Sand, by Hugh Howey, Century, RRP£18.99, 371 pages

In Howey’s bestselling Silo trilogy – Wool, Shift, Dust – the remnants of humankind huddle in a vast underground bunker, pining for the lost, contaminated surface world. His new novel, Sand, inverts that idea: the inhabitants of a blighted, desert-covered Colorado dive to retrieve and sell cherished artefacts from the cities buried below.

Palmer, a diver, discovers the fabled city of “Danvar”, before being betrayed and left for dead by his partner. Meanwhile, his siblings scrabble to make a living in the shanty town of Springston. Their mother runs the local brothel, and there are desperadoes who are seeking to destroy what little civilisation remains.

Sand immerses you in its grubby post-apocalyptic world. Through telling details – such as the different names people have for types of sand – Howey conjures a credible, brutal future.

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