by Dave Hutchinson
Europe in Autumn is a thriller of espionage and the future which reads like the love child of John le CarrÃ© and Franz Kafka.
Rudi is a cook in a KrakÃ³w restaurant, but when his boss asks Rudi to help a cousin escape from the country heâ€™s trapped in, a new career - partspy, part people-smuggler - begins.
Following multiple economic crises and a devastating flu pandemic, Europe has fractured into countless tiny nations, duchies, polities and republics. Recruited by the shadowy organisation Les Coureurs des Bois, Rudi is schooled in espionage, but when a training mission to The Line, a sovereign nation consisting of a trans-Europe railway line, goes wrong, he is arrested, beaten and Coureur Central must attempt a rescue.
With so many nations to work in, and identities to assume, Rudi is kept busy travelling across Europe. But when he is sent to smuggle someone out of Berlin and finds a severed head inside a locker instead, a conspiracy begins to wind itself around him.
With kidnapping, double-crosses and a map that constantly re-draws, Rudi begins to realise that underneath his daily round of plot and counter plot, behind the conflicting territories, another entirely different reality might be pulling the strings...