Now available from Harper Voyager
“…provides a glimmer of hope that the usurpers of the Constitution may be beaten at their own game, ‘one case at a time.’ Interpersonal drama fuels the story as much as legal maneuvering, and Brown keeps tight control of his narrative even as this alternate America slips its gears.”—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
“Christopher Brown looks to be cornering the market on future dystopias…’Rule of Capture’ is not just sci-fi, it’s also a legal thriller. Its author is himself a lawyer, just like John Grisham, and he has a grip on detail that full-time sci-fi authors can’t match.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Brown’s riveting story is frightening for how possible it could be and it’s delivered with stylistically insightful prose that makes it legitimately hard to put down.”—Kirkus
“Sharply observed, tightly written. bitterly funny, with the underlying tang of unpleasant truth… [P]ut this one on the shelf next to Orwell.”—Locus
“This one is fresh, intelligent, and emotional with a plot that envisions an alternate reality hard to dismiss as unreal. It’s a legal thriller, with a big twist, stirring and imaginative, brimming with skullduggery, that will have you asking: is this possible?” —Steve Berry, New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of The Lincoln Myth, The Malta Exchange and the Cotton Malone series
“Rule of Capture is a taut, smart legal thriller set five minutes into the future in a dystopian post-war America that looks scarily plausible from the vantage point of 2019. Brown’s brilliant follow up to the superb Tropic of Kansas marks him out as one of our most tuned-in science fiction writers.” — Adrian McKinty, Edgar and Ned Kelly Award-winning author of The Chain and Rain Dogs
“A kind of legal realism that feels terrifyingly plausible…against a kind of madcap Texas dark comedy…like a courtroom scene in an unpublished Hunter S. Thompson novel. And shot through it all, a serious, philosophical meditation on the nature of private land, conquest, and justice. It moves, rocketing along at a ferocious pace—and then it lingers, haunting you with its claustrophobic gallows/courtroom humor and fierce defiance.” —Cory Doctorow, New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of Homeland and Radicalized
“Rule of Capture is the first in a planned series of legal thrillers, and if this first installment is any indication, I will buy the others the day they appear on shelves, mute my phone, and cancel all appointments for the next couple of days. Rule of Capture is part 1984, part Brave New World, part ripped from the Mueller report, though it transcends the current occupant of the White House. Brown has taken all the dissonant noise and distilled it, then extrapolated to a possible logical endpoint.”—Lone Star Literary
“Peel back the dystopian and science fiction layers of this fast moving and entertaining story, and what remains is a smart, taut legal thriller bound to keep readers turning pages deep into the night.” —Robert Bailey, bestselling author of the McMurtrie & Drake legal thriller series
“Compelling, timely, and disturbing, Brown’s expertly crafted legal drama asks its reader a number of tough questions: when the collapse of society comes, what role will you play? Will you be complicit? Will you stand and fight? Or will you try to just carry on, business as usual? And perhaps more urgently: has that collapse already started?”—Tim Maughan, author of Infinite Detail
“A sharp, no-holds-barred view into a desperate future that is terrifyingly close to our present. This is the stuff of which today’s nightmares are made.” —Eileen Gunn, Nebula Award-winning author of Stable Strategies and Questionable Practices
“Magnificent…as prescient about the present as the future.”—Jack Womack, author of Random Acts of Senseless Violence and Ambient
“An exhilarating, all too real journey into a scary place, where the fall of democracy is sure to be streamlined: the courts. Chris Brown’s frenetic prose will keep you turning the pages, make you laugh, and fill you with horror—it’s the long awaited, judicial dystopian thriller for our times.”—Fernando Flores, author of Tears of the Trufflepig
“A fitting prequel to Tropic of Kansas, Rule of Capture is a smart and stirring political/legal thriller set in a dystopian America that feels like an unsettling version of our own waiting in the shadows. Brown’s world is deeply immersive, his concepts richly realized, his themes sweeping but centering on the imperative and cost of resisting tyranny.”–Craig DiLouie, author of Our War
“Read this! A dark, funny novel of homegrown revolution, constitutional crisis, & edgelands biology [deponent affirms he could not stop reading]”—Endless Bookshelf
“I can’t remember a legal thriller having made me cry before—though I suppose terrifyingly near-future compassionate dystopian SF is another story. Rule of Capture is both.” — The Mossy Skull
“[A] captivating page turner ripped from tomorrow’s headlines.” — Gavin J. Grant, Stoker Award-winning author and editor
Better Call Saul meets Nineteen Eighty-Four in this first volume in an explosive legal thriller series set in the world of Tropic of Kansas—a finalist for the 2018 Campbell Award for best science fiction novel of the year.
Defeated in a devastating war with China and ravaged by climate change, America is on the brink of a bloody civil war. Seizing power after a controversial election, the ruling regime has begun cracking down on dissidents fighting the nation’s slide toward dictatorship. For Donny Kimoe, chaos is good for business. He’s a lawyer who makes his living defending enemies of the state.
His newest client, young filmmaker Xelina Rocafuerte, witnessed the murder of an opposition leader and is now accused of terrorism. To save her from the only sentence worse than death, Donny has to extract justice from a system that has abandoned the rule of law. That means breaking the rules—and risking the same fate as his clients.
When Donny bungles Xelina’s initial hearing, he has only days to save the young woman from being transferred to a detention camp from which no one returns. His only chance of winning is to find the truth—a search that begins with the opposition leader’s death and leads to a dark conspiracy reaching the highest echelons of power.
Now, Donny isn’t just fighting for his client’s life—he’s battling for his own. But as the trial in the top secret court begins, Xelina’s friends set into motion a revolutionary response that could destroy the case. And when another case unexpectedly collides with Xelina’s, Donny uncovers even more devastating secrets, knowledge that will force him to choose between saving one client . . . or the future of the entire country.