The world turns, the ice caps melt, and the Dust Belt creeps eastward. Cyberpunks might do their thing in Goa or Melbourne or Daegu, but in Chicago, conflict mediator Debbie Peck is still fighting for relevance and her next paycheck. So when her headhunter offers her an interview at the Jefferson Trellis, one of the last bastions of American prosperity, she jumps at the opportunity. She lands right in a dead man's shoes.
As Debbie navigates her new position and Six Counties Homicide Detective Melody Jackson investigates the murders occurring around the Trellis, they each untwine the tendrils of a secret creeping through its corner offices. Like the botanical gardens at the Trellis's base, their worlds weave between the lush, the stark, the delicate, and the deadly.
Set in the near future and dancing between mystery, sci-fi, and literary fiction, THE TRELLIS deftly layers a few years of continued decline to the American condition: later-stage capitalism, drone swarms and deepfakes, the halves-of-one-tenth-of-one-percent and the have-naughts. The technology has predictably improved and the people predictably haven't, but to call Debbie's world a dystopia would damn our own to the same definition.