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Into the future with local author Kellough

Author Janet Kellough, noted for her historical series, The Thaddeus Lewis Mysteries, has jumped from the past into the future with the release of her newest book “The Bathwater Conspiracy”.

“It’s a real departure from my previous works,” Kellough said. “Most of my writing has been based on Prince Edward County and Upper Canadian history, but sometimes when a story is rattling around in your head, you have to write it no matter where it takes you.”

In this case, the story took the author to a somewhat dystopian near-future, where reproduction has become a pressing issue of global importance, and where a city cop follows the investigation of a murder that leads to a secret government project.

“The trail starts with a crime that is shocking in its brutality – at least it’s shocking for this society, which has long since seen the last of the kind of violence we accept as everyday,” Kellough explains. “The cop, Carson MacHenry, has been warned not to ask questions, which is like waving a red flag, and the investigation leads from the local university through the decayed area at the city’s edge to a fundamentalist religious group that has established a camp in the ruins.”

Janet Kellough

The book is a police procedural/political thriller set in the context of speculative fiction. It crosses at least a couple of genres, which she notes, made it a great deal of fun to write.

Although it is being pitched as science fiction and is published by EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing, “you won’t find any space stations or little green aliens”, Kellough says. “Some of the best science fiction holds up a satirical mirror to current society, and that’s what I tried to do, but I gave it a hard-boiled detective, slightly noir twist.”

Reviews to date have been enthusiastic, one reviewer calling it “cleverly conceived, brilliantly written and funny as hell”, another a “genuinely subversive futuristic crime novel”.

“I really like the ‘subversive’ label,” Kellough notes.
The author will hold court at Books and Co. in Picton on May 12, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. where she will be talking with readers and signing copies of The Bathwater Conspiracy, or any of her other books.

Both Kellough and her new book will also be featured at the County’s second annual Women Killing It Crime Writers’ Festival to be held Labour Day weekend.

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