The Invisible by Seb Doubinsky Blog Tour

We are excited to be a part of THE INVISIBLE blog tour. The book is fun, yet deep, and always unpredictable. His City-States are a dystopian world much like our own, where politics and corruption take center stage way more than they should. Very engaging, a quotable line on almost every page.

The Invisible is a masterfully written dystopian noir in Seb Doubinsky’s City-States Cycle books. It’s election time in New Babylon, and President Maggie Delgado is running for re-election but is threatened by the charismatic populist Ted Rust. Newly appointed City Commissioner Georg Ratner is given the priority task to fight the recent invasion of Synth in the streets of the capital, a powerful hallucinogen drug with a mysterious origin. When his old colleague asks him for help on another case and gets murdered, things become more and more complicated, and his official neutrality becomes a burden in the political intrigue he his gradually sucked into. Supported by Laura, his trustful life partner and the Egyptian goddess Nut, Ratner decides to fight for what he believes in, no matter the cost.

BUY LINKS: Meerkat Press |Amazon | Barnes & Noble

GENRE: Speculative Fiction / Dystopian / Detective Noir

BOOK PAGE:  https://www.meerkatpress.com/books/the-invisible/

The Invisible is a masterfully written dystopian noir in Seb Doubinsky’s City-States Cycle books. It’s election time in New Babylon, and President Maggie Delgado is running for re-election but is threatened by the charismatic populist Ted Rust. Newly appointed City Commissioner Georg Ratner is given the priority task to fight the recent invasion of Synth in the streets of the capital, a powerful hallucinogen drug with a mysterious origin. When his old colleague asks him for help on another case and gets murdered, things become more and more complicated, and his official neutrality becomes a burden in the political intrigue he his gradually sucked into. Supported by Laura, his trustful life partner and the Egyptian goddess Nut, Ratner decides to fight for what he believes in, no matter the cost.

BUY LINKS: Meerkat Press |Amazon | Barnes & Noble

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Seb Doubinsky is a bilingual writer born in Paris in 1963. His novels, all set in a dystopian universe revolving around competing cities-states, have been published in the UK and in the USA. He currently lives with his family in Aarhus, Denmark, where he teaches at the university.

AUTHOR LINKS: Website | Twitter

GIVEAWAY: $50 Book Shopping Spree!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt from The Invisible by Seb Doubinsky

1

City Commissioner Georg Ratner looked out the large window of his new office, taking in the breathtaking view of the city. New Babylon sparkled in the mid-November morning. The sky was still black, although a thin gray stripe in the east indicated the imminent rise of a pale sun.

“Is everything okay, sir?”

Ratner glanced at the large designer desk, the designer leather armchair, the designer wastebasket, the designer bookshelves, his personal water fountain and nodded.

“Everything’s fine,” he grunted. “Everything’s fine. I just need an ashtray.”

“Yes, of course.”

Ratner smiled with gratitude at his new secretary, Mrs. Gardiner. She smiled back.

She was a middle-aged woman who could have been anything between forty-five and sixty-five, as she had almost no wrinkles and her hair was died a reddish brown. Good-looking too, although that had nothing to do with anything. Ratner hated those automatic thoughts whenever they popped up. He was neither a sexist, nor a satyr. But sometimes his sense of observation collided with obsolete social constructions. Or rather—with constructions that should be obsolete.

“Mr. Klein smoked too. The pipe,” she added.

Ratner nodded. He was replacing a dead man, who had the paradoxical reputation of being both extremely corrupt and extremely efficient. It would be hard to live up to his level.

“I smoke cigarettes,” Ratner said. “And cigars, once in a while. I hope you don’t mind.”

Mrs. Gardiner tugged at her black turtleneck.

“I smoke too,” she explained. “Oh, and Mr. Klein had a minibar installed while he was in office. I mean, it’s a minifridge. You can put in whatever you want, of course. Water, for example. It’s in the basement at the moment. I can ask Eric to bring it back for you.”

Ratner didn’t know if she was making things up, but her tone seemed hopeful.

“Yes,” he said. “That would be very nice.”

Once Mrs. Gardiner had left, the new city commissioner walked to his desk and sat in the designer armchair. It was more comfortable than he had imagined.

2

Ratner was sitting in a dead man’s chair, although, technically, his predecessor had never used it. The office had been completely redone to welcome him. There was a small framed black-and-white picture hanging on a wall, showing the way the office looked before (old-style and cozy)—a clipping from the New Babylonian Post from a few years back. Klein stood behind his desk, surrounded by Maggie Delgado, the current president, Jack Tchebick, the current mayor, and Jim Flowers, the current DA—the last two, the same team that had pushed Ratner all the way to the top.

Ratner had only done his job correctly, though. No corruption, in the traditional sense of the word, at least. Sure, a couple of small favors here and there. But never anything serious, nor criminal. Parking tickets, desk jobs, transfers. That sort of thing. And catching criminals. That got him a reputation and respect among the colleagues. That’s what Ratner wanted to believe. Respect. It was a heavy word—much heavier than “responsibilities” or even “power.” Respect opened very door, even in the criminal world. He looked for his cigarettes in the pocket of his jacket, then remembered there weren’t any ashtrays in the office. A plastic cup from the water fountain would do. Creative thinking. Another of his forte. The smoke filled his lungs like a welcome lethal gas.

3

Ratner had barely sat down again behind the large desk when the phone rang. “Yes?”

“You haven’t forgotten about the press conference tonight?”

He recognized Mayor Tchebick’s voice. No need for introductions. “No, of course not.”

“You wrote your speech?”

Ratner cringed. “Yes,” he lied.

“It would be a good thing if you showed it to Mrs. Gardiner. She excels in editing.”

“Sure.”

“See you tonight, then.”

The mayor hung up without waiting for an answer. Ratner looked at the pile of files already towering on his desk. As if he had time to write a speech. He sighed and buzzed Mrs. Gardiner.

4

Ratner had hesitated for a few days before accepting the promotion. Actually, he hadn’t even told Laura about the offer initially. When he finally did, he had already made up his mind.

“But you hate politics,” she had rightly said.

He had taken her to a new Italian restaurant on the corner of their street. He wanted to be out of their apartment to announce the news. Both for a celebration and an excuse.

“I know,” he had said, pouring more wine into her glass. “But I hate Thomsen even more.”

Thomsen was the northern district commissioner. In Ratner’s eyes, he symbolized everything he despised: incompetence, hunger for power, backstabbing and an excellent network of high-ranking incompetents, like Thomsen himself.

“That’s still politics,” Laura said. “In a good way.”

She smiled and raised her glass to her lips. In the candlelight her mouth appeared dark red. Ratner thought of cherries in the spring.

“Jim practically begged me to accept,” he explained. “And Tchebick is afraid of Thomsen. For obvious reasons.”

Laura nodded. She knew everything about the city’s murky secrets. Ratner confided in her because he trusted her with all the soul he had left.

“So I accepted,” he concluded.

“Good,” Laura said. “But don’t come crying when the walls fall down. Because you know they always do in the end.”

5

But don’t come crying when the walls fall down. Because you know they always do in the end. Laura’s encouraging words echoed in his mind as Mrs. Gardiner stepped in.

“Yes?” she asked.

“I was wondering if you got hold of that ashtray I required?”

Mrs. Gardiner lifted her hand in a blessing gesture, her index pointed at the ceiling. “I knew I had forgotten something. I’ll be right back.”

Ratner smiled as she shut the door behind her, and he picked up the first file on the pile.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *