rafe Sundar must tread carefully, lest they fall victim to not only the criminals they seek, but the government which purports to protect them. Knowledge is power, and power must be preserved at all costs...
There is a surrealist steampunk dystopian feel to THE BURIED LIFE. Cover quotes like the book to Cherie Priest (BONESHAKER) and it definitely has that vibe.
Set predominantly underground, THE BURIED LIFE evokes feelings of the tightly cobbled Victorian streets at night time. Fully embodying that omnipresent dread prevalent with the unknown lurking around the corner, the anticipation of crime and wrong doing is heightened.
Initially starting as a murder mystery in the traditional whodunit frame, THE BURIED LIFE quickly evolved into a political scheming and inner conspiracy tale where the Government kept secrets hidden from the populace while another outfit threated to overthrow life as the inhabitants of Recoletta knew it.
As one half of the books central focus, for struggling laundress Jane, her occupation provides glimpses of the wealthy life; responsible for fixing the garments of the 'whitenails' (or wealthy inhabitants of Recoletta) she often sees the brighter side of 'cave' life while also being privy to some of the Councils (the controlling government body) inner secrets - the walls talk and their messages are deadly, this Jane discovers all too well when she comes across one of her clients dead, another in a string of high profile whitenail murders.
One of the most enjoyable aspects to THE BURIED LIFE was the place-setting and mystery surrounding 'the catastrophe' - both elements I hope are continued to be explored in the second series instalment.