David McConnell
Alyson Books

The narrator of David McConnell’s intriguing second novel is never named, and neither is the city he’s escaping from with US$36,000 in silver dollars stashed in 24 blue boxes. The metropolis he’s headed to isn’t identified either; it’s simply called Z, and it may or may not be the putative ‘lost city’ in the Amazon. Like everything else in this dystopian narrative, the settings are fairly inscrutable.

Fortunately, his voice is eerily compelling, and it carries the reader through this otherwise perplexing book. By turns jaded and highly alert, he describes his situation in clipped sentences that maintain suspense despite a complicated plot about shady corporations and something called the Economic Cooperation League, which has its own paramilitary force.

Still, The Silver Hearted is a bit of a hollow pleasure, with all its sound and fury signifying nothing in the end. The novel never quite gets out of its main character’s head, which limits its impact.
Sean Kennedy