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The Forever Watch, by David Ramirez, Hodder & Stoughton, RRP£16.99, 327 pages

The Noah is a vast starship carrying the remnants of humanity on an 800-year voyage from a ruined Earth to a distant habitable planet, Canaan. Life on board is tightly regulated, everyone assigned their roles at birth and technologically enhanced with powers such as telekinesis and telepathy.

Hana works in City Planning, creating new buildings with her mind. Her boyfriend Leon is a former cop, brutish on the outside, sensitive and tormented within. His investigation into a series of inexplicable, gory deaths – the handiwork of a killer called Mincemeat – draws him and Hana into uncovering a conspiracy that goes all the way back to the Noah’s launch.

The Forever Watch, David Ramirez’s debut, is baggily written but well plotted and evokes vividly the sprawling, intricate world of the ship. Strong characterisation carries the reader through its slower passages.

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